Skip to content

Motion for preliminary injunction could be resolved soon

Clay Redden AP

There’s some confusion and misinformation floating around regarding the early phase of the antitrust litigation filed by Tom Brady and others on Friday afternoon in Minnesota.  Our goal at this point is to help you understand how things could unfold in the coming days and weeks.

For starters, no one knows what will happen or when it will happen.  Anyone who tries to say otherwise this point is lying or stupid or a little (or a lot) of both.  The players opted for uncertainty because they concluded that from uncertainty a better deal eventually will emerge.  The league prefers certainty because the league thinks a better deal will come from collective bargaining capped by a lockout.

For now, we know that the players have filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking a lockout and, eventually, scuttling any rules imposed by the 32 business that make up the NFL.  We also know that the league will fight the effort, claiming that the ability to attack decertification as a “sham” survived the expiration of the CBA.

And we know that the players have filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which means that the players hope to obtain a ruling blocking the lockout while the litigation proceeds.

The players have not, as others correctly have pointed out, attempted to pursue a temporary restraining order.  A TRO is obtained on what the lawyers call and “ex parte” basis, meaning that one side goes into court and obtains an order preventing someone from doing something that they plan to do while the court takes up the issue.  Temporary restraining orders are granted only in very rare circumstances, typically when failure to intervene could lead to irreversible harm of some sort.

A motion for preliminary injunction can be resolved in a matter of days, or in a matter of weeks.  At this point, no one knows how quickly, or how slowly, the federal court in Minnesota will move.  If, as the league fully expects, the case will be assigned to Judge David Doty based on his 20-plus-years of expertise in NFL labor matters, Doty would then schedule a hearing — and he could issue a ruling from the bench at the end of the hearing, or at some point thereafter.

The hearing could occur this week, or next week, or at some point thereafter.

Most judges treat motions for preliminary injunctions with a sense of urgency.  As the players’ lawsuit alleges, pending free agents are being kept from signing with new teams.  Eventually, players under contract won’t be permitted to take part in the offseason workout program, which allows them to stay in shape under the supervision of team employees.  The players likely will seek a quick ruling — and the judge probably won’t drag his feet.

The first battle will focus on whether the union decertified in a way that cuts off the “sham” defense.  If the union prevails, the lockout likely will be blocked, since a decision by 32 separate businesses to shut down a non-union workforce constitutes a fairly clear violation of the antitrust laws.

We’ll continue to stay on the cutting edge of this rusty razor blade, even though we’d rather be talking about free agency and offseason workouts and the periodic arrest.

At least we’ll still have the periodic arrest.

Permalink 31 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Union
31 Responses to “Motion for preliminary injunction could be resolved soon”
  1. waldoampere says: Mar 12, 2011 3:03 PM

    I didn’t realize that I stumbled across the prolawyerstalk website.

  2. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 12, 2011 3:04 PM

    At least we’ll still have the periodic arrest.

    Gawd, I’d love to hear that Goodell got arrested for solicitation…

  3. arm57romg says: Mar 12, 2011 3:05 PM

    At this point, we should all root 4 the union as bad as it hurts. I want FA, I want workouts, more importantly I want football.

  4. txchief says: Mar 12, 2011 3:05 PM

    Hey NFL fans, can you name one thing the NFLPA has done to improve your NFL experience or make it more affordable for you to attend games and purchase NFL merchandise?

  5. apdaddy77 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:07 PM

    Never thought football would get so complicated. Strap up, play the greatest game in the world, and be grateful to have the oppurtunity to do so.

  6. handlethehandles says: Mar 12, 2011 3:08 PM

    More Mock Drafts and less of this crap..

    I seriously will not care untill September, when rich people argue its never gonna involve me.. so how about you talk about the NFL draft and how my team is gonna make great decisions.. haha

  7. jw731 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:10 PM

    I’m suffering from legalese disease…….I just don’t want to read any more about lawyer BS…

  8. jetfaninla says: Mar 12, 2011 3:11 PM

    Yea, @txchief – they’re trying to play football. They’re trying to prevent the owners from denying us football. It seems like the NFLPA and players want to have football more than the owners do right now.

  9. vikefan4life11 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:14 PM

    The owners should just carry on without these players…..Conduct business and hold tryouts for whoever wants to tryout…Then the players will realize that the shoe is on the other foot…I can guarantee you 90% of all these guys will come back to play and they will then realize what a joke De really is…We dont need them to have football…For every star out there another guy is just a tad behind him…anyone ready for some football?…As a fan I support the owners position…THEY ARE EMPLOYEES!!!!!!!!!

  10. dontcallmepete says: Mar 12, 2011 3:15 PM

    Hey NFL fans, can you name one thing the NFLPA has done to improve your NFL experience or make it more affordable for you to attend games and purchase NFL merchandise?
    —————————————-
    You certainly don’t believe that the players set the price for merchandise, tickets etc. do you? You’re talking about a game where the average offensive lineman dies on average 18 years before other men in his age group. What is hurting you personally about what the NFLPA does? The reason the owners won’t open the books is that what will happen in places like Cincy when the fans see that the Brown family makes money while at the same time paying family members for no show jobs. That’s American to you?

