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David Boies says labor dispute shouldn’t be in court

Lawyer David Boies, no stranger to high-profile litigation, serves as lead counsel for the NFL’s defense against the antitrust lawsuit filed after negotiations collapsed in March.  He visited with PFT Live one day after Judge Susan Nelson issued a ruling lifting the lockout.

Due to technical difficulties, the live feed of the Boies interview wasn’t able to be viewed.  We’ll soon be posting the entire segment.

Until then, here’s Boies expressing his opinion on whether the dispute between the NFL and the players should even be in court.

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37 Responses to “David Boies says labor dispute shouldn’t be in court”
  1. djstat says: Apr 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    Your part of the problem Boises

  2. airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:27 PM

    It doesnt belong in court. Anybody who understand the ramifications of these ruling beyond pro football know that if this stands, we are no longer a free nation.
    The workers would essentially tell the buisness how its going to run. Which means buisness would forced to go broke. which means NO BUISNESSES.

  3. myspaceyourface says: Apr 26, 2011 2:27 PM

    It’s like bringing your girlfriend in to mediate differences between you and your wife.

  4. rdssc says: Apr 26, 2011 2:29 PM

    Then why are they appealing the overturned lockout. Just let the players back to work and negotiate with them. You have the power to get it out of court.

  5. armchairgm9 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:34 PM

    I’d say it shouldn’t be in court if I got waxed by the judge like that also.

  6. glen1904 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:34 PM

    then why did you wait until 10min to five to give the union your last offer when you knew it wasn’t enough time and would force desertification????
    the owners are on a suicide mission to destroy the union and don’t care about the game or its fans. “its a business”! how many times have you heard that? well now I think everyone understands that,

  7. skoobyfl says: Apr 26, 2011 2:38 PM

    The NFL’s lawyer loses a ruling & thinks this shouldn’t be in court ?? If you were right to start with, why would you lose ?? Maybe, you should actually offer something fair so the NFL money machine can roll on to new ground, instead of playing games.

    Split the extra revenue that comes in over the next 10 years & pad the owners a Billion, that will finish this.

  8. KIR says: Apr 26, 2011 2:41 PM

    You say that after you lost the case? Isn’t that like the neighborhood bully getting beat up and then wanting to be everyones friend?

  9. richsaint says: Apr 26, 2011 2:41 PM

    This I agree with.
    It seems like in general labor has an extreme advantage with this new Decertification strategy.
    I am not a labor lawyer but the options if you dont like a CBA seem like they just tipped in labors favor.
    Option 1)Owners may lock out players
    Option 2)Players may strike
    Option 3)If you dont wanna be locked out just dissolve your union and Sue the hell out of the owners
    There is no option 4, the owners have no counter lawsuit they can push if the terms of a new cba are not friendly to them. This is government intervention in business in a very Keynsian way.

  10. hobartbaker says: Apr 26, 2011 2:46 PM

    How they get Boies and Paul Clement on the same legal team? Lord of the Left and the Righteous Hand of the Right.

  11. kevinfromphilly says: Apr 26, 2011 2:49 PM

    Of course it shouldn’t be in court. It should have been settled two years ago when the owners’ lawyers told them that everything happening now would come to pass. Then the owners would have either not opted out of the CBA, or they would have negotiated in good faith, for a change. But that would also require that the owners aren’t egomaniacs who think they can get whatever they want, whenever they want it.

  12. paulitik74 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:53 PM

    Then don’t appeal the ruling. Open the books, let the NFLPA re-unionize and agree to the terms that the players conceded to in the first place. This all could have been avoidable if they had never canceled the previous CBA, and planned for a lockout. The lockout is why you are in this spot in the first place. It’s really simple.

  13. massappeal12345 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:57 PM

    It seems to me that the “union” has instructed their players to log on to this site and vote their slant.

