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Judge David Doty agrees to hear collusion arguments

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The NFL and NFLPA will find themselves back in the Minneapolis courtroom of Judge David Doty.

Doty, a judge in the U.S. District Court, has agreed to hear arguments in the collusion case brought by the NFLPA against the NFL. The union contends that the league set a secret salary cap of $123 million during the uncapped 2010 season. The NFL argues that any collusion claims were settled when the two sides reached agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and their argument includes Doty’s own ruling that all pending claims were to be dismissed as a result of the settlement.

The NFLPA argues that the current claim was not pending at the time, although we’re starting to drift into an arena of legalese best left to PFT’s resident attorney Mike Florio. He’ll talk about the issues surrounding Doty’s ruling on Thursday’s PFT Live, which you can watch live at noon ET.

Doty will hear arguments on September 6, the day after the regular season starts with the Cowboys against the Giants on NBC. Doty will then decide whether or not his court will take the case.

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28 Responses to “Judge David Doty agrees to hear collusion arguments”
  1. baddegg says: Jul 12, 2012 9:31 AM

    “The NFL argues that any collusion claims were settled when the two sides reached agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and their argument includes Doty’s own ruling that all pending claims were to be dismissed as a result of the settlement.”

    Translation: it’s not that we’re innocent of collusion, it’s that we’re not guilty based on a legal technicality.

    Whatever happened to the “reasonable man” aspect of law? If a company knowingly colludes — gets away with it — then covers their tracks by inserting a clause in a contract to escape future prosecution, why exactly should that be allowed? There is the letter of the law and there is the spirit of the law. While adhering to the “letter” does provide protections against wayward interpretations of facts, adhering to the “letter” too slavishly each and every time will also lead to injustices, and this looks like one case of that.

    Sadly, the NFL is guilty of collusion. They showed their hand eariler this year regarding the secret salary cap and now it’s too late to disavow it. In any truly fair court of law, the NFL should be found guilty.

  2. eaglesw00t says: Jul 12, 2012 9:34 AM

    I honestly cant imagine a company and its employees having a worse relationship than the NFL and the NFLPA right now.

    I am really tired of reading articles about the NFLPA and lawyers. I would give anything to go back and have the players replace the De Smith hiring with Troy Vincent. At least he gave a crap about the players. But…the players bought Smiths rap hook, line, and sinker. And the NFL will never be the same because of it.

  3. eaglesw00t says: Jul 12, 2012 9:38 AM

    Sadly, the NFL is guilty of collusion. They showed their hand eariler this year regarding the secret salary cap and now it’s too late to disavow it. In any truly fair court of law, the NFL should be found guilty.

    ——————————

    No…any truly fair court of law is going to look at the CBA, and see that the NFLPA gave up any right at suing for collusion. It was very distinctly brought up back when the lockout was in effect. The NFLPA signed off on any right to sue for it. The only reason this lawsuit will have any legs, is because of one simple word, pending, and the NFL’s lawyers failure to fully spell out exactly what the NFLPA was signing off on. Everyone knew the league colluded. Thats why that clause was put into the CBA. Because everyone involved knew about it.

  4. dryzzt23 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:46 AM

    Breakup the union! I am so tired of these clowns forcing the NFL to spend money on lawyers to defend itself.
    When will the NFLPA and the players take some personal responsibility?

  5. bucs13 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:47 AM

    “If a company knowingly colludes — gets away with it — then covers their tracks by inserting a clause in a contract to escape future prosecution, why exactly should that be allowed?”

    What ever happened to the interests of finality? One of the things that both law and justice abhor is endless litigation- this is why there are number of doctrines in the law (most of which are brought under the umbrella latin term “res judicata” or various forms of estoppel) to keep litigation from endlessly multiplying; moreover, you see this in other areas as well (statute of limitations, contractual waivers).

    This isn’t a “legal technicality”. This is basic fairness. As a general rule, once an issue is “settled”, a party doesn’t want to have to keep being hauled back to court to keep litigating over the same, or collateral issues.

    The NFLPA may (or may not) have a colorable argument depending on the contractual language. But it’s not a “legal technicality”. It’s also basic fairness. Part of a settlement, and an end to a dispute, is, well, ending the dispute.

  6. paulsmith107 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:47 AM

    So the NFL breaks a law and can’t be punished because they signed an agreement with its employees and therefore the past is irrelevant. It’s the law they broke lol our court system spends millions to try and prove a couple of juice head base ball players lied but a clear cut collusion case and they do nothing that is why this country is an absolute joke

  7. porkcrisp says: Jul 12, 2012 9:52 AM

    What do you call a player draft and a rookie wage scale?…. Collusion!

    Rookies should sue the NFLPA and the owners for collusion.

  8. eagleswin says: Jul 12, 2012 10:04 AM

    baddegg says:
    Jul 12, 2012 9:31 AM

    Translation: it’s not that we’re innocent of collusion, it’s that we’re not guilty based on a legal technicality.

