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Court combines Brady, Eller cases for Wednesday’s hearing

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As the first hearing in the Tom Brady antitrust case against the NFL is poised to commence on Wednesday, the other antitrust case against the NFL has been officially added to the Brady case for the purposes of Wednesday’s hearing on motions to lift the lockout.

Specifically, the case filed by Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller and several other former players and one low-level, largely unknown rookie has been consolidated with the Brady case, at least for the purposes of tomorrow’s hearing on motions filed by the plaintiffs in each case to lift the lockout.

As Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal explained on Tuesday’s edition of PFT Live, the court has given the plaintiffs in each case 20 minutes of argument time.  The league has 20 minutes to respond to each motion, essentially giving the NFL 40 minutes to address the same primary arguments being made against it.

Thus, it’s no surprise that the NFL agreed to the consolidation.

Kaplan also said that the Brady plaintiffs will be asked on Wednesday for a position on whether the cases should generally be combined, for all purposes.  From a legal strategy standpoint, the players should say no.  From a P.R. standpoint, refusing to team up with the case filed by the retired players could be a bad move.

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23 Responses to “Court combines Brady, Eller cases for Wednesday’s hearing”
  1. dukemarc says: Apr 5, 2011 2:12 PM

    Wait does Carl Eller have a stupid hairdo too?

    I thought this case was about forcing Brady to get a haircut.

  2. chapnastier says: Apr 5, 2011 2:29 PM

    One more day and the players will be forced back to the negotiating tables and we will have football!

  3. commoncents says: Apr 5, 2011 2:33 PM

    The judge should go line by line down the offer proposed by the owners to see if even the lawyers for the NFLPA know what it is they are looking for.

  4. micronin127 says: Apr 5, 2011 2:48 PM

    The judge could decide for the players and lift the lockout and force the parties to negotiate a litigation settlement too.

    Or the judge could decide for the owners and declare the decertification a sham and uphold the lockout and order the parties back to mediation under the FMS of the NLRB.

    Either way, we as fans want a clear decision and nothing wishy washy.

    A clear decision only forces the losing party to file an appeal. Only when appeals are exhausted will the losing party agree to return to the negotiating table.

    I say either way not to expect an instant resolution out of the judge’s ruling on the motions. An instant appeal… perhaps.

  5. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 2:48 PM

    As a lawyer, I can tell you that oral argument rarely effects the outcome of motions such as these. Federal judges’ law clerks are usually top of their class from top tier law schools and have already thoroughly briefed the issues, arguments, responses and precedent for the judges. Most of the time, the judges have already made their minds up based upon the clerks’ research and law. Unless there is something missing from the motion papers that drastically affects the argument, the judge will already have a ruling ready.

    Also, more time to argue is no real advantage. 20 mins is plenty of time to make an argument. Typically, the side that the judge wants to speak the most (and asks questions of), is usually the side that loses.

    The NFLPA knows that the law is on their side. This creates an uphill battle for the owners no matter if they have more argument time, the cases are consolidated, or whatever.

  6. mistrezzrachael says: Apr 5, 2011 2:58 PM

    Judge accepts this case…and we may be looking @ a league w/replacement players..and I would support that.

    Players not continuing negociations has turned many/most of public against them…so hoping owners play hardball…and bleed them dry.

    Also is too bad for jet fans…This is time of year they bask in their April Super Bowl wins…and spotlight being taken away from their loud mouths.

  7. saberstud75 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:01 PM

    I am curious as to whether Brady will be there or not. Brady’s presence or lack thereof will, in my opinion, set the tone as to how serious the big name players are to the negotiations.

  8. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:24 PM

    Also keep in mind…with unemployment as high as it is, no judge in their right mind is going to let a lock-out continue making tens of thousands of other Americans unemployed (i.e. parking attendents, concessions, hotel workers, etc.)

    The players will rightfully win.

  9. hobartbaker says: Apr 5, 2011 3:33 PM

    Brady said nothing, but just smiled at Judge Nelson the whole time. She asked him if he was sure that was all he wanted from the owners, as it didn’t seem nearly enough.

  10. rocketman2010 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:40 PM

    Fans
    United
    Completely
    Knowing
    You
    Owe
    Us
    NFL & NFLPA*

    Join the fans ‘union’…

  11. Deb says: Apr 5, 2011 3:41 PM

    @commoncents …

    Tomorrow’s hearing has nothing to do with reviewing the league’s CBA proposal. And the judge isn’t a guy commenting on a football board who’s decided Smith is an idiot who doesn’t know what he wants simply because he’s the attorney representing the NFLPA.

    @saberstud75 …

    The players have absolutely no role to play tomorrow beyond window dressing. They’re presence or absence for oral arguments on an injunction hearing says nothing about their seriousness on negotiations. They lent their names to the proceedings solely because the union wanted the name recognition on the filing.

    @mistrezzrachael …

    First, you and your ignorant cohorts are completely wrong in your assertions that the players didn’t want to negotiate, but you don’t care enough about the game to do your homework. And it’s unbelievable that you all really think the players are trying to bleed this group of savvy billionaire business owners when the business owners are the ones demanding more money. But I truly hope with all my heart that you and those like you one day are put in the position of having cheap labor take your jobs and bleed you dry. Karma is the bitch your attitude deserves. In the meantime, don’t ever again come onto this board and mouth off at me about your team. Clearly, you have no team. You don’t care if you’re watching escaped apes from the zoo as long as they wear your team colors and the owners rake in their profits.