  14. eagleswin says: Apr 26, 2011 2:57 PM

    glen1904 says:Apr 26, 2011 2:34 PM

    then why did you wait until 10min to five to give the union your last offer when you knew it wasn’t enough time and would force desertification????
    the owners are on a suicide mission to destroy the union and don’t care about the game or its fans. “its a business”! how many times have you heard that? well now I think everyone understands that,
    ———————————
    Your entire statement is factually incorrect. I am embarrassed for you.

    “We met with the owners until about 4 o’clock today,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said before the union decertified. “We discussed a proposal they had presented. At this time, significant differences continue to remain. We informed the owners that ? if there was going to be a request for an extension, that we asked for 10 years of audited financial information to accompany that extension.”

    Also, for the record, the owners sent several proposals, the last of which is of course going to be the last proposal. There were no proposals by the union. Maybe it’s the union that wanted to go to court all along?

  15. tommyf15 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:58 PM

    Of course he doesn’t think it should be in court, especially now that he’s lost.

    Here’s the news- lockouts work for the owners, but not for the players or the fans. If you don’t believe me, look at what happened recently with the NBA and NHL. The NBA lost more than half a season and the NHL lost a full season and then some, all thanks to an owner’s lockout.

    If you are part of the “I just want football” crowd (as I am), support the players taking the owners to court. That’s how the players are going to get back on the field quickly.

  16. cappa662 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:05 PM

    I always thought Boies was a great lawyer, I have no idea why he is wasting his time in this labor dispute. He should be working on other causes.

  17. 8drinkminimum says: Apr 26, 2011 3:09 PM

    “pad the owners a billion, that will finish this”.

    No that is the what started it.

  18. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 26, 2011 3:12 PM

    It would have been nice to have expressed that view BEFORE he was hired yes? Does that mean he’s giving the NFL a refund on his $700 an hour fee? One would hope so especially since the Judge completely repudiated his whole line of defense?

  19. tinopuno says: Apr 26, 2011 3:12 PM

    airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:27 PM

    It doesnt belong in court. Anybody who understand the ramifications of these ruling beyond pro football know that if this stands, we are no longer a free nation.
    The workers would essentially tell the buisness how its going to run. Which means buisness would forced to go broke. which means NO BUISNESSES.

    —————————————————————–

    In related news, airraid77 announced that the sky is falling.

    (Please understand that airraid is very upset over the prospect of the nation losing its’ freedom and is consequently having considerable difficulty with both basic grammar and spelling.)

  20. crubenst says: Apr 26, 2011 3:16 PM

    Goodell wants it both ways. The players are willing to keep the system as long as they’re treated as partners. The NFL wants to treat them like employees & strongarm them while maintaining the benefits of the current system for themselves

  21. sbakernc says: Apr 26, 2011 3:19 PM

    This is most certainly NOT the end of business in America. As the judge pointed out, this is not an exclusively private employer-employee dispute. The NFL operates in a highly protected (i.e., non-competitive), taxpayer-subsidized environment. Someone else cannot decide that they could , for example, run a pro football team in Washington, DC, more effectively than the current ownership, and compete for fans’ dollars. If that were the case, then this would be a dramatically different situation.

  22. 3octaveFart says: Apr 26, 2011 3:21 PM

    “David Boies says labor dispute shouldn’t be in court”

    “..because if it winds up there, I’m gonna get my ass handed to me big time.”
    – D.B.

  23. 3octaveFart says: Apr 26, 2011 3:27 PM

    airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:27 PM

    “The workers would essentially tell the buisness how its going to run. Which means buisness would forced to go broke. which means NO BUISNESSES.”

    lemme guess, conservative.
    / my first clue, the terror in your voice. after all, all things are based in fear.

