Despite June 3 hearing, there’s no timetable for a ruling

AP

With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granting the NFL’s request for an expedited appeal and scheduling a hearing for June 3, the speculation has commenced regarding the timetable for the issuance of a ruling.  We’ve seen predictions ranging from 30-to-45 days after the hearing to virtually immediate.

Instead of guessing, we went straight to the source:  Michael Gans, the Clerk of the Court.

“The court does not have any rules governing expedited appeals — every case is different based on the circumstances presented,” Gans told PFT via e-mail.  “The court has expedited the schedule for the briefing and has set a very early hearing date.  I assume that is an indication that the court intends to treat every aspect of the case, including the preparation of its opinion, as an urgent matter.  I would not want to hazard a guess as to how soon after June 3 a decision will be reached.”

Thus, while we don’t know when a ruling will come, the fact that the Eighth Circuit has opted to move so quickly when it comes to the submission of briefs and the scheduling of a hearing that it can be inferred a decision likely will come quickly.

And here’s one more thing to keep in mind.  The party that loses the appeal will have the ability to petition for a rehearing before the full court.  That process necessarily will add even more time to the resolution of the case.

33 responses to “Despite June 3 hearing, there’s no timetable for a ruling

  1. I’m pretty sure the owners knew that this is gonna go into the regular season. Which is the strategy of getting the players to miss game checks.

    Bring on the replacements. I’d rather have replacements than have no football

  2. Playas, remember you were the ones that chose the litigation route. When you do so, you cannot be assured of what you will get.

  3. If the players wouldn’t have taken this to the courts, we could have had a collectively bargained resolution by now. No one is going to do any bargaining until they know where they stand with regard to the legality of the lockout. That means this will necessarily last a long time.

  4. Only when both sides have run out of legal options will they sit down again and try to work out a new CBA. The whole point of the legal stuff obviously is to gain leverage over the other side in the negotiations, and they’re apparently willing to sacrifice part of the season to do this. Its a sad situation for the fans who support the game.

  5. Not sure if the players knew what they were doing when they got in to bed with Debag Smith. But they certainly have got themselves a long drawn out court battle. I’ve said it here before, be careful what you wish for.

  6. I wish the courts would have told the NFL and players to go pound sand. Then both the NFL and players would have to cut a deal all by themselves. End result? A deal by June or sooner. Now with the courts making a nuisance of themselves this could drag on into the fall.

  7. Now would be a good time for PFT, fans, and players to tell D. Smith to get his butt in negotiations and try to work something out.

    His walking out of negotiations, filing suit, and then not going to court ordered mediation is not acceptable.

  8. The NFL is going to kill its Golden Goose yet…

    The Eighth Circuit seems to love the publicity that goes along with handling this case. They instantly published it on their website, I believe that is atypical but correct me if I am wrong.

    Next the judges will be taking questions on the Courthouse steps (they just need to make sure not to take the envelope from Goodell at the same time – reschedule that weekly drop-off).

    Long live US jurisprudence! Completely devoid of greed, power, and politics…

  9. brutus9448 says:
    Bring on the replacements. I’d rather have replacements than have no football

    I post this almost every day- it’s illegal for a business to hire replacements during a lockout.

    Hiring replacements is not an option for the owners.

  10. In my judgment, the fact that the Eighth Circuit granted the administrative (or temporary) stay, or that two of the three judges hearing this matter were nominated by George W. Bush, is largely—if not wholly—irrelevant. Unfortunately, the NFL has a pretty steep threshold to clear to get the stay granted pending appeal. Frankly, I don’t see it happening. Whichever side wins this week will, I think, likely also prevail on the appeal itself. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the loser petitions for an “en banc” re-hearing before all the Eighth Circuit judges. And I suppose there’s even a possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could grant a “writ of certiorari” and eventually hear the case if there is a significant constitutional question presented. This is, after all, the litigation strategy that the players elected to follow. For what it’s worth, I do think there will be a 2011 NFL season, though unfortunately not on the terms the NFL—and its supporters, like myself—would prefer.

  11. SportsLawGuy Gabe Feldman
    In denying stay, Nelson noted that appeal could last months. No longer the case. Should be over by mid-June under expedited sked.

  12. Here is the 8th Circuit’s active judge roster in case you were wondering, oddly enough they are not going to start Bye or Murphy the 1st week of June…

    Hon. William Jay Riley, Chief Judge – Omaha, NE – Appointed August 3, 2001 – Bush
    Hon. Roger L. Wollman – Sioux Falls, SD – Appointed July 22, 1985 – Reagan
    Hon. James B. Loken – Minneapolis, MN – Appointed October 17, 1990 – Bush
    Hon. Diana E. Murphy – Minneapolis, MN – Appointed October 11, 1994 – Clinton
    Hon. Kermit E. Bye – Fargo, ND – Appointed March 9, 2000 – Clinton
    Hon. Michael J. Melloy – Cedar Rapids, IA – Appointed February 14, 2002 – Bush
    Hon. Lavenski R. Smith – Little Rock, AR – Appointed July 19, 2002 – Bush
    Hon. Steven M. Colloton – Des Moines, IA – Appointed September 10, 2003 – Bush
    Hon. Raymond W. Gruender – St. Louis, MO – Appointed June 5, 2004 – Bush
    Hon. Duane Benton – Kansas City, MO – Appointed July 2, 2004 – Bush
    Hon. Bobby E. Shepherd – El Dorado, AR – Appointed October 10, 2006 – Bush

