I don't know that I really buy this. First - in both cases, the parties had been negotiating for over a year. Like I said earlier, I'm not a labor lawyer, but that also wasn't my recollection of the case. They got shot down there because the court decided that an injunction stopping the lockout was improper with a non-violent labor dispute.
I'm not sure what significance, if any, the late decertification will have.
Assuming the decertification goes forward, I assume it will unfold roughly the same way the NFL case did -- after they decertify, the players will initiate one or more lawsuits against the NBA and the clubs, and they will seek an immediate injunction stopping the lockout. The owners will counter with an unfair labor practice grievance, arguing that the decertification is a sham, and they will argue that the court does not have authority to issue an injunction while that grievance is pending before the National Labor Relations Board. The players presumably will not sue in a court that is bound by last summer's ruling in the NFL case, so the judge would not be bound by that ruling (though I think the court is more likely to follow that decision than not).
A few wrinkles:
1. The owners have promised to seek to nullify existing player contracts if the players decertify -- whether the owners have the right to do so is unclear.
2. The NLRB never ruled on the NFL owners' grievance, but if the NBA lockout drags out long enough to cancel the 2011-12 season, an NLRB ruling is likely. If that ruling goes in the players' favor, the owners would have an uphill battle to defend the antitrust suit on the merits.
3. The Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes
would probably bar the players from bringing a class-action lawsuit, which might result in several different groups of players each maintaining their own suits. The cases should consolidate eventually, but by filing multiple suits, the players might get to make the injunction argument before a few different judges.
Edited by maufman, 15 November 2011 - 02:28 PM.