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NBA Lockout: Sides Refuse To Initiate Conversation As Players Consolidate Lawsuits

Players have consolidated their two NBA lockout lawsuits in the Eighth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the trade association's lawyer David Boies announced on Monday. The move involved withdrawing the players' Ninth Circuit anti-trust and filing an amended lawsuit in the Eighth. The Ninth Circuit (California) had been seen as potentially more useful for players, but Boies cited a slimmer docket in Minnesota, where the Eighth Circuit suit will be heard, as a rationale.

The league has until December 5 to respond to the players' claims. It is pretty clear in what form that response will take; in August, the league sued players and the players' association in an attempt to prevent dissolution of the union, arguing that it was a "sham." There has been little movement on that case, which is being heard in the Second Circuit.

Just after Boies' announcement, the NBA released a short statement from general counsel Rick Buchanan alleging that the players had been illegitimately shopping for a favorable district court judge. After the statement was released, Boies told reporters that the terse response was an indication of why he won't be picking up the phone and calling the owners to negotiate.