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11-30-2012, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mouser View Post
That hasn't been the legal precedent... It was a novel legal argument that has never been fought in court by a major sports organization to my knowledge.
Actually, it was this guy(John Feerick) in 1999 who made that decision and argument -- but as an arbiter! So, you're right it would not be binding precedent, but you can bet the league will reference it. I seem to remember that it was him acting from a bench, but I was clearly wrong.

The decertification process would never go anywhere because the players are complete idiots and you have guys like Ryan Miller saying things like, “They want to see if we will take a bad deal because we get desperate or if we have the strength to push back. Decertification is a push back and should show we want a negotiation and a fair deal on at least some of our terms.”
Which makes the decertification a transparent part of the negotiating -- and that has been stomped repeatedly by the NLRB, including in the sports arena.
It would also take several years and millions of dollars in legal fees to sort out in court even if the NLRB did allow it, and I'm sure that neither side sees that as ideal. Then the players would be sitting there unemployed paying out the individual lawyer fees in Anti-trust suits for at least a year without a union to pay for it and without a union to agree to negotiate a new CBA. It'd be the worst move on the table -- it's so clearly a negotiating ploy.

There have been many examples of pro sports leagues that played seasons or portions of seasons without a CBA.
The owners and union both agreed to honour the contracts under those circumstances.

The contracts are unenforceable at the moment not because there is no CBA, but because the owners have locked out the players.
Well, this is becoming a semantic argument. You are correct -- the CBA guarantees the contracts by binding the league to an agreement prohibiting a lockout. Without such a CBA, the league can unilaterally refuse to honour the contracts. The contracts are null in such a circumstance. If a party may leave an agreement at will, the contract is pretty meaningless.

If the owners lifted the lockout tomorrow the contracts would be fully enforceable even though the NHL and PA hadn't negotiated a new CBA yet.
Yes, if the owners unilaterally decide to honour the contracts, they would be binding. We're just arguing semantics. I don't think we're in real disagreement anywhere.

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