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View Full Version : Can a player play while a federal court case is pending on the appeal validity?



mmxx
12-21-2004, 06:17 PM
I've had this question for a while: It seems most people here thinks once Kaplan rules to reduce JO's suspensions to say 15, JO would automatically be able to play on Christmas Day.

My Question is, can a player be reinstated by such a ruling which NBA had already filed a federal court case against, and basically did not acknowledge the validity of it by not participating at all?

what's the rule about whether a player can play while an appeal is pending?

If Kaplan rules tomorrow Can't NBA just come out and say this ruling is invalid we didn't even participate so nobody can play until the fed court says otherwise?

That might be why they decided not to go to the hearing...

Los Angeles
12-21-2004, 06:33 PM
IF the arbitrator rules that he has the power...
IF he decides to reduce the suspensions...
IF the NBA chooses to not recognize the arbitrator's decision...
AND if the pacers management wants to buck the system by announcing that the players will start...

THEN I would guess that the NBA would ask the courts to step in and prevent the players from playing by court order.

BUT - as I see it - all four of the above need to happen to get to that point.

able
12-21-2004, 07:02 PM
the player is uneligable top play as long as the league says he's suspended, no ifs or buts, however, this can lead to so much "other" trouble that the court case is pending anyway, to "back the league up" or to confirm the arbitrator's rights.

If the NBA would not have gone to court over it, undoubtedly the PA would in an emergency procedure, in which case the NBA would stand less chance.

ChicagoJ
12-21-2004, 07:50 PM
mmxx, you're 100% correct. If the NBA doesn't recognize Kaplan's authority, and so far they don't, the players won't be back on the court until a judge ultimately rules in favor of the NBPA *AND* the league has exhausted all the appeals it wishes to pursue. I don't think they'd take it all the way to the Supreme Court, but they probably won't need to since the lower courts tend to rule in the NBA's favor, anyway.

birdman
12-21-2004, 08:24 PM
So basically it is pretty much impossible for JO to play in Saturday's game?

canyoufeelit
12-21-2004, 09:05 PM
I don't care about getting the players back for Christmas. Not gonna happen. I might tune in to see how the fans act during the game, but otherwise I don't want to watch anything to do with the Detroit Pistons. Not time for that yet.

Anyone else feel like that?

Jermaniac
12-21-2004, 09:30 PM
Nope, I cant wait for this game.

ReGgieMiLLeR31
12-21-2004, 09:46 PM
The day Kaplan makes his decision they will take it to court and a judge will decide that day...and J.o. will come back Sat. hopefully@@!!!!

Anthem
12-21-2004, 09:48 PM
I'll probably not watch the game live.

It'll be 9:30 our time, and I plan on spending that time with fam. I'll tape it and then poll the forum to see if it's worth watching. If so, great. If not, I'll let it be.

A win would be big, because it would be without our best three players. A loss, though, would prove even less than Detroit's pre-Sheed losses last year.

ChicagoJ
12-21-2004, 09:57 PM
So basically it is pretty much impossible for JO to play in Saturday's game?
Unless the NBA "gives in", that's right.

There are some on here that believe the NBA will surrender if Kaplan rules in favor of the NBPA. I don't really buy into that story, but I would like it to be true.

Doug
12-21-2004, 10:09 PM
I don't think Stern gives in, at least in the sense that he will feel pressure to give in to whatever the result is. I think that he's planned for this arbitration. I think he's even planned that it will side with the players.

Now, what he's planned, I don't know. It's either

a) He set the suspensions high on purpose so he can compromise now.

or

b) He's just going to say F.U., I'm still in charge, take it to the courts. Knowing that JO and Jax will both be back before that is decided.

I want to think it's 'a', but I'm afraid it's 'b'.

DisplacedKnick
12-21-2004, 10:24 PM
I dunno - if the arbitrator ever makes a decision a federal court should be able to decide pretty quickly - all they have to do is read through the CBA and hear arguments - they're not deciding suspension lengths, just whether it should go to arbitration.

But I think you guys are dreaming about Artest and SJax - not sure the arbitrator will reduce those - not sure about JO actually though I think he has the best chance - at least he didn't go into the stands.

Anthem
12-21-2004, 10:27 PM
But what about Anthony Johnson's lost salary?

mmxx
12-21-2004, 11:14 PM
Personally i think that NBA might "give in" if the arbitrator only reduces JO's suspensions, and NBA definitely will not "give in" if he also rules to let Ron back for playoffs.

but my question is more of whether NBA itself has the power to prevent JO from being re-instated right away, i.e. without having to ask, and wait for, the federal court to nullify the arbitration. That could be important because the federal court is closed on Friday 12/24, according to this one:

http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3233770

The NBA has already filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging Kaplan's authority to hear the grievance, a complaint that remains pending before U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.