  24. scudbot says: Apr 26, 2011 3:34 PM

    Boies is right. Going to court is going through the looking glass because the law can be interpreted in such a way that decertification being a sham doesn’t matter and can be rewarded. That’s what lawyers and judges get paid for. A lockout is a legal negotiating tactic – but not when there’s no opposing group to negotiate with, which is essentially what the judge ruled. Once negotiations start up after recertification the players can bolt and decertify again and the circus can continue. This either ends with mandatory binding arbitration or with the NFL as we’ve known it being blown to hell.

  25. rad312 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:34 PM

    then why did you wait until 10min to five to give the union your last offer when you knew it wasn’t enough time and would force desertification????

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Let’s not the facts stand in the way of a good story….

    The union, as was their planned intent (and their choice) choose to decertify.

    A player on the NFLPA council has already admitted that union’s intent was to decertify and that the union did not review the proposal submitted until after the steps were taken to decertify. It was a matter of gamesmanship by the NFLPA.

    Decertification was an option that the Union choose to pursue instead of continuing the collective bargaining process. This was a calculated decision by the Union and one that at the moment looks to be working in Minnesota court system.

  26. pu74y says: Apr 26, 2011 3:36 PM

    there shouldn’t be a labor dispute.. quit being babies and go out there this year and make more millions.

  27. toe4 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:41 PM

    The NFL is a public good when the city wants to take my house to build a stadium and is a private business when it wants to hoard the profits.

    I’m not a player and I’m not a liberal but its hard to miss the total middle finger the NFL has been giving the fans for a decade or more.

    I don’t know about the future of the sport. But I know this… if they play, we’ll watch. If we watch, they’ll get paid.

  28. rad312 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:46 PM

    It is the Union that wants it both ways beginning with the sham of decertification.

    However more-so now, the Union wants the Lockout lifted and will then challenge the various other elements of their anti-trust arguments such as: free agency (6-years vs. 4-years), franchise tags, salary cap, and ‘yes’ the draft.

    All of which the NFLPA / NFLPA* have outlined in their legal briefs as anti-trust arguments.

    So if the NFL announces tomorrow that business is ‘open’, that last year’s rules are in effect while a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. The NFLPA* will be submitting their legal challenges the terms of free agency, the restriction of trade with respects to the franchise tags, and the bounds of a salary cap.

    All of which are legal actions initiated by the NFLPA / NFLPA* such as the anti-trust challenge which resulted in the lifting of the Lockout.

    Like him or not Boies has a more realistic perspective on the reality of getting an agreement in place than Kessler and De Smith, as Kessler and De Smith are looking to make their marks in history. A history through litigation! Look at us we broke the NFL! Now cast your vote for De Smith for political office while Kessler will be out shopping his wares to the NBA, NHL, and etc…

  29. veistran says: Apr 26, 2011 3:51 PM

    David Boies also famously pissed millions away by taking the SCO litigation on contingency. So he’s been known to have a poor understanding of the law and facts in at least one area.

  30. east96st says: Apr 26, 2011 3:52 PM

    “The workers would essentially tell the buisness how its going to run. Which means buisness would forced to go broke. which means NO BUISNESSES.”

    Another titan of industry has spoken! Seriously, what does a guy who clearly doesn’t have the intelligence or education to make it beyond the french fry station know about business? Three letters – G – E – D!!

  31. santolonius says: Apr 26, 2011 3:56 PM

    i predict obvious momentum to get a deal and end the lockout within 14 days.

  32. eagleswin says: Apr 26, 2011 3:58 PM

    sbakernc says:
    Apr 26, 2011 3:19 PM
    This is most certainly NOT the end of business in America. As the judge pointed out, this is not an exclusively private employer-employee dispute. The NFL operates in a highly protected (i.e., non-competitive), taxpayer-subsidized environment. Someone else cannot decide that they could , for example, run a pro football team in Washington, DC, more effectively than the current ownership, and compete for fans’ dollars. If that were the case, then this would be a dramatically different situation.
    ———————————
    Sure they can. There’s no exclusivity to starting your own football team. I could create my own football team. I just can’t force the NFL to include me on their schedule and I can’t use the NFL logo. I also can’t go to league meetings. You can’t force another company to do business with you.