  13. I cancelled my auto re-bill NFL Sunday Ticket today. No way I am renewing it now. It is time for the fans to show these aholes that there is a third party involved in this matter…(the fans for those keeping score)

  14. I am having trouble with the whole entitlement premise that the players are using. Here are my issues:

    1. Why can’t the owners lockout the players to combat a contract if it is OK for the players to strike in order to combat a contract? Striking does harm to the owners. Irreparable harm. It should not be wrong for the owners to do the same to the players—This double standard is giving me issues understanding the fairness in all of this.

    2. The players claim irreparable harm is being done to them now. Especially in missed checks. Isn’t the entire league losing money RIGHT NOW via the lockout? Both sides are being harmed by this—you think that this would motivate both sides to get back to the bargaining table.

    3. The players are attempting to get the lockout lifted. Wait a second… doesn’t this country have private property rights? How can a court tell an owner to run his team “business as usual” against his own will? If I own a team and its facilities, I can damnwell close up shop as I please. And ever since slavery was abolished, I’m pretty sure no one can force another human to keep working “business as usual”. The right to not work lies not only with the worker but with the owner.

    In summary- why can’t both sides be treated equally in the eyes of the law?

  15. When you see the 8th circuit judge roster laid out like this, you have to wonder, “What the heck were the players thinking?” They got led astray by lawyers who bill hourly…that never happens.

    Talk about an undefeated season, the lawyers win every game all season long…always do!

    I guess the only leverage the Players will have left after losing in the 8th is starting their own league. Everyone laugh now…(i would invest though…that would be sweet if every team had a board like the Packers instead of a little dictator like Snyder.)

    The players might as well get back to the table NOW and take what they can get. Let’s play ball!

  16. I doubt very much that the majority of the players really understood just what they were getting into, regarding this litigation option that was exercised. I will also bet that very few of them had any clue as to how long this legal battle could last.This move is one that is going to have many regrets on multiple fronts. Careful….lest you get what you ask for.

  17. the players brought us here… end of story….

    I would be fine ‘air traffic controller’ing them…. they like to say that football wouldn’t be the same and that it would be ‘chevy’ players instead of ‘mercedes’ players….

    Chevy is getting a lot better… and, being an American, it’s good enough for me.

  18. I’ll answer the questions.

    1. Why can’t the owners lockout the players to combat a contract if it is OK for the players to strike in order to combat a contract? Striking does harm to the owners. Irreparable harm. It should not be wrong for the owners to do the same to the players—This double standard is giving me issues understanding the fairness in all of this.

    There’s no double standard. If the players strike, the owners can hire replacements.

    2. The players claim irreparable harm is being done to them now. Especially in missed checks. Isn’t the entire league losing money RIGHT NOW via the lockout? Both sides are being harmed by this—you think that this would motivate both sides to get back to the bargaining table.

    The owners are giving up a relatively small amount of money by locking the players out compared to the billions of dollars it hopes to gain with a more favorable agreement.

    3. The players are attempting to get the lockout lifted. Wait a second… doesn’t this country have private property rights? How can a court tell an owner to run his team “business as usual” against his own will? If I own a team and its facilities, I can damnwell close up shop as I please. And ever since slavery was abolished, I’m pretty sure no one can force another human to keep working “business as usual”. The right to not work lies not only with the worker but with the owner.

    The courts ruled that the NFL itself is not an entity- the teams are each separate businesses. As per anti-trust laws, these businesses are not allowed to collude together.

    While the court case taking place in St. Louis is a big deal, it’s dwarfed by the threat of the anti-trust case Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, etc have filed. That’s the big one.

  19. It seems to be common knowledge that the way a judge rules is based on the political party of the President that nominated him or her. But the problem no one is commenting on is the fact that it shouldn’t matter. But the fact that it does is a far greater issue than the case in dispute. If judges don’t judge based on precedent and rule of law, we got more to worry about than football and what Rashad Mendenhall thinks. And at least Mendenhall is expressing his opinion and not the opinion of a political party.

  20. The fans are the reason that the NFL has become a multi billion dollar business. The fans are the reason that the NFL made 9 billion dollars last year. The most by any sports league in history.

    It’s the shame that the owners greed and the players defiance is going to eventually do long term damage to the game and it’s fan base.

    I am a huge football fan. I love the sport. The athletes and the coaches. I could care less about the greedy owners. As a matter of principle, I am locking out my own funds this season towards the NFL. I will not give the owners one red cent this season. I am not buying tickets, I am not doing the directTV thing. . You are not getting one cent from me. If you air the games, I will watch them. That’s it. That’s as far as I go.

    This is a shameful practice by the league. I really hope that these greedy pigs do lose money in the long run.