Court is closed Friday for a federal holiday, but it doesn't close Thursday until 5 p.m. If Kaplan's ruling were to be issued at noon Thursday, the case could conceivably be before a judge in a matter of hours.

what if Kaplan doesn't rule until 5pm 12/23? ;)

able
12-21-2004, 11:16 PM
Kaplan has stated to rule BEFORE Noon on Thursday.

Now; worst case scenario while a. he decided he has jurisdiction (which in my mind he already has decided, if he had not he would have told so last week) and B. he reduces the suspensions, no matter who and how much for now.

In that case (noon Thursday) the NBA will be in court at 12.05 (they will have an advance ruling anyway, so consider the case opened at noon) the court can hear that day, and seeing the time-restraint will do so.

Now what does the court have to rule on?

That is in fact just one question: Does Kaplan have (or any arbitrator for that matter) jurisdiction.

That CAN be decided in a few hours, again under the time-restrictions that are important here, certainly if for instance JO's suspension is shortened so much that he would be eligible to play (in which case the Pacers become a factor in the case as well) then the likelyhood is that they WILL rule that same day, that ruling is open for apeal, however JO will be allowed to play, pending that appeal IF they judge rules Kaplan right.
In ordering the NBA to let JO (and perhaps even others) play the judge will mainly look at the likelyhood that appeal will overthrow his judgement, which is unlikely if he finds Kaplan having jurisdiction and the damage incurred when JO does not play contra the damage to the NBA if he plays but the judgement is overturned in appeal, in that case the fact that they can suspend him again will weigh far heavier then the fact that he can not play games for which he is no longer suspended if the appeal fails, in other words, he can be suspended for the remaining games if the appeal holds, but he can never play the games he sits out if the appeal fails.

able
12-21-2004, 11:21 PM
Personally i think that NBA might "give in" if the arbitrator only reduces JO's suspensions, and NBA definitely will not "give in" if he also rules to let Ron back for playoffs.

but my question is more of whether NBA itself has the power to prevent JO from being re-instated right away, i.e. without having to ask, and wait for, the federal court to nullify the arbitration. That could be important because the federal court is closed on Friday 12/24, according to this one:

http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3233770

The NBA has already filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging Kaplan's authority to hear the grievance, a complaint that remains pending before U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.

Court is closed Friday for a federal holiday, but it doesn't close Thursday until 5 p.m. If Kaplan's ruling were to be issued at noon Thursday, the case could conceivably be before a judge in a matter of hours.

what if Kaplan doesn't rule until 5pm 12/23? ;)


As long as the NBA has not "recognized" the arbitrator as "lawfull" and for the arbitrator to have jurisdiction JO can not play without a court ruling, no matter who requests that ruling.

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 10:06 AM
Kaplan has stated to rule BEFORE Noon on Thursday.

Now; worst case scenario while a. he decided he has jurisdiction (which in my mind he already has decided, if he had not he would have told so last week) and B. he reduces the suspensions, no matter who and how much for now.

In that case (noon Thursday) the NBA will be in court at 12.05 (they will have an advance ruling anyway, so consider the case opened at noon) the court can hear that day, and seeing the time-restraint will do so.

Now what does the court have to rule on?

That is in fact just one question: Does Kaplan have (or any arbitrator for that matter) jurisdiction.

That CAN be decided in a few hours, again under the time-restrictions that are important here, certainly if for instance JO's suspension is shortened so much that he would be eligible to play (in which case the Pacers become a factor in the case as well) then the likelyhood is that they WILL rule that same day, that ruling is open for apeal, however JO will be allowed to play, pending that appeal IF they judge rules Kaplan right.
In ordering the NBA to let JO (and perhaps even others) play the judge will mainly look at the likelyhood that appeal will overthrow his judgement, which is unlikely if he finds Kaplan having jurisdiction and the damage incurred when JO does not play contra the damage to the NBA if he plays but the judgement is overturned in appeal, in that case the fact that they can suspend him again will weigh far heavier then the fact that he can not play games for which he is no longer suspended if the appeal fails, in other words, he can be suspended for the remaining games if the appeal holds, but he can never play the games he sits out if the appeal fails.
Well, you're certainly right about this point: the courts have ruled quickly in favor of the league before. If the NBPA ultimately wins the court challenge, I think its going to take a while for that to happen, and if that happens then I expect the courts will rule that the arbitration about the severity of the punishments may begin, with both the NBA and the NBPA present at the hearing.

