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NFL Lockout Extended: Does 8th Cir. Favor NFL Owners?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 18, 2011 9:45 AM

As of this week, the NFL lockout is back on.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, extended the lockout until it can rule on the merits of the underlying appeal challenging the injunction issued last month by Judge Susan Nelson.

That date is set for June 3, but if the court's order is any indication, the NFL lockout isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

One of the league's major contentions thus far has been that the federal courts do not have original jurisdiction over the current dispute.

Instead, the owners have argued that the Norris-La Guardia Act, which grants original jurisdiction over labor disputes to the National Labor Relations Board, requires that the lawsuit first go through administrative channels before it can be heard in federal court.

In its ruling, the majority stated that it had "serious doubts" about how Judge Nelson interpreted the Act, and further stated that the NFL made a "strong showing" that it would win at the trial level.

If the court ultimately maintains this position next month, then the NFL lockout will remain in place until the NLRB hears and decides on issues relating to the decertification of the players' union.

That could take months, if not years.

Or, the NFL lockout will come to an end when the parties finally reach an agreement.

Speaking of which, both the players' union and the owners were back at the negotiation table yesterday to resume court-ordered mediation talks.

Maybe U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan can end the NFL lockout?

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