Monday, May 2, 2011

Owners File Reply Brief; Matter Now Up to Eighth Circuit

This morning, the NFL filed a reply brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. This was per schedule the Eighth Circuit set out last week shortly before it issued a temporary stay. The owners' brief hangs mostly on union's decision in March to decertify. The owners continue to push the argument that decertification was a sham and therefore the players are not entitled to file an antitrust lawsuit. They also note that players will suffer no harm if the case is resolved at some point in the offseason. (They quote players like Ray Lewis saying the lockout was a "great[] opportunity" to have a free summer, and note that players often "hold out" and do not participate in offseason activities at all, in support of their argument that the players would not be harmed by a truncated offseason.)

One of the commenters noted last week that the same panel that decided the request for a temporary stay will probably have the case from here on out. I've been able to confirm that the temporary stay panel will decide the underlying stay motion. I do not yet know who will be on the panel that will decide the merits of the appeal.

As always, I'll post updates as soon as I get them. The situation has been moving sort of quickly, so I'll post a synopsis soon as well that lays out where we stand.

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