The NFL has been notified that there will be a preliminary injunction hearing on April 6 in a case brought by Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Osi Umenyiora and six other players seeking to block the NFL's lockout.
Interestingly, the case will be heard by Judge Susan Nelson in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was widely expected that Judge David S. Doty, who has ruled on many cases involving the NFL and the NFL Players Association, would hear the case. It is still possible that Doty will hear the case, but not before the plaintiffs in the antitrust suit against the NFL make a formal request.
The league was notified that they are permitted to submit a responsive brief on or before March 21, and the plaintiffs will be permitted a reply brief on or before March 28.
By holding the hearing next month, it means the NFL will remain shut down until then. If an injunction is granted, the NFL will be forced to lift the lockout. However, the league would request a stay in the injunction. If a stay is granted, the lockout would continue, possibly until the NFL's appeal of an injunction is heard in the Eighth District Court of Appeals in Chicago. An appeal could take several months to be heard.