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The return of the lawyers

James Quinn and Jeffrey Kessler, attorneys for the NFL Players Association enter a federal courthouse to resume court-ordered mediation in Minneapolis Reuters

The good news is that the talks between the NFL and the NFLPA* are continuing.

The bad news, possibly, is that the lawyers have returned to the room.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn are representing the players, and Jeff Pash and Bob Batterman are present on behalf of the owners.

Schefter regards the development as a sign that the talks are becoming more detailed.  Still, given the fact that the lawyers in the past have driven the parties apart, their presence could potentially screw things up.

Hopefully, the principals have applied a short, tight leash to this quartet of courthouse curmudgeons.  If not, the challenge of keeping the peace suddenly has become far more delicate.

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48 Responses to “The return of the lawyers”
  1. bhindenemylines says: Jun 14, 2011 12:50 PM

    Great. There go the negotiations.

    One step forward and two steps back.

  2. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 14, 2011 12:51 PM

    What drove them apart is lack of trust and trying to screw the other side, not having the lawyers in the room.

  3. Soulman45 says: Jun 14, 2011 12:52 PM

    I had hope but the return of the lawyers all my faith went out the door.

  4. crackills says: Jun 14, 2011 12:54 PM

    This could also be good news. Lawyers are also always brought it to hammer out the final details of contracts.

  5. narutofan10 says: Jun 14, 2011 12:55 PM

    won’t matter the players and owners don’t care about what the lawyers have to say anymore

  6. jm11890 says: Jun 14, 2011 12:57 PM

    cant get a deal done without lawyers

  7. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jun 14, 2011 12:57 PM

    So do you just love getting everyone going only to crush their hopes? Did you burn ants with a magnifying glass as a kid?

  8. jnbnet says: Jun 14, 2011 12:58 PM

    Maybe…just maybe they have come to an agreament and the lawyers are there to finish it. Why would they bring the bloodsuckers in when they have been making progress without them? I think there is light at the end of the tunnel….and its not an on-comming train.

  9. geeeeemen says: Jun 14, 2011 12:59 PM

    The lawyers are eventually necessary to finalize a CBA. After 3 weeks of these intense meetings, I doubt any of them want to start holding this thing up.

  10. berniemadoffsides says: Jun 14, 2011 12:59 PM

    Get those stupidheads outta there!

  11. schmitty2 says: Jun 14, 2011 1:02 PM

    Thats the worst 5 words any fan wants to see on here

  12. daboltfan says: Jun 14, 2011 1:04 PM

    You know that flow chart you promised. this ie part of it. it will take time to write the wording of a new cba. lawyers are the ones who will do it. it cant be helped.

  13. joetoronto says: Jun 14, 2011 1:06 PM

    One thing’s for sure, the lawyers made a friggin killing in this mess.

  14. brooklynbully says: Jun 14, 2011 1:07 PM

    Next post on profootballtalk will be” dean smith use the bathroom ” c’mon I want the post that reads “done deal”

  15. hobartbaker says: Jun 14, 2011 1:09 PM

    They’ve tried traps, poison, reinforcing the walls, and removing any food from the premises, but nothing seems to work for very long. The lawyers keep coming back.

  16. SteveBeans says: Jun 14, 2011 1:10 PM

    I agree with those who say the lawyers are there to finalize the contract. Schefter said on facebook “After taking off past two rounds of talks in Chicago and on Long Island, lawyers back involved in these meetings. This time it’s good.”

    There is no way any good can come out of lawyers being there unless it’s to just finalize the contract

  17. pondbridge says: Jun 14, 2011 1:11 PM

    Have Robert Kraft dress up as a paramedic and drive and ambulance past the meeting room with its sirens on. All the lawyers will rush out of the room to chase it.

    The problem, she is solv-ed, as Clouseau would say.

    (Problem is REALLY solved if they’re all hit by a truck during the chase)

  18. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jun 14, 2011 1:12 PM

    The return of the lawyers at this juncture is actually a very positive step in that it is evidence that the principals have likely come to a general agreement on the business considerations. In all likelihood, the lawyers have been privately directed to stand down on the legal tug of war, and help land this plane, so to speak, by drafting the detailed terms and conditions of the new CBA. The odds of a timely start to the 2011 NFL season are increasing considerably.

