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Judge orders parties to mediation -- on NFLPA terms

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  April 11, 2011 03:17 PM

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U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson today issued a court order forcing the NFL and the NFL Players Association into mediation to begin settlement talks on Thursday.

Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan was appointed by Nelson to mediate the talks in his Minneapolis chambers.

Boylan will meet with each side separately tomorrow (Brady, Eller) and Wednesday (NFL) before mediation begins at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.

The strict gag order will remain in effect.

This is a bit of a blow to the NFL, which sought collective bargaining negotiations in the office of federal mediator George Cohen. Instead, the two sides got what the NFLPA wanted -- settlement talks in front of a federal judge.

Either way, not much is expected to come from the talks. Nelson said she wouldn't delay her ruling for the mediation. It's highly unlikely the NFLPA will give the NFL back much in the way of revenue since the NFLPA feels confident Nelson will rule in its favor.

Either way, this is headed for Nelson's ruling and then an appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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