  12. Deb says: Apr 5, 2011 3:43 PM

    @chap …

    Dream on, darlin’ ;)

  13. rmm1984 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:58 PM

    At least we know it will be videotaped.

  14. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 5, 2011 4:08 PM

    The facts and the law will determine the outcome of tomorrow’s motion hearing. Notwithstanding my support for the owners’ business arguments in this labor dispute, I have felt all along that the players would likely prevail in their motion for preliminary injunctive relief, either shortly after April 6, or after re-filing their motion at a later date. My guess is that the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will affirm any lower court finding for the players. The practical result will be that the player lockout will likely be lifted. As an NFL fan, I DO NOT want the lockout lifted. Rather, I want the courts to steer the players and owners back to the mediation room where they—and not the lawyers—can reach a fair agreement sooner rather than later.

  15. buffalohogan says: Apr 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    A serious question (kind of) —

    Is this broadcasted on TV anywhere or the internet? I’d love to watch it.

    Get Berman, Kornheiser and Jaws to commentate and we are all set.

  16. thefiesty1 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:01 PM

    Might as well combine them so when the judge throws out the suit it will save everyone a lot of time.

  17. luckywi says: Apr 5, 2011 5:06 PM

    Geez, I didn’t give deb a therapist blast. Kind of disappointing it got flagged but she can come around and call people names, and tell them not to come around this board anymore. Go see your therapist deb. Check into reality. IT’s nice over here. And quit chasing the players. You are scaring them.

  18. luckywi says: Apr 5, 2011 5:08 PM

    And, deb, you have yet to back up your claim to be a writer/researcher, other than to say you are. Heck, I’m a writer/researcher too.

  19. Deb says: Apr 5, 2011 5:54 PM

    luckywi …

    You post reads like your meds are wearing off. Mostly what I call people is “hon” and “darlin’.” It’s taken a long, long time, but I’ve finally persuaded the censors that Southern dialect isn’t threatening. I’ve never gotten a pass on this site. My posts have been deleted just as much as anyone else’s. Maybe more. And I’m a fairly bright woman, lucky. If I needed to chase men to get their attention, I’d chase the billionaire owners.

    I’m an anonymous commenter on a blog and have nothing to prove. It’s your choice to believe me or not. I don’t care. But the posts and the research in those requiring research speak for themselves. :)

  20. Deb says: Apr 5, 2011 6:10 PM

    @Rhode Island Patriots Fan …

    Oddly, we’re on the same page in many ways. I expect Judge Nelson to lift the lockout. And theoretically, that’s what I want. But only if it would drive the owners back to the table, result in an immediate resolution, and allow the union to recertify. But it probably won’t.

    If the owners persuade Judge Nelson to stay the injunction pending appeal to the Eighth Circuit, here we sit. If not, the league resumes operations but can’t go back to business as usual absent the union. I don’t believe the players want these antitrust suits to move forward anymore than I do; the suits are a leverage measure the same as the lockout. The only thing that will stop this is a fair CBA–but that may take longer if the players prevail.

    Even so, the owners have been been disingenous with players throughout the history of the league and through the course of this process. They chose to initiate this game of hardball when there were other options. I can’t support them regardless of the outcome.

  21. mistrezzrachael says: Apr 5, 2011 7:21 PM

    @ Deb says:

    So, you must be a jet fan…Which will/would explain your big mouth. Like Jason Taylor once said..’Only thing lower than a jet fan is a sewer rat.’ Am sure though that not being able to talk big in April like jet fans ALL do..you can hope to find some better uses for your mouth.

    Yes, it is the players..not the owners, refusing to return to negociating table.Frankly, they were fools to not accept, or begin to accept owners offer..and negociate further…Should the lockout continue…there is no way the players will get that same offer again. Like any business owner, the inmates do not run the asylum…and it’d be over my dead body before I’d show employees my books. They do not like it..go somewhere else.

    I realize that your housekeeping union also needs their contract renewed…and hoping that you and your fellow chambermaids are a bit smarter than the players..otherwise, am sure you could get on waiting list for KFC or Long John Silvers..cleaning fried food grease spills.

  22. commandercornpone says: Apr 5, 2011 7:37 PM

    the law isnt completely on the side of a fraudulently decertified (and in name only) union*.

  23. Deb says: Apr 5, 2011 8:44 PM

    No, mistrezzrachael, I’m not a Jets fan or a chambermaid … nor do I earn money as a mistrezz. Yes, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to show employees the books. Bet the girls get rowdy when madam doesn’t share. Sorry I stepped on your toes. Guess in your line, it’s not difficult to find someone younger who’s willing to work cheaper.

    You put your mouth to work first, lady. Most of the players in the NFL are not multi-million-dollar earners or names on police blotters. They’re simply men who do their jobs to provide for their families and it’s a special kind of nastiness to hope those men are bled dry.

    They did not opt out of a collective bargaining agreement demanding more money. The owners did. They did not go on strike. The owners shut down their place of employment. They spent months trying to negotiate a new agreement while the owners refused to come to the table and worked on illegally funneling joint revenues into their own private lockout fund. They made an offer weeks before the deadline that did not involve opening their books.

    Some of the fans commenting here can make a genuine business case for the owners. But like most, all you know is your own narrow-minded hatred of unions and that’s enough for you to wish 1700 men unemployed–most of whom do not have millions to fall back on. I simply hoped you’d reap what you sow.

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