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NFL Lockout is Back On: What does Stay Ruling Mean?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 04, 2011 6:43 AM

You may have thought that the NFL lockout was over when Judge Susan Nelson issued an injunction ordering the league to permit players to access team facilities.

But now that the 8th Circuit is involved and has issued an administrative stay reinstating the lockout, things are about to get a little bit more complicated.

The effect of the administrative stay granted by the 8th Circuit on April 29 is to temporarily reinstate the lockout while the court takes the time to carefully consider both parties’ requests. There were no accompanying statements, so at this time it is unclear whether the NFL lockout stay will become permanent.

Should, at some point in the next week, the 8th Circuit decide to make the NFL lockout stay permanent, the ruling will have the effect of reinstating the lockout until the court has fully considered the league’s appeal of the injunction granted by Judge Nelson.

This would make the lockout effective until sometime in June or July.

If the court decides not to issue the stay, then Judge Nelson’s injunction becomes effective, lifting the lockout once again.

Whether the court grants the NFL lockout stay will be an important indicator of how it will ultimately rule on the injunction, but it likely won’t have too much of an effect on whether there is a 2011 NFL season.

After all, as Judge Susan Nelson pointed out, the league has already begunn preparing for the new season, and has previously operated without a collective bargaining agreement.

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