U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson will hear Brady v. NFL in federal court in St. Paul, Minn., today. The suit seeks an injunction against the NFL ownership's lockout of players. It argues that the lockout violates anti-trust laws, a strategy they were able to implement only after decertifying the players union. The league will counter that union decertifying was a sham, done only so the players could file anti-trust litigation.
While today's proceedings will certainly impact the outcome of the labor dispute, it's unlikely that anything will be immediately accomplished. It's not expected that the judge will make a bench ruling; it's more likely she'll take a week or more to come to a decision.
And if she lifts the injunction, the league will appeal and request the injunction remain in effect until the appeal is heard. It's also possible the judge could compel the parties to return to negotiations.
But all eyes will be on this case today, because the judge may indicate which arguments she finds most convincing. Her actions today will be studied by both sides, and used to make adjustments to their separate arguments.
The NFL and its players are still involved in gamesmanship, but from a spectator's point of view, it's no substitute for on-field action.
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