The antitrust case filed by the NFL Players Association against the NFL is expected to get its third judge by the time arguments are heard Monday, a source told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday.
Federal Judge Patrick Schiltz of the U.S. District Court in Minnesota is expected to recuse himself Monday after he was drawn to hear the Tom Brady(notes) v. NFL case over the weekend. Schiltz is expected to file for disqualification from the case because he once worked for the firm Faegre & Benson. The firm represents the NFL in Minnesota, including the previous Reggie White antitrust case in the district court. That represents a possible conflict of interest for Schiltz.
Similarly, Schiltz was assigned the case after it initially was given to Judge Richard Kyle. Kyle disqualified himself because he formerly worked for the law firm Briggs & Morgan when he was in private practice as an attorney. Kyle was the lead counsel in Minnesota for the NFLPA in the White case.
The case will now be put back in the pool of judges in the Minnesota District Court to be assigned randomly. There is still belief by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association that the case could end up back in the court of Judge David Doty, who presided over the White case. Because of the settlement in the case, Doty has been involved with the league since 1990.
There was some belief that Schiltz would be more favorable for the NFL in the upcoming case because of his ties to conservative thinking. Schiltz was appointed by former President George W. Bush and was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
- NFL Players Association