8th Circuit Rules: Lockout to Stay During Appeal

In a 2-1 decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the National Football League’s lockout will stay in place pending their appeal of U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling.  Judges Steven Colloton and Duane Benton sided with the NFL while Judge Kermit Bye dissented in favor of the players.

The Court found that the NFL has proven it “likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay” and was not convince that Judge Susan Nelson’s conclusions were correct.

“In sum, we have serious doubts that the district court had jurisdiction to enjoin the league’s lockout, and accordingly conclude that the league has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits.”

“The district court reasoned that this case does not involve or grow out of a labor dispute because the players no longer are represented by a union,” the majority wrote. “We have considerable doubt about this interpretation of the Norris-La Guardia Act and does not specify that the employees must be members of a union for the case to involve or grow out of a labor dispute.”

“We do not agree, however, with the district court’s apparent view that the balance of the equities tilts heavily in favor of the players,” the majority wrote. “The district court gave little or no weight to the harm caused to the league by an injunction issued in the midst of an ongoing dispute over terms and conditions of employment. The court found irreparable harm to the players because the lockout prevents free agents from negotiating contracts with any team, but gave no weight to harm that would be caused to the League by player transactions that would occur only with an injunction against the lockout.”

Judge Bye, in is dissenting opinion, dismissed the conclusions of his fellow judges, stating, “Notwithstanding the majority’s analysis, the NFL has not persuaded me it will suffer irreparable harm during the pendency of this expedited appeal,” Bye wrote. “In any event, there will not be any shift in the ‘balance of power’ until the appeal is resolved.”  Additionally, “The preliminary injunction does not dictate the NFL’s free agency rules, or any other conduct in general, outside of the lockout,” he said. “Whatever harm may be said to befall the NFL during the pendency of the expedited appeal stands in stark contrast to the irreparable harm suffered by the players.”

The good news, NFL owners and the former NFL Players’ Association resumed court-ordered mediation with of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

Roger Clemens’ Criminal Case Moving Forward

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who is presiding over the Roger Clemens’ federal criminal case, has ordered the attorneys who investigated and drafted the Mitchell Report to appear before his court on June 8, 2011.

Judge Walton has ordered those responsible for investigating former and current MLB players who possibly used performance-enhancing drugs while playing professionally to a private hearing to discuss their interviews with Clemens’ accusers, Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee.

Roger Clemens has requested copies of internal MLB memos he feels will help him in his defense against claims by Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee that they supplied him with performance-enhancing drugs. Judge Walton has reviewed these requested memos but says he needs more information before deciding as to whether they should be disclosed.

Romano On Sports: Proud To Announce the Signing of a New Client – Justin Smith

The Romano Sports & Entertainment Agency is proud to announce Sacred Heart University’s, Justin Smith, as its latest client.  Justin is a 6’2” 340lb offensive lineman/long snapper who was a four year starter and team captain for the Pioneers.  An All-NEC player, Justin has played every position on the offensive line, from center to left tackle.

The Romano Sports & Entertainment Agency  will conduct all contract negotiations on behalf of Justin, while also managing commercial and personal media.

For further information on Justin please visit http://www.romanoonsports.com and check out his highlight reel attached:

NFL/NFL PA Labor Update

The National Football League and the Former NFL Players’ Association will restart negotiations with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, the federal magistrate tasked with overseeing the mediation between parties, while the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decides, after two weeks’ time, on whether to lift the lockout or keep it in place.

Present for the mediation for the NFL will be Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash and team owners Jerry Richardson, Art Rooney II, Mike Brown and John Mara.

For the NFLPA, Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, counsel Jeffrey Kessler and counsel to the group of 10 players suing the NFL to lift the lockout Jim Quinn.