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View Full Version : Great article on Today's Players versus owners battle in court


Mediator12
04-06-2011, 10:32 AM
Great article on the NFL Court case to go down today:

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/04/04/antitrust-lawyer-players-losing-injunction-might-n

Matthew Cantor, a partner at Constantine Cannon, whose legal team won the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history, believes the players' injunction case doesn't hold water like your garden-variety injunction suit might.

"I expect the judge to write an opinion that is very careful in its wording and draws upon black and white legal doctrine," Cantor said by telephone Monday morning. "And it's because of that that I think ultimately the judge is going to deny the injunction."

Why? Well, Cantor reasons that the players' claims that irreparable harm is being done in the interim won't hold up. The court must find that the plaintiffs the former union cannot sustain the financial damages that are being caused by the lockout unless the injunction is granted, and that the NFL's practices to this point have been illegal.

"That's a pretty extraordinary thing to ask for in a report, right?" Cantor said. "And the court has to find that, 'You know what? You're right. If I don't grant you this release, you're really going to be harmed and later on, there's no way you're ever going to be able to get any relief to compensate you for the harm you have (suffered) right now.'

"That's not this case. These players all have stipulated contracts for set monetary amounts. And they are seeking treble damages (in the TV suit). So if Tom Brady is right at the end of the day, that what the NFL is trying to impose on the players represents an antitrust violation, he's going to get (his salary) times how ever many years (are in his contract) times three."

Interestingly, the players losing this initial case might not lengthen the lockout or strengthen the owners' case. In fact, Cantor predicts it could lead to further negotiations and, ultimately, a new CBA and the lifting of the lockout.

"If they win, (the players) will have extraordinary leverage," Cantor said. "If they lose, there will be a press hit and they'll look unfavorable in the (media). But the fact of the matter is none of the owners want to sacrifice the 2011 season. None of the players want to sacrifice the season. Certainly the television networks don't want that.

"I think the denial of the injunction will lead to the players to come back to the (negotiating) table, and while there might be a public-relations hit, I don't think there will be a substantial hit. From a legal perspective, I would expect that there is going to be a deal. Whether you're going to lose the preseason or a (regular-season) game or two, I don't know, but there is going to be football in 2011."

I hope the players lose today and it forces them back to the table. They certainly have no interest in negotiating at all if they win and can force damages from the Owners. All the leverage would be with the players and it would destroy any chance for a season this year if they win.

Also, it is legally a super thin argument, but worth battling since the courts have sided so much with the players in the past. This is a long shot for the players, but it explains why they left the table earlier. If they win this injunction, they gain the upper hand. However, it would be a travesty of justice if Susan Nelson finds for the players today. It could also destroy Football as we know it this year and in the future.

DrFate
04-06-2011, 10:56 AM
The players never intended to negotiate. Once Smith was elected, the plan was set - litigate your way to riches.

bendog
04-06-2011, 11:06 AM
Great article on the NFL Court case to go down today:

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/04/04/antitrust-lawyer-players-losing-injunction-might-n





I hope the players lose today and it forces them back to the table. They certainly have no interest in negotiating at all if they win and can force damages from the Owners. All the leverage would be with the players and it would destroy any chance for a season this year if they win.

Also, it is legally a super thin argument, but worth battling since the courts have sided so much with the players in the past. This is a long shot for the players, but it explains why they left the table earlier. If they win this injunction, they gain the upper hand. However, it would be a travesty of justice if Susan Nelson finds for the players today. It could also destroy Football as we know it this year and in the future.

I don't think it would destroy football. It would require the owners to show the books. They claim that even though all teams are making profit now, under the old cba their expenses are rising faster than revenues. BUT they won't say why. What are the expenses? Is it salaries or the loans they took out for stadiums after holding cities hostage to threats of moving the team unless taxpayers pony up to build new stadiums simply because newer stadiums have club and more luxury box seats?

I think the injunction will be denied because as the article says the players can sue for damages. To get an injunction, the players have to show irreperable harm, and legally I don't think they can show that, because if they win their anti-trust suit, the owners pay 3x the value of the contracts. But the reality is that the players can't afford to go without paychecks for as long as the anti-trust suits will take to get through courts. However, Judge Doty has to decide how much of the TV revenue the players get, and that's due next month, I think. If the players get enough to sit out an entire year, then that's going to put pressure on the owners to open the books. The owners are banking on the union caving in the Summer. If they think they'll have to pay their construction loans with their own money, rather than ticket holder money, we may see some resolution to this BS of not being able to divvy up the enormous amount of money.

MLB plays this game all the time. They scream poverty but when the union says, well show us, the owners cave every single time. You don't have to be a genius to figure that one out.

Fans are frustrated with both sides. I don't blame them. But ideologically it seems pretty simple. You think the players deserve the majority of the pie because they sacrafice lifetime longetivity and health for playing in a really short career, or you think the owners deserve more. If you think ticket costs are going down if the owners win, you're on crack.

*WARHORSE*
04-06-2011, 01:17 PM
My hope is that she lifts the lockout for two weeks, and orders the owners and the players sit down and negotiate face to face, with the lawyers as sidenotes, and the same mediator. They have a starting point in the owners last offer. I also think she should order that not a single thing said in the negotiations can be spoken in public, and that anyone who breaks that silence should be punished severely.

In the meantime.

No free agents can be signed at that time due to an out of focus financial outlook, it would be unfair to teams with less money in their back pocket......... however players may be traded, and or the rights to players.


TRADE KYLE ORTON ON THE FIRST DAY QUICK.

This will make teams believe we're going to take a QB and its not a smokescreen.

Mountain Bronco
04-06-2011, 03:58 PM
No employer in their right mind would open their books to rank and file employees. This is insane. The players have enough leverage without opening the books. Either pay us X percent or no deal. I haven't heard a convincing argument as to why they need to see the books yet.

As for the injunction it is impossible to perdict what a court will do. I have seen court grant the most asinine injunctions without any reason or law to back them up.

Chris
04-06-2011, 04:20 PM
Found out today my best friend's firm is repping the union.

SonOfLe-loLang
04-06-2011, 04:46 PM
No employer in their right mind would open their books to rank and file employees. This is insane. The players have enough leverage without opening the books. Either pay us X percent or no deal. I haven't heard a convincing argument as to why they need to see the books yet.

As for the injunction it is impossible to perdict what a court will do. I have seen court grant the most asinine injunctions without any reason or law to back them up.

I wish people would stop comparing this situation to their office. Its apples/oranges

FireFly
04-06-2011, 06:02 PM
Bah - I really hope the players get shut down. They need to just go back to the table and negotiate. Get a deal done, go to work, get paid.

bendog
04-07-2011, 09:03 AM
No employer in their right mind would open their books to rank and file employees. This is insane. The players have enough leverage without opening the books. Either pay us X percent or no deal. I haven't heard a convincing argument as to why they need to see the books yet.

As for the injunction it is impossible to perdict what a court will do. I have seen court grant the most asinine injunctions without any reason or law to back them up.

no other employer gets anti-trust protection from a labor deal, so your attempt to analogize is .... not accurate, to put it nicely.

I didn't make a prediction so much as agree with the original article that legally speaking, it's hard to justify an injunction in this case. Your experience with the legal system doesn't surprise me, however.

Cito Pelon
04-09-2011, 09:09 AM
The judge for this suit said she expected to make her ruling within two weeks. That would be apx one week before the draft.