    Non-Competitive does not equal highly protected. There are other pro football leagues out there. The fact that none of them are nearly as popular as the NFL doesn’t mean the NFL is highly protected.

    If you have a spare $30 mill laying around and an arena in DC i’m sure the UFL would absolutely love to have you as an owner. Show the NFL how it’s done.

  33. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 26, 2011 4:01 PM

    The only time a lawyer doesn’t want to go to court is when he already knows he’s going to lose.

  34. eagleswin says: Apr 26, 2011 4:28 PM

    tommyf15 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 2:58 PM
    Of course he doesn’t think it should be in court, especially now that he’s lost.

    Here’s the news- lockouts work for the owners, but not for the players or the fans. If you don’t believe me, look at what happened recently with the NBA and NHL. The NBA lost more than half a season and the NHL lost a full season and then some, all thanks to an owner’s lockout.

    If you are part of the “I just want football” crowd (as I am), support the players taking the owners to court. That’s how the players are going to get back on the field quickly.
    ————————————
    Yet again another player backer who spouts off without thinking. I can’t speak about the NBA except to say that they just opened their books to the NBAPA recently and it was the worst thing they could’ve done. If you don’t believe me read up on the NBA CBA negotiations and see how the players are trying to gouge the owners for more money, all thanks to open books.

    Anyway, the NHL lockout was worth it. The owners got their salary cap and the league in general is now healthier than ever. Player salaries continue to rise (much like the NFL) due to revenues created by this new parity.

  35. footballfan292 says: Apr 26, 2011 4:31 PM

    So the lawyer on the losing side says, “This shouldnt be in court.”

    Imagine that.

  36. southmo says: Apr 26, 2011 4:52 PM

    My guess is the NFL will simply have to change the rules by which it runs the league, and the governance of it. I just hope it can do so, and still maintain itself as an actual sports league. Not sure if that’s possible. Baseball, basketball, and others couldn’t do it without hurting the popularity, the college ranks, or competitive balance. Baseball couldn’t stop steriod juicers from making a mockery of home-run records, etc….

    Those sports have suffered in myriad ways, and there’s little reason to believe the same won’t happen with the NFL. These are the same U.S. laws that governed those sports, the same courts, more of the same lawyers, and the same arguments. Current legal precedent has ignored competing football leagues as if they don’t exist, claiming the NFL is the monopoly. So the situation is what it is.

    Of course, the law of the land was designed to govern separate businesses that competed against one another for customers. The laws were not designed to govern sports leagues which cooperated with each other to reach a customer base for the “league” and not just particular teams.

    I wonder if the owners end game here is to see the anti-trust suit to the bitter end (unless the NFLPA actually decides to negotiate) and then whatever the decision is, to organize accordingly and be done with it? I’m sure it’s a contingency plan at least.

    If that happens, the NFL product will certainly be easier to bias in favor of the high revenue teams although the NFL will surely try to mitigate that as much as possible. And two, the players will by and large end up with less clout and less money.

    The only thing that has stopped this in the past is Gene Upshaw and company had enough vision to realize a strong league, with huge popularity, was worth protecting and developing. Wish we still had guys like Gene.

  37. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 5:18 PM

    glen1904 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 2:34 PM
    the owners are on a suicide mission to destroy the union and don’t care about the game or its fans. “its a business”! how many times have you heard that? well now I think everyone understands that,
    ———————-
    You couldn’t be more wrong if you actually tried. The owners NEED the union in order for the league to be profitable. They need a union that is willing and able to act in good faith for the future of the league rather than just for themselves. What the owners do not want is a belligerent union that has no concept of the future beyond the words “pay me”. There is a middle ground in there somewhere but the union has not made a legitimate attempt to get there because they want the shadow of the court system hanging over anything and everything.

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