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Thursday, November 09, 2017
The overwhelming effect of stays pending appeal

The Second Circuit denied a stay pending appeal of the denial of an injunction barring suspension of NFL running back Ezekiel Elliott. The court referred to it as an "injunction pending appeal," which is wrong and the improper terminology makes the media reporting on this more confusing than usual.

Tracing the history of this case is a Fed Courts or Remedies problem all its own: 1) Elliott was suspended for six games and an arbitrator upheld the suspension; 2) a judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the suspension (allowing Elliott to play); 3) the Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction, grounds that were arguably incorrect, although the result was probably right (barring Elliott from playing); 4) the union and player filed suit in the Southern District of New York; 5) a district judge granted a TRO (allowing Elliott to play); 6) the same judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction (barring Elliott from playing); 7) the Second Circuit granted a temporary stay of the denial of the preliminary injunction (allowing Elliott to play) pending fuller consideration of the motion to stay; 8) the Second Circuit today denied a full stay pending appeal, allowing the judgment denying the preliminary injunction to go into effect, meaning the suspension goes into effect and Elliott will not be able to play on Sunday (unless SCOTUS gets involved).

Even more than in the marriage-equality litigation, the stay question dictates the result in these cases. Although the Second Circuit granted expedited appeal, it is not clear that the case will be resolved before Elliott has missed six games. The question is the weight the likelihood-of-success prong bears in these cases--it is hard to overturn an arbitrator's decision, so Elliott was not likely to succeed in having the denial of the injunction reversed. And that may have convinced the court of appeals there was no irreparable harm in having the suspension take effect.

The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law

As many professors who teach sports law are in the process of deciding which textbook to use in the spring of 2018, the Sports Law Blog wanted to provide you with yet outstanding choice. Oxford University Press will be publishing The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law edited by our own Michael McCann this December.

The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law takes the reader through the most important controversies and critical developments in law and sports. Over the course of 30 chapters, leading scholars, recruited by Professor McCann to contribute to this textbook, explore this expanding and captivating area of law. The Handbook is the first book to gather dozens of perspectives on sports law controversies in the United States, and will be of interest to those who study and practice sports law, as well as journalists, broadcasters, and legally minded sports fans.

Professor McCann provides the structure, introduction, and several chapters to this outstanding textbook. Not surprisingly, in addition to others, Professor McCann recruited many of the contributors to the Sports Law Blog to share their expertise by providing chapters for this textbook including: Ed Edmonds, Gabe Feldman, Jimmy Golen, Nathaniel Grow, Alan Milstein, Geoffrey Rapp, Daniel Wallach, and Warren K. Zola.

You can review the book at the Oxford University Press website here, and check out the table of contents here. We, the Sports Law Blog, hope you strongly consider adopting this textbook for your upcoming sports law courses.