  19. bubbabart says: Jun 14, 2011 1:13 PM

    However…just like that Deeeep voice on the truck commercials ballyhooing the car (Lawyers before)….the commercial man asks…”how many MPG does it get”?…and a puny voice (Lawyers now) answers “16 “….they aren’t so deep now…I hope!

  20. CKL says: Jun 14, 2011 1:15 PM

    jm11890 says: Jun 14, 2011 12:57 PM

    cant get a deal done without lawyers
    ______________________________
    Yeah that’s the rule these days unfortunately. The last I knew, the CEO/founder of Five Guys has a handshake only deal with his potato supplier to this day though. Very cool=the days where one’s word was one’s bond.

  21. skoobyfl says: Jun 14, 2011 1:18 PM

    Who is going to write the deal ?? Goodell ?? Lawyers are needed for Multi-Billion $ deals like this, pen to paper is all legal work.

  22. kingjoe1 says: Jun 14, 2011 1:18 PM

    I see this as a sign they are going to wrap this thing up this week. The lawyers are being brought in to understand the framework. THen these guys can sit together and draw up the appropriate language. In this regard the lawyers are playing the role that they should be playing. Not a role of a negotiator.

    Kolb will be traded by 01 July and Namdeh, will sign with the Boys by Independence Day.

  23. pacificamjr says: Jun 14, 2011 1:20 PM

    people love to sack on the lawyers till they need a good one

  24. time2speakup says: Jun 14, 2011 1:28 PM

    I take it as a positive and real good sign. Both sides know how all this is being viewed, and how much us fans hopes rose when the lawyers were kept out. Smells like “fine print” time. Lets go.

  25. fonetiklee says: Jun 14, 2011 1:28 PM

    There’s something wrong with that guy on the right…

  26. gooboy6 says: Jun 14, 2011 1:31 PM

    Lawyers best interest is to drag deal out as long as possible, more $ for them. Principals need to stay in the room and keep their eye on those rat-bastard attorneys

  27. Southpaw says: Jun 14, 2011 1:37 PM

    Who let these NERDS into the conversation about football?!

  28. easyeddie says: Jun 14, 2011 1:41 PM

    Like geeeeemen said, the lawyers are necessary to finalize a CBA, as they are the ones who will write the legal document that will be the CBA.
    That together with the extended onwers meeting next week points to this mess being resolved — let’s hope.

  29. nygno1fan says: Jun 14, 2011 1:46 PM

    I think the lawyers in the picture could be a sign that most of the thing they were working on are complete. The lawyers are now there to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s!!! Let’s just all hope that’s the case!!

  30. time2speakup says: Jun 14, 2011 1:46 PM

    The ESPN site has more substance than what shows here. ESPN spoke of actual dollar figures, percentages up to this point.

  31. killxswitch says: Jun 14, 2011 1:50 PM

    fonetiklee says: Jun 14, 2011 1:28 PM

    There’s something wrong with that guy on the right…
    ——————–

    He’s a LAWYER.

  32. geniusesq says: Jun 14, 2011 1:51 PM

    Funny how everyone hates lawyers, but in every legal situation, they are on both sides.

  33. philyeagles5 says: Jun 14, 2011 1:51 PM

    maybe they want the lawyers there when they sign all the paperwork today.

  34. malblack says: Jun 14, 2011 1:51 PM

    Some of you act like a deal could get done without lawyers at all. For there to be an agreement you need a contract. For that both sides need lawyers. Period. I agree that the lawyers became too visible during these negotiations, but whatever your personal feelings about lawyers are, they need to be there for the lockout to end.

  35. wilburmills says: Jun 14, 2011 2:01 PM

    either side would be foolish to enter into a deal without a lawyer…(so foolish that no one would even attempt it)…lawyers have made a lot of money on agreements where clients didn’t have anything in writing or tried to do it without a lawyer or just had an verbal agreement,,,lot of lawsuits over those types of deals…

    good lawyering can result in good deal for both sides,,one that stands up without continuing disputes…we’ll see

  36. Chris Guest says: Jun 14, 2011 2:05 PM

    –Still, given the fact that the lawyers in the past have driven the parties apart, their presence could potentially screw things up.–

    And how do we know this. Lawyers never drive parties apart. They merely point issues out to their respective party i.e. if the other side is given X position then Y is likely to happen. It is the party’s option if giving up X is okay to get Y.

