Monday, May 23, 2011

NFL and Players reach impasse for now

It seems the parties, and mainly the league, are humoring the Magistrate Judge Boylan by merely participating in the court-ordered mediation process, while really holding out for potential leverage in negotiations potentially to be gained by a ruling forthcoming from oral arguments next week. This is a typical tactic seen in "bet the company" type litigation. Surely, an appeals court ruling can change the tide (and likely the season) and will provide either a stimulus for continued talks or the outright victory for one side. However, the lawsuit is still pending before U.S. District Judge Nelson, and the legality of the lockout has essentially become the fight for now, with both sides arguing over whether Judge Nelson has jurisdiction in the case, and over irreparable harm.

Additionally, the league was granted an extension to respond to the players' briefs in the "Tom Brady vs. NFL" antitrust lawsuit. The response was originally due this week, but will instead be pushed to June 6th.

The new date is noteworthy because it is three days after the appellate argument mentioned above, to determine if the lockout should be lifted.

The NFL's brief was filed on May 9, with the players' coming in last Friday. The NFL now has two weeks to craft a response.