IMO, if Kaplan tries to usurp Stern's authority to govern what happens while the NBA is delivering its product - a league-sanctioned game - it may not take long for the courts to overturn it. But that's not really a bad thing because that would finally get the NBPA out of the picture. What the Pacers need is the completion of all this protocol so the Simons can begin some type of greivance procedure with the Board of Governors and to negotiate with Stern. That's our best hope for getting JO back on the court sooner.

indygeezer
12-22-2004, 10:19 AM
Couldn't the PA or the Pacers request a Restraining Order to keep the league from enforcing the suspensions while this is being argued in court? THey could claim loss of income and whatever other harm to the team was being incurred while this was being argued.

DisplacedKnick
12-22-2004, 10:48 AM
Couldn't the PA or the Pacers request a Restraining Order to keep the league from enforcing the suspensions while this is being argued in court? THey could claim loss of income and whatever other harm to the team was being incurred while this was being argued.

More likely - if they need to - would be the league files for an injunction immediately following Kaplan's ruling preventing it from taking effect until the question of his authority to even rule is taken care of.

If they need to do that my guess is it's already written and ready to go with just a few "fill-in-the-blank" spots left to complete depending on specifics.

able
12-22-2004, 11:32 AM
More likely - if they need to - would be the league files for an injunction immediately following Kaplan's ruling preventing it from taking effect until the question of his authority to even rule is taken care of.

If they need to do that my guess is it's already written and ready to go with just a few "fill-in-the-blank" spots left to complete depending on specifics.

That lawsuit has already been filed, it is the one we are discussing, mentioned in the press and so on, the league seek an injuction against the PA for the use of the arbitrator, stating that the arbitrator has no jurisdiction.
The league decided to hold that case until the ruling from Kaplan, though they at one point were agreeing to partake in the arbitration process pending the case, they decided not to do so.

Now however legally it has become interesting.

As i said above, there is only ONE question the court needs to answer; Does an Arbitrator have jurisdiction in this case, yes or no.

If the court says no, then the procedure has been worthless, not matter what the PA and Kaplan say, an appeal will take to long, (though it will be filed) to do anything in the current situation, that is also the time when the Simons and the Pacers as well as possibly the players will go to court and the board of governours.

If however the court says yes, then the arbitration has already taken place, there is NO chance that a renewed arbitration will take place, the league was offered to partake and refused, it should in that case either have sought the injunction BEFORE the arbitration or have taken part pending and under the clear exception that the rightfullness of the arbitration would be decided in court.

Now, where does that leave us and the players?

In case 1 (no from the court) nothing changes except that new procedures will be started, loads of press conferences given and by the time the decision is reached only Ron and some monetary matters remain.

In case 2 (yes from court) however the matter gets interesting, because the court has several options after that, so does the NBA.

Let's assume they will appeal, now will this stop the players from playing, that is also a question they will have to ask the appeal judge.
The judge in first instance will have an opportunity to rule on that as well, but it is not likely he will do so, for reasons I stated earlier, and if asked he will say that they can play.

Now the appeal judge will again decide that question as a prioroty, however it is my opinion that an appeal judge will say the same, they can play until a ruling is given.

Why is that?

It has to do with the fact that if they do not play and the appeal is lost, in other words the arbitrator did have jurisdiction, the damage is already done and can not be reversed.
If on the other hand the appeal holds and the arbitrator had no jurisdiction then the suspensions can still be "sat out" by the players.

Therefore by "enforcing" the suspensions pending appeal there is nothing to gain and lots to lose, it is a principle you see more often in courts.


Now finally my opinion again on the matter, so stop reading :)

A. Kaplan has decided he has jurisdiction, even the P's are convinced of that if you read between the lines.
B. He will rule that most suspension will be halved, Ron's probably even more then that.
C. He might incriminate other people or players, whether that has consequences however I do not know and can not foresee.

D. The league will "open" her case the same day, if not, they either accept or force the PA to go to court and seek enforcement, again that will be the same day.
E. In all likelyhood if done before noon on Thursday the case will be heard straight away and a preliminary judgement will be given before the day is out.
F. either party will appeal that, if the NBA loses then the suspensions will be change to the verdict of Kaplan and if the NBA wins, depending on the strength of the case of the PA the suspensions might still be (temporarily) lifted.

Why no new arbitration? see above, they had opportunities, they waived them, it is that simple, and yes there are many examples in judgements that show that, I am simply to busy to go find the correct ones now :)