  11. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 12, 2011 3:17 PM

    For those interested, theres a great story in the NY Times today on Judge Doty. Among the tidbits, he was an anti union lawyer and was appointed by Reagan to the bench.

    By the way, for those that only read Drudge or Newsmaxx, the NY Times is known as America’s paper of record. Check it out….

  12. shrimpdd says: Mar 12, 2011 3:18 PM

    The NFLPA didn’t do anything to try to make football continue. They are the ones who decided not to negotiate and longer and take their case to court.

    De Smith is like the little guy who walks into a bar with four of his buddies. He’s the first one to get liqoured up, like a kicker, and talk trash to the other gang of guys at the pool table, promising to kick their butts. (Did you catch the tape of him saying, “WE want to play. WE want to be fair.” Like he’s going to line up at guard?)

    As soon as the other guys get fed up, he ducks behind the guys he walked in with.

    Face it– he has NOTHING to lose in any of this. The people he represent have a lot to lose. He is not looking out for anyone’s interests but his own.

  13. imag3d says: Mar 12, 2011 3:18 PM

    I wonder how many players (now that there is no accountability) will be tempted to go the Charlie Sheen lifestyle (drugs).

  14. hobartbaker says: Mar 12, 2011 3:19 PM

    Dotty is 82 FREAKING YEARS OLD. Eighty two.

    C’mon. Quit clogging up the system old man. Go damage 3 par courses in Arizona or spend $300 growing $50 worth of vegtables in your back yard.

  15. richm2256 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:20 PM

    jetfaninla says:
    It seems like the NFLPA and players want to have football more than the owners do right now.
    ————————————————–
    yeah, we could tell by the way they didn’t reach a settlement with the owners.

    Typical moron Jets fans.

  16. apdaddy77 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:21 PM

    Damn, what is Dan Snyder going to do if there is no free agency. You know all that money is burning a hole in his pocket.

  17. realitypolice says: Mar 12, 2011 3:22 PM

    txchief says:
    Mar 12, 2011 3:05 PM
    Hey NFL fans, can you name one thing the NFLPA has done to improve your NFL experience or make it more affordable for you to attend games and purchase NFL merchandise?
    ===============

    You’re right, they’ve done the exact same amount as the league has.

    Neither side cares about the fans.

    So what’s your point?

  18. hobartbaker says: Mar 12, 2011 3:22 PM

    Dangerously Dotty was making bad decisions in court before most of the principals in this matter were even born.

  19. goombar2 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:26 PM

    Well, sure, I can think of something the players did… Seattle sucked so when they went to Chicago in the playoffs ticket prices were actually lower than had the saints went on…

    And that’s better than say Ralph Wilson, who puts out a craptastic product but raises prices anyway.

    The reason ticket prices are high is due to demand. It’s the #1 sport around with a bullet. If everyone and their momma wants to go, but seating is limited…. Guess what? Prices go up. Because people are willing to pay more players want higher salaries for their services and so do owners.

    I really don’t understand why folks are begrudging players their success. If you want what they got then strap-on if not shut up. Pretty simple really.

  20. jeff061 says: Mar 12, 2011 3:44 PM

    dontcallmepete is consistent with the idiot players position. The notion that it is bad for the 32 teams to be profitable is ridiculous. The whole position by owners is to continue the tradition of a sustainable league – aggressively marketed to enjoy its current high standing.

    I pay for my season tkts to the owners, I trust them to manage their businesses to create a league that will prosper for decades. I would not give my money to lazy uneducated idiots like Chester Pitts and other players who are focused on making as much cash over 3-5 years before they move on to a real job and career.

  21. dontcallmepete says: Mar 12, 2011 3:52 PM

    Dangerously Dotty was making bad decisions in court before most of the principals in this matter were even born
    ———————————————-
    Judicial bias is impossible to prove and very dangerous to any plaintiff who has an attorney that argues it. Let’s not forget that the owners have lost in the Supreme Court, which last time I checked, Judge Doty was not included in their number. Initially he was the one judge that the owners wanted. If he’s so bad why are his decisions being affirmed by higher courts?

  22. txchief says: Mar 12, 2011 3:53 PM

    I don’t begrudge the players’ success, just their enormous sense of entitlement.

  23. Deb says: Mar 12, 2011 3:56 PM

    @txchief …

    Sure. The NFLPA …

    1. decertified, which may stop the owners’ lockout strategy so we’ll have a 2011 season.

    2. ended the decades-old practice of teams working players like animals until their bodies and brains were destroyed then throwing them out with no benefits.

    3. stopped teams from exploiting players in advertising and merchandising without sharing the profits.

    4. ended the practice of players being doped to the point of feeling no pain so they could play through injury and become permanently debilitated.

    You may think little of that helps me as a fan, but if I wanted to be entertained by powerless creatures being exploited until they’re physically unable to perform and then tossed aside, I’d watch dogfighting. Until they organized, there was little difference between the treatment of players and fighting animals.

