We hope you don’t have any plans for June 3, because you’ll want to be glued to your computer watching the riveting legal action of the NFL’s appeal at the Eighth Circuit Court. Bring Jiffy Pop and smores.
The league has been granted an expedited appeal hearing to overturn Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling that lifted the lockout, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. The scheduling is quick in the legal world, but in the human world June 3 is still 31 days away. That shaves a full month off of the NFL’s offseason calendar and brings us that much closer to losing training camp and/or games.
So the next question is, does the temporary stay given to the league that reinstated the lockout remain in place until then? Or can we flip the sign around and open the NFL for the usual business of the offseason (i.e. free agency, transactions of any kind)? We’ll know whether or not the league will stay in its state of darkness within the next few days, according to Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post.
So while we wait for that news to potentially raise our spirits, Adam Schefter makes sure that we don’t get too excited by telling us that once an appeal is heard, a ruling typically isn’t issued for 30-45 days. That means we’ll likely be into July and only a few weeks away from training camp before the next step is taken.
I hope you all enjoyed your draft weekend.
Update: It seems my initial pessimism was misguided, as the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reports that every aspect of this appeal will be expedited, including the ruling. Legal analyst Gabe Feldman was hesitant to give a time frame on a ruling following the hearing, but he expects it will be “relatively quick.” Sorry, pessimism has become second nature during this mess.
Feldman is probably on to something, although there’s no definitive answer as to how long a ruling will take. Pro Football Talk contacted Micheal Gans, the clerk of the Eighth Circuit Court, who said it’s a safe assumption that the entire process will be moved along at a quicker pace than a normal appeal. But it remains to be seen just how quick the pace will be.
Gans’ comments via PFT:
“The court has expedited the schedule for the briefing and has set a very early hearing date. I assume that is an indication that the court intends to treat every aspect of the case, including the preparation of its opinion, as an urgent matter. I would not want to hazard a guess as to how soon after June 3 a decision will be reached.”