In Driver's Seat, Owners Hoping To Settle Out of Court - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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In Driver's Seat, Owners Hoping To Settle Out of Court



    With a major court ruling made in their favor, the NFL’s owners reconvened on Monday for their annual spring meeting. Now of course, the major goal is coming to an agreement with the players’ union, and in doing so, ensuring that the 2011 NFL season becomes a reality--and they’d preferably do it outside the confines of a courtroom.

    The ruling last week, granting the owners a permanent stay from the injunction filed by the players on March 12, obviously gives the league the upper hand in negotiations. Considering, it’s no great surprise that the owners have come out in support of an out-of-court settlement with the other side.

    Jeff Pash, the NFL’s general counsel, recently summed up the owners’ stance moving forward.

    "The process of litigation has tended to freeze people and made it difficult for discussions to be productive,” Pash said, per CBS Sports. “I think Judge [Arthur] Boylan has tried [in a court-supervised mediation in Minneapolis], and that's been helpful in providing a forum for us to spend time with the players association and the individual attorneys representing the players. But it's artificial in the sense that it's all within the context of on-going court cases.

    "So just when the players walked out in Washington in March and announced they were not acting as a union anymore and filed their lawsuit, everyone geared towards that. When's the hearing on the injunction? When will a decision on the injunction be issued? Then there was the stay. Then there was an appeal.

    "So there has been a rolling series of court cases, and we're getting close to 90 days after the talks in Washington broke down, and where are we? Nothing has happened. There is no resolution. I think the answer is that litigation has frozen people. It's made it harder to have meaningful discussions, not easier. And that's why we need to get out of court and back together to work this out."

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