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NBA Lockout: Eventual Decision On Legal Venue Could Tilt Scales Of Leverage

Once the three active NBA lockout lawsuits are consolidated, in which of three U.S. circuit courts the case ends up in could have a significant impact on whether the league or players receives favorable decisions, according to Marc Edelman of Sports Law Blog.

The NBA filed its preemptive strike seeking to block the players' union's disclaimer of interest in the Second Circuit back in August. The players filed two separate suits earlier this week, one in the Eighth Circuit and one in the Ninth Circuit. According to Edelman, the Eighth and Ninth Circuit courts have consistently held to a strict definition when determining whether a company should be considered to be exempt from anti-trust law. The Second Circuit, on the other hand, has been looser in handing out the designation.

On the matter of determining whether overseas options dilute the NBA's market power -- a result in the affirmative of which would hurt the players' case -- Edelman reports that the Ninth Circuit would seem to favor the league, based on a previous soccer case.

It could be months before a venue is chosen for the consolidated lawsuit.