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Some Major Players Won’t Be At NFL Hearing

Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith

Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith (Photo By Chip Somodevilla)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (CBS) – Some major participants on both sides won’t be present Wednesday for the first hearing between NFL players and owners since a lockout began.

NFL.com reports NFL general counsel Jeff Pash will not attend the hearing in St. Paul, Minn., and nor will Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, both of whom are named plaintiffs in the lawsuit to end the lockout, NFL.com reported. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said previously he would not be there, NFL.com reported.

Among those who will be in attendance are NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, general counsel Richard Berthelsen, and outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler representing the players, and attorneys David Boies, Bob Batterman and Gregg Levy for the NFL, according to NFL.com.

Some plaintiffs in the lawsuit will attend, including Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, NFL.com reported.

At the hearing, attorneys will argue before U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson that the lockout should be lifted immediately because it is causing them “irreparable harm.”

The league contends the request shouldn’t be heard until the National Labor Relations Board weighs in on its claim that the players’ union negotiated in bad faith.

It will be the first time the two sides meet in court since the lockout was imposed more than three weeks ago. There have been no fresh talks to settle the labor impasse.

The players and retirees have also filed antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. Up first for Nelson is a decision on whether to lift the lockout – something the players contend will help save the 2011 season.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)