Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Appellate Court Temporarily Stays Order Lifting NFL Lockout

This posting was written by Darius Sturmer, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis has granted the National Football League and its 32 separately-owned teams a temporary administrative stay of a federal court order preliminarily enjoining a league “lockout” of current and prospective players.

The ruling, handed down by a divided court on April 29, was not a determination on the merits of the league’s motion to stay the April 25 decision lifting the lockout (2011-1 Trade Cases ¶77,427), but is intended to give the appellate court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of that motion.

The federal district court in St. Paul had refused to grant the motion because a stay would reimpose on the players the irreparable harm that the court found the NFL lockout to be likely inflicting on them and because the balance of equities tilted indisputably in favor of the players’ interests (2011-1 Trade Cases ¶77,428).

A dissenting opinion by Judge Bye argued that the matter did not constitute the type of “emergency situation” for which such temporary stays had been procedurally created. True emergency situations—imminent deportation or execution, for example—were marked by the impossibility or near impossibility of reversing the
consequences of allowing a district court order to take effect.

In this instance, was little practical need for granting an emergency temporary stay, according to the dissent. Based on the materials presented in the case so far, the NFL had not even shown that it would suffer any irreparable harm from allowing the district court’s order to take effect.

The April 29 Eighth Circuit decision is Brady v. National Football League.

No comments: