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NHL Urges Appeals Court to Side With the NFL

So, the lockout is still going on. It's still going through courts and is in the appeals process. The "temporary stay" that was granted by the 8th circuit court feels pretty permanent right now. Later this week, there will be a ruling on Judge Doty's decision about the billions of dollars in TV deal money that was ruled against the owners for negotiating "in bad faith". It will determine what penalties, if any, the league will suffer for said tactic.

Now, the National Hocket League has filed an "amicus curiae" brief, which means "friend of the court." The NHL is not joining the case persay, but they do feel like the ruling could have implications that will effect their league.


Because it has to deal with sports leagues, sports unions, and whether or not decertification of a union is a legitimate negotiation tactic. The NHL's interests could be negatively effected if the 8th circuit court rules in favor of the players. It will set precedent for all of the sports unions (or... "trade associations") for the future.

The National Hockey League (‘NHL') has a direct interest in ensuring that the determination of terms and conditions of employment for NHL players is the product of a bona fide labor process rather than the ‘lever' of potential antitrust liability. This is especially true in the context of the stable and mature collective bargaining relationship that the NHL and the National Hockey League Players' Association (‘NHLPA') have had for nearly 45 years. Yet, under the district court's decision and rationale, a group of employees can, at any time and for any reason, insinuate the antitrust laws into the dynamics pursuant to which new terms and conditions of employment are negotiated and determined. All a union has to do is have its members ‘disclaim' union representation, simultaneously reconstitute itself as an employee ‘association,' and then ask the court to immediately enjoin any joint labor activity of the employers (e.g., including the implementation of a lawful lockout) by filing a treble damages antitrust complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction. The NHL respectfully submits that this cannot be the state of the law.

From Pro Football Talk

I'd expect the NBA, MLB, etc. to follow suit. It is worth noting that Bob Batterman, the NFL's lead labor counsel, was part of the team during the NHL lockout that wiped out an entire season, and essentially destroy the minimal interest American's had in hockey to begin with.

Do we have any lawyers in our midst, who could put in layman's terms what's going on? Conservative... you're a lawyer, right?