    Whatever happened to the “reasonable man” aspect of law? If a company knowingly colludes — gets away with it — then covers their tracks by inserting a clause in a contract to escape future prosecution, why exactly should that be allowed? There is the letter of the law and there is the spirit of the law. While adhering to the “letter” does provide protections against wayward interpretations of facts, adhering to the “letter” too slavishly each and every time will also lead to injustices, and this looks like one case of that.

    Sadly, the NFL is guilty of collusion. They showed their hand eariler this year regarding the secret salary cap and now it’s too late to disavow it. In any truly fair court of law, the NFL should be found guilty.

    ————————————–

    While your erroneous translation favors the players, it is still erroneous.

    The league doesn’t have to present a defense on the charges of collusion if the NFLPA has signed away the right to sue for any collusion that was known or unknown. at the time the document was signed.

    This isn’t some small technicality like you make it out to be, this is a major point. The CBA would not have been signed without the unconditional waiving of the right to file collusion charges both known and unknown.

    In any truly fair court, the NFLPA loses. Luckily for them they managed to get Doty one more time before he retires.

  9. 8drinkminimum says: Jul 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    Why doesn’t the NFLPA just put Doty on the payroll? I would say that Doty has colluded with them for years although he doesn’t “officially”.

  10. renhoekk2 says: Jul 12, 2012 10:19 AM

    I think the deciding factor here will be “the new evidence” aspect. A lot of judges will allow litigation to move forward regardless of who signed what, if new evidence has surfaced of wrong doing. Not to mention that this new evidence had a direct impact on the then CBA negotiations. If the NFLPA can successfully argue they would have never agreed to the CBA had they known of the admitted salary cap collusion tactic then the NFL and it’s owners are in trouble.

    The NFL and it’s owners have no one to blame for all of these lawsuits being fired at them right now. Their whole mindset is that they are bullet proof and can do whatever they want to whoever they want, whenever they want, without repercussions.

  11. clwb419 says: Jul 12, 2012 10:31 AM

    First of all, please feel free to leave if you don’t like the country. I hear countries like Sudan, Somalia, North Korea are wonderful places.

    Second, if it was part of the agreement, the NFLPA gave up the right to sue. The NFLPA could have held out and made sure that this wasn’t part of the agreement. Poor leadership from an NLFPA perspective.

    ————————–
    paulsmith107 says:
    Jul 12, 2012 9:47 AM
    So the NFL breaks a law and can’t be punished because they signed an agreement with its employees and therefore the past is irrelevant. It’s the law they broke lol our court system spends millions to try and prove a couple of juice head base ball players lied but a clear cut collusion case and they do nothing that is why this country is an absolute joke

  12. iknowurider72 says: Jul 12, 2012 10:41 AM

    They clearly colluded but this is ridiculous. The NFL tries to maintain competitive equality by maintaining a salary cap. IT is the reason that football is so exciting. Maintaining that equality is crucial to their growth and popularity. They didn’t lower the salary cap, they kept it consistent and basically establihed to a gentlemen’s agreement that teams wouldn’t take advantage of the missing contract. It was smart business and I’m glad to see DAllas and Washington being punished for their inability to play by the rules.

    The NFLPA needs to accept the fact that owners buying championships or front loading huge contracts (due to lack of a Cap) isn’t good for the league, therefore not good for them. This is a waste of time and the NFLPA needs to move on.

  13. nispikers says: Jul 12, 2012 10:45 AM

    If this is the case that the new CBA settled all claims of collusion which occurred before the signing of the CBA, then why did that not apply to Goodell making a ruling on activities that happened 3 years ago, before the current CBA was signed? The NFLPA said that the Goodell couldn’t rule on the bounty issue because all slates were wiped clean when the new CBA was signed. So if the NFL wants their slate to be wiped clean now, because of the signing of the new CBA, why didn’t apply to the bounty case?

  14. junkfooddaddy says: Jul 12, 2012 10:49 AM

    If there is a collusion then there is a monopoly. If there is a monopoly there is government regulation. Does the NFLPA think they will do better as government employees?

  15. thekiddone says: Jul 12, 2012 10:55 AM

    I believe the players will lose because they did sign away their right to sue (known and unknown). The union is trying to get all of the info out in the open. The next time the contract is up for renewal the union will have the owners’ playbook. It will be public knowledge. The owners will have a hard time with another secret salary cap.

  16. VegasKJ says: Jul 12, 2012 10:56 AM

    The only collusion we should care about today is the collusion of Joe Paterno and university officials at Penn State to protect a man who raped boys repeatedly for decades at that institution. That vile animal Sandusky set up a foundation for children to facilitate and perpetuate molestation, and these people protected him and looked the other way.

    The NCAA won’t have the moral conviction to do the right thing, but they should shut that football program down immediately.

    What is more disgusting, a rampant pedophile or the “men” in charge of a supposed venerable institution who knew lives were being destroyed and allowed it to continue unabated?