  24. dontcallmepete says: Mar 12, 2011 4:13 PM

    @txchief if you and I were business partners and I asked for more money because I wasn’t making as much as before wouldn’t you ask me to prove that I needed more and you needed less?

  25. fergie22 says: Mar 12, 2011 4:21 PM

    well if decertification is not a sham does that mean if an agreement is worked out there is no union or do they just vote to recertify which to me sounds like a scam

  26. dontcallmepete says: Mar 12, 2011 4:25 PM

    dontcallmepete is consistent with the idiot players position. The notion that it is bad for the 32 teams to be profitable is ridiculous. The whole position by owners is to continue the tradition of a sustainable league – aggressively marketed to enjoy its current high standing.
    ————————————————-
    I didn’t write that and the bad part for you is that it’s still written here. What I wrote and I think all real, God fearing, flag waving American would agree with me is that where is it written that an American business is guaranteed a profit whether or not the product is a good one? I wrote that the owners won’t open the books because some bad teams are profitable. Maybe more than Green Bay. If you’re a fan of team A and they’re consistently bad and you find out that I, the owner of team A, pay myself and my three kids more in salary than the crappy starting QB, how can I continue to raise ticket prices? Ask for a new stadium? Aren’t you going to ask me why I’m doing that? It’s not profit that I’m against. I just happen to be among the dwindling number of Americans who don’t believe everything a person tells me because he has more money than I do. I’m an anachronism, greed isn’t good. 32 guys are telling well over 1600 guys “Just trust me” You wouldn’t do that and nobody in this discussion would do that.

  27. endzonezombie says: Mar 12, 2011 6:44 PM

    “For starters, no one knows what will happen or when it will happen. Anyone who tries to say otherwise this point is lying or stupid or a little (or a lot) of both.”

    So anyone within the judicial system with better knowledge than PFT is stupid?

  28. txchief says: Mar 12, 2011 7:30 PM

    The last time I checked, Deb, all the players were volunteers. I hardly think they are treated like animals and then “thrown away.” The concussion problem is a very real one, and it is the players who have resisted equipment and rules changes to guard against head injuries, not the owners. Check your facts. Your post reminds me of the four Yorkshiremen Monty Python skit. You must think the owners “beat the (players) to sleep with a broken bottle every night while singing hallelujah and dancing on their graves.”

  29. txchief says: Mar 12, 2011 7:41 PM

    dontcallmepete says:
    Mar 12, 2011 4:13 PM
    @txchief if you and I were business partners and I asked for more money because I wasn’t making as much as before wouldn’t you ask me to prove that I needed more and you needed less?

    —————————————————-

    I like the challenging question, dontcallmepete. If we were business partners you would already know how much I made because you would be a shareholder and would legally be entitled to review the books. If you were my employee (and I do own a business with many), I would tell you that is none of your business how much I make because I take all of the financial risk. I will pay you fairly, provide good benefits and treat you extremely well as a valued employee. If you decide to sue me, I will terminate you immediately, and you will not be eligible for rehire.

  30. Deb says: Mar 12, 2011 9:51 PM

    @txchief …

    Yes, the players were volunteers in the 1970s when the owners sucked the life out of them then left them to limp around without pensions or health benefits after they’d poured it all on the field for grand sums like $15, 000/yr. Maybe they were playing primarily for love of the game. Isn’t that what people like you want … players who play for love of the game?

    And I’m sure you’d work for love of the job, too, wouldn’t you? So what if the the company knowingly insulates with asbestos and gives you lung cancer? Hey … you volunteered.

    Heaven forbid anyone ever impose on owners to provide health care, safe working conditions, or any of the other benefits won by labor unions.

    Thanks for the Monty Python. You just sound like the typical management lackey. Owners like Paul Allen and Jerry Jones drove player salaries through the roof by paying multi-million-dollar signing bonuses as a way to skirt the salary cap. Unless they sign a guaranteed contract, few players stay in the game long enough to reap anywhere near the full worth of their agreements. But what they do get is based on the revenue they generate. I believe being paid what the market determines you’re worth is a principle of capitalism, isn’t it? Or are you one of those guys who only champions capitalism when it benefits the guys at the top?

  31. karltwo says: Mar 13, 2011 1:40 AM

    Just to clear it up, the problem here isn’t that the owners are making money. It’s not that the players don’t make enough money.

    The problem here is that the owners HAVE A MONOPOLY, and are trying to use that monopoly to increase their profits at the expense of free-market pressures.

    Say you are an accountant. This battle is analogous to H&R Block buying out everyone else out, hiking their rates dramatically and then telling all of their employees they had to take a major pay cut or they could start flipping burgers. You’re telling me that if you’re one of those accountants, you’re just gonna be happy to do the work and be able to feed your family? Stop thinking out of bitterness that you’re not making their kind of money, and you’ll see this isn’t just about screwing over the fans.

    Now go ahead and quote Glenn Beck and feel better about yourselves.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!