    It is the NFL owners and players that made the choice for what has happened over the last 90 days. Having worked in a large firm, I can tell you 99 times out of 100 it is the client screaming for the other guy’s head and the lawyer following orders. It is only when your bottom line gets hit do you actually wonder whether asking for the opposing side’s head does your position not make sense.

    90 days of no CBA – both sides are seeing the consequences of their actions.

  37. geniusesq says: Jun 14, 2011 2:16 PM

    I don’t care if it takes a room full of Sumo-Wrestlers as long as a DEAL is DONE.

  38. bradjames33160 says: Jun 14, 2011 2:32 PM

    Well, my wise Grandpa McArthur once told me, Brad everyone in this world is good for something, no matter how bad they are.

    Well, Grandpa, this statement is particularly apt for these $cumbag lawyers because they are only good at finalizing agreements and that appears to be what’s happening.

    I just hope when the CBA is finalized, Mr. Bowlen invites De Smith to travel throughout the Mountain Time Zone, where we Broncos fans primarily are so we can all beat him to a bloody pulp.

    After all, we have a new head coach and Tim Tebow who needs all the reps he can get.

    Thanks for nothing DeDouche, at least the lockout will be over :)

  39. rboyett says: Jun 14, 2011 2:33 PM

    I think you guys are looking at this all wrong. This very well could mean they have an agreement. The lawyers would only be brought in to hammer out the legal details. That is how things should have been done from the beginning.

    In think we may very well be seeing the beginning of the end.

    Now let’s play some FOOTBALL

  40. chatham10 says: Jun 14, 2011 3:12 PM

    This news is very disappointing, there seem to be some progress and now they bring in the clowns, I’m not saying the lawyers are not smart but their egos will drive these talks to end once more and then we wait till the court rules.

  41. ravensfan4life52 says: Jun 14, 2011 3:20 PM

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. bobbyhoying says: Jun 14, 2011 3:36 PM

    Lawyers are always deal breakers, never deal makers. Their job is to tell you what you can’t do. The more they screw things up the more hours they bill. They have no incentive to make a deal happen.

  43. bobwhitequail says: Jun 14, 2011 3:39 PM

    Kessler will do his best to blow everything up. That is almost a certainty. I commented earlier about how he may try to worm his way back into control.

    This will be a test to see who really runs things on the players side, (a) Kessler and his desire to blow up all NFl rules and to continue to sue to build on the millions he has already made, or (b) the players who probably want a fair deal (instead of endless lawsuits) and want to play football.

  44. discosucs2005 says: Jun 14, 2011 4:01 PM

    While I have no problem with people saying that these lawyers are going to make a deal less likely, I do have a problem with someone saying that they are purposefully making it more difficult so they can get paid more. Most of these lawyers are on retainer and are getting paid a huge amount no matter what.

  45. bobwhitequail says: Jun 14, 2011 4:31 PM

    “Most of these lawyers are on retainer and are getting paid a huge amount no matter what.”

    Incorrect. In 1998, Jeffrey Kessler told Larry Kennan of the NFLCA that his retainer to levy an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL was in the “six figures”. He told Kennan that the suit itself would cost $3 million. That’s a big difference, maybe 10 times more dough? And the larger the number of suits and the more complex they are, the more they make.

    I don’t think PFT allows to post the link for the article for those numbers but here is the heading so you can find via google:

    New York Times

    PRO FOOTBALL: NOTEBOOK; Assistant Coaches Are Seeking Better Treatment From N.F.L. Owners

    By MIKE FREEMAN
    Published: September 27, 1998

  46. mdh67 says: Jun 14, 2011 5:30 PM

    I would think that it means that they have a deal in principle and that they have to a) get the language down in the agreement and b) get an agreement on the dismissal of the various lawsuits.

  47. heisthejuan says: Jun 14, 2011 11:09 PM

    I think Kraft said enough publicly for lawyers to know their role. Hopefully this momentum is true and this gets done this month. Enough is enough.

  48. bozosforall says: Jun 15, 2011 6:03 PM

    hobartbaker says:
    Jun 14, 2011 1:09 PM
    They’ve tried traps, poison, reinforcing the walls, and removing any food from the premises, but nothing seems to work for very long. The lawyers keep coming back.
    __
    Same thing for turds like you, but you keep on coming back as well.

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