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The lawyers get the boot, again

NFL And Players Resume Mediation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith jokes with media as he arrives for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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When reports emerged on Tuesday that the lawyers had re-entered the negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA*, some saw it as good news. Though we recognize that, at some point, lawyer involvement will be necessary to turn the terms of a business deal into the wherefores, heretofores, and hereinafters of a formal settlement agreement, we instantly feared that bringing the lawyers back into the bargaining process would be the equivalent of parking a pack of pit bulls in a meat locker and whispering, “Stay.”

Our instincts, for a change, were right. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the lawyers nearly “blew up the process” on Tuesday. Ultimately, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith was compelled to instruct Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn to “stand down.”

And so the lawyers are once again out. What will happen when they inevitably return remains to be seen.

At some point, it makes sense to wonder whether the client will hire new lawyers. Or whether the lawyers will find new clients.

With so much riding on getting this deal done, it may not be a bad thing.