  21. Each article posted whether to issue not issue and hearing on this date and this partyu will have until this date is all pointless..

    I’m sick of it all from both sides, I consider myself a diehard fan…my man cave is all in mt teams colors with all the team gear you could have and at this stage of the players/owners follies I am losing more interest each passing day…I gave up my season tickets and I can give up the game I love dearly so keep it up owners/players it may be just you in the end…

  22. interest in NFL slowly waning, but i’m not giving up. i’m not smart enough to began to figure out what the right thing to do is legally. opinions are like, yo-yos, and everyone has a yo-yo.

  23. I’ll just follow up Tommy’s responses to the questions:

    1. Why can’t the owners lockout the players to combat a contract if it is OK for the players to strike in order to combat a contract? Striking does harm to the owners. Irreparable harm. It should not be wrong for the owners to do the same to the players—This double standard is giving me issues understanding the fairness in all of this.
    ————————————
    No double standard. Judge Doty agreed that lockouts are perfectly legal bargaining tools. The League ran into a problem by making a backdoor deal with the networks, a 3rd party, in an agreement that directly affects both sides of the negotiations (owners and players). The problem was establishing an agreement with the networks 2 years before they planned to lock the players out, which illegally put the networks on their side. Dishonest brokerage. Doty even agreed that the owners didn’t have to bargain in “good faith” (supporting the owners’ argument), but said that you can’t broker on behalf of the players in bad faith, which he found that they did 2 years ago.
    ————————————-
    I think Tommy handled 2 succinctly
    ————————————-
    3. The players are attempting to get the lockout lifted. Wait a second… doesn’t this country have private property rights? How can a court tell an owner to run his team “business as usual” against his own will? If I own a team and its facilities, I can damnwell close up shop as I please. And ever since slavery was abolished, I’m pretty sure no one can force another human to keep working “business as usual”. The right to not work lies not only with the worker but with the owner.
    ————————————–
    Like Tommy said, the anti-trust exemptions (and the CBA, to a considerable degree) are the reasons that the courts can have a hand in the running of these private businesses – their successes are partially the result of organized negotiated partnerships with the feds and the players. And I’d just say that it’s a tad tone-deaf to invoke slavery as an analogy defense of the owners in a sport/business that has a draft.

    2 ¢

  24. I think the owners and players make a joint effort to clean up the mess in Alabama and listen to the REAL LIFE stories of loss of life and what those folks will never have back and then think about their differences of raking the common family over while living their dreams most will never see.

  25. The players may wake up when they get rid of De Smith. Someone is going to have to say “Uncle”.

  26. Anti-Trust laws were not made with sports leagues in mind. It’s slightly possible the Appeals court here could take that into consideration and allow for some “competitive balance” exceptions. Everyone’s predictions that the NFL will lose are based on past court decisions, but the higher they go in the court system, the more chance the NFL has of winning some sort of unprecedented ruling. It’s more likely that any such consideration would have to come from the Supreme Court, however. Unfortunately, the two sides may take it that far before it’s all settled, which would take longer.

    What’s VERY likely is that when they do get back to the table and hammer out an agreement, the fans will end up being disgusted they didn’t just do that sooner.

  27. ” And I’d just say that it’s a tad tone-deaf to invoke slavery as an analogy defense of the owners in a sport/business that has a draft.”

    You did a pretty good job addressing those Q’s, as did Tommy. Regarding that quote there—the slavery analogy doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sports or even the business or even the draft. It just had to do with the courts having the ability to force owners to run “business as usual” if it turns out the lockout is lifted. My point is that an owner should have every right to stop working, as this is an individual right and no person or group of people can force otherwise. Along with that right comes property rights, and the ability to (I know this is a bit outlandish) perhaps even liquidate the franchise if that turns out to be the best option. The slavery analogy was more philosophical than it was specific.

    Regarding the draft comment you made—not a bad reference, but the players do volunteer to sign up for the draft, and can drop out at any point. They can even re-enter the following year (Bo Jackson?). This is a bit different than the courts telling an owner to run their business as it was a year ago or else face severe legal consequences.

  28. brutus9448 says:
    May 3, 2011 6:06 PM
    I’m pretty sure the owners knew that this is gonna go into the regular season. Which is the strategy of getting the players to miss game checks.

    Bring on the replacements. I’d rather have replacements than have no football

    There can be no replacements. The courts would rule against it in a heartbeat and all teams would likely instantly become liable for all contracts in full.

  29. Every victory for the owners, every delay that gives them leverage is a victory for my “vision” of the NFL.

    I want restrictions on owner spending. I want restrictions on player movement. I want restrictions on rookie salaries. I want a draft.

    I am shocked so many fans are so short-sighted to worry about a few games in September or even the 2011 season when so many fundamental issues are at stake (or slowly undermined through legal battles).

    Maybe sports leagues aren’t legal in the eyes of anti-trust laws, but as a fan, I sure hope they are because having an NFL without anti-trust exemptions is not the NFL I want to follow.

    The lockout and final outcome saved hockey. Let’s hope this lockout stops the never-ending tide of silly lawyers promising players the gold carrot through litigation and destroying the golden goose in the process.

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