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Players, NFL present arguments in court

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  April 6, 2011 12:34 PM

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Representatives of NFL players and owners are in court this morning after the players asked a judge to issue a preliminary injunction on the recently imposed lockout. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson is presiding over the proceedings.

The hearing just took its first break, and we can update you on a few developments here. Mike Vrabel is present, while Patriots players -- and plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the league -- Tom Brady and Logan Mankins are not.

Jim Quinn spoke on behalf of the players and spoke for 33 minutes, answering 13 questions from Nelson. NFL counsel David Boies was up for 58 minutes and really controlled the room. It seems Nelson will first have to rule on the court's jurisdiction in the case. After that, the players are asking for the lockout to be lifted because it's causing "irreparable harm" to their careers. On the one mention of irreparable harm this morning, Nelson said it "appears players have a strong case."

The NFL's argument is that the Nelson cannot rule to lift the lockout before the NLRB sorts through the league's claim that the players did not negotiate on a new collective bargaining agreement in good faith.

Not the most interesting stuff, but today's proceedings offer insight into the direction the lockout will take.

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

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