    May Paterno and his accomplices burn in hell.

  17. electionconfidential says: Jul 12, 2012 11:00 AM

    “Pending litigation” is different from “past wrongs”. The NFL flagrantly rubbed the NFLPA’s nose in the collusion issue when they penalized the Cowboys and Redskins. That was AFTER the CBA was signed. So, while the collusion took place before the CBA it became clearly a case of collusion afterward. It’s not pending litigation. It’s new litigation.

  18. mojosmagic says: Jul 12, 2012 11:11 AM

    One day the players will wake up and look at the union money the NFLPA is spending on legal fee’s and be astonished. The reality is the player union made a bad 10 year deal with the new CBA and that is the real reason behind all this. If Troy Vincent would have been elected President of the NFLPA he would have gotten a better deal and none of this legal crap would be going on. The league and players are partners that should be working together not suing each other.

  19. paulsmith107 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:19 AM

    Who cares about wether the nflpa has any traction on collusion it’s still an illegal act. Regardless of the fact they signed the ability to take te nfl to court over it it doesn’t mean that our shabby congress who went after steroid users can’t do something. It was a blatant breaking of a law the nfl isn’t god here if it were some financial institution broke a law you all would be crying a river. This goes to show that if the courts don’t care what the nfl does they don’t care what real big business does

  20. easyeddie says: Jul 12, 2012 11:21 AM

    It’s amazing how many attorneys and labor law experts ae commenting on this thread.

  21. bigball1 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:22 AM

    Of course there was collusion….Who would really think otherwise? These are business men they’re not going to let the single year of no salary cap get out of hand. Formal? No. Informal? For sure.
    Now proving that informal collusion, that will be a trick.

  22. bucs13 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:23 AM

    @electionconfidential

    “It’s new litigation.”

    No, it’s not. The fines to the Cowboys and Redskins were harms done to them. They could choose to bring suit (but they haven’t, and won’t). The alleged harms done to the NFLPA and the players occurred prior to the signing of the CBA.

  23. paulsmith107 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:25 AM

    And secondly if all is wiped clean because of the cba then how is it that the nfl punished the cowboys and redskins after the cba was signed is that not something that happened before hand. Point is people who think that nothing should be done are sheep who get trampled on in life. The nfl broke the law a real law the cowboys and redskins broke an unwritten rule and now the nfl knows if this gains momentum between the concussion lawsuit and this the nfl juggernaut is in deep deep trouble

  24. khuxford says: Jul 12, 2012 11:47 AM

    “I would give anything to go back and have the players replace the De Smith hiring with Troy Vincent. At least he gave a crap about the players.”

    De is garbage, but Vincent gave a crap about the players? The same Vincent that was investigated by the Department of Labor on charges of colluding with Roger Goodell and Bob McNair before De had taken his position as director? That would be a meeting Troy took to betray the players once he hadn’t been chosen to lead them and then went on to take a cush gig at the NFL.

  25. mn2long says: Jul 12, 2012 12:04 PM

    3 Things:

    First, Congress has given the NFL Anti-Trust exemption and with that comes a responsibility to stay above reproach concerning any labor laws which 30 of the 32 NFL teams did not.

    Second, The issue was dead and settled by the new collective bargaining agreement UNTIL John Mara got too big for his britches and penalized the Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder. So thank him for this continuing to come up.

    3, The NFLPA needs to be clear they are going after 30 of the 32 teams and 2 teams clearly were not involved.

  26. bucs13 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:35 PM

    “The NFLPA needs to be clear they are going after 30 of the 32 teams and 2 teams clearly were not involved.”

    Yeah, it doesn’t work like that.

    Which is why the hot-headed Jerry Jones and the litigation-happy Snyder are 1) regretting their decision to challenge and make a stink about the NFL’s ruling and 2) laying very, very, very low.

  27. skinsfanwill says: Jul 12, 2012 1:47 PM

    Just give my skins back that 18 million. But that won’t happen because it was divided amongst the other 30 teams. No way they defend Snyder and Jerry when they would have to pay back the free dough they made.

  28. FinFan68 says: Jul 12, 2012 3:11 PM

    The collusion claim is suspect. Just because some teams chose to take advantage of the lack of a salary floor does not mean they were colluding. Most of the teams spent roughly the same money as the year before. Some spent more than the supposed “unofficial” cap and some spent much less due to no floor. The Cowboys/Redskins got hammered for gaming the system; not for ignoring some unofficially colluded spending limit. If they would have signed guys to a 1 year deal and spent $300M for that year, nobody would have said anything (even though they wouldn’t have liked it). That is not what they did. They got in trouble for skirting the future salary caps by overloading the first year of multi-year deals. They have marquis players after 2010 for cheap cap hits in the subsequent years. To think that they were punished for “not colluding” is absurd. The players are just upset that the uncapped year did not equate to mega-deals like they thought. Players think short-term and teams think long-term.

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