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May 23, 2011

Anthony Gargano of Philadelphia Sports Radio 620 WIP Calls on Attorney Ron Greenblatt to Gain Insight Into the NFL Lockout


Attorney Ron Greenblatt Helps Make Sense of NFL Lockout with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow.

Philadelphia Sports Radio 620 WIP is tapping the legal expertise of Attorney Ronald Greenblatt, managing partner of the Philadelphia law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, to explain developments in the 2011 NFL lockout and arbitration case to its listening audience. In his on-air appearance on the midday show with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow, Attorney Ron Greenblatt talked about the April 6 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson to take a few weeks before ruling on the players’ request for an injunction that would end the lockout.

“What she has done is she has told the parties involved to go back and try to settle the case. I don’t see that happening because it doesn’t seem like the owners are even willing to sit down with the players for strategic reasons. The reason I think the owners don’t want to do that is because that would be acknowledgment that there’s not a union anymore, that they’re sitting down with the players as individuals, therefore then you go to the antitrust provisions and anything they do – the draft, free agent signings, all of those things would be a violation of the law. So I don’t think the owners will do it. They’ve got some good lawyers on their side, as do the players. So I think it’s going to take a decision by her to get this ball moving. And I can pretty much guarantee that whoever loses is appealing,” the Philadelphia attorney explained on the sports talk show.

At issue is a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. The lockout began after negotiations broke down and the players disbanded their union. A lockout means the draft, free agent signings, off-season trades, training camps and other football matters are put on hold. The players filed an injunction as well as a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. In commenting on the judge’s decision, Attorney Ronald Greenblatt noted that Attorney Patricia Pierce, also a partner in the Philadelphia law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, had a major employment labor case in front of Judge Nelson several years ago. Ron pointed out during the interview, “My partner says she’s an A-plus judge in terms of legal ability. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a magistrate judge, which settles cases like this and gets involved in disputes like this. This judge knows what she’s doing. She’s hoping to get some movement from both sides on this issue and she must think there’s some chance of that happening.”

When the few weeks ended with no movement from either side, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players’ request to lift the lockout. As a result of the April 25 ruling, owners are required to pay the players’ salary and medical benefits and allow them to enter their team’s facilities. However, Attorney Ron Greenblatt doesn’t think owners will conduct any trades or sign any free agents. “I think you’re going to see owners doing the bare minimum they have to under the law,” he said. As Ron predicted on 610 WIP, the owners immediately filed an appeal following the judge’s ruling. In seeking relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, the NFL questioned whether Judge Susan Richard Nelson exceeded her jurisdiction in making the ruling.

Attorney Ron Greenblatt, an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, thinks it will be a battle in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. “If the players win, it really puts the owners in a bad position,” he said. “Remember, they’ve lost the TV revenue in front of U.S. District Judge David Doty and that hurt them because they we’re hoping to get all that money while this was going on and now they’re not. They appealed it, but they’re not getting the money now. In reading what Judge Doty had to say, I think that’s going to be a tough one to overturn on appeal.”

During his radio appearance, Attorney Greenblatt also brought to light the stress the lockout is putting on players, particularly the younger guys who are not making as much money as veteran players. “A lot of these players, even if they don’t have children, come from poor situations and their whole family is relying on their income. You can imagine the stress that younger players who have only been in the league one, two and three years are feeling from having to pay their own medical insurance, having to work out on their own, all those things that previously were paid for. It’s a tremendous amount of stress on them and their families,” he pointed out. For a full transcript of the interview you may view it online or listen to the actual interview as delivered via WGP media interview piece on YouTube.

Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney Ronald Greenblatt, please access his bio.

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