A month ago, Judge Susan Nelson ordered that both the league and the players return to mediation under the watchful eye of a magistrate judge. That mediation lasted roughly a week before previous engagements of the magistrate judge put the talks on hold until today. Now, with the 8th Circuit court of Appeals still dangling a “no decision” on the “stay” those talks are supposedly set to resume.
The NFL is sending 4 owners to the mediation while the players have not announced who of the 11 plaintiffs will be in attending. Judge Nelson told both sides that each must have represented someone with the absolute power to make a decision without having to turnaround and call everyone else for approval. While the players haven’t said who has that authority they say that those present “will” have the ability to make decision without notifying anyone else. The league said they will have to vote on it.
Regardless of who is there and who is not there for either side, it’s obvious that Judge Nelson holds little if no power over either side considering she failed to penalize either side the last time around when A, nothing got done at all and B, neither side presented final authority parties to the mediation. In other words, no one is really taking what she has to say seriously unless they are on the side of her rulings.
On June 3rd the 8th Circuit will begin hearing the arguments for the leagues appeal to the Nelson ruling regarding the lockout and it appears both sides have no desire to sit and really make roads towards a new CBA until that decision is rendered.
So while mediation resumes it’s likely the only thing that will come out of this is a new appreciation for how loud crickets really can be.