Tom Brady’s legal team responds to NFL’s latest charge as court battle wages on

Jeffrey Kessler (left), lawyer for Tom Brady, sent a letter to New York federal judge Richard Berman Tuesday.
Jeffrey Kessler (left), lawyer for Tom Brady, sent a letter to New York federal judge Richard Berman Tuesday. –REUTERS

The sun comes up, the sun goes down, and the Deflategate court battle wages on.

One day after NFL attorney Daniel Nash filed a letter with New York federal judge Richard Berman stating that previous arbitration cases that have been overturned do not apply to the Tom Brady-Roger Goodell dispute, Jeffrey Kessler — the lead attorney representing Brady — fired back with a letter of his own.

“[The] NFL’s submission ignores how the denial of fundamental fairness in the arbitration at issue here so closely resembles the denials of fair process in the decisions we presented to the Court. Indeed, as the Court observed, the failure to provide testimony from Mr. Pash concerning his edits to the Wells Report, the summary denial of Mr. Brady’s delegation argument without hearing any evidence, and the denial of the Paul, Weiss investigative files all caused substantial prejudice to the NFLPA’s and Mr. Brady’s undisputed right to a fundamentally fair hearing’’ Kessler writes.

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On Monday, NFL lawyers dismissed 19 case decisions Kessler’s team gave to Berman to review in a three page letter to the judge.

“These cases confirm that courts vacate arbitration awards only in extraordinary circumstances, none of which are present here,’’ NFL lawyer Daniel Nash wrote yesterday arguing that Goodell’s decision to suspend Brady for four games should not be overturned.

Kessler continues to argue that Goodell was biased in serving as arbitrator.

“The Union may have agreed to Mr. Goodell serving as arbitrator under Article 46, but it did not agree he could abdicate his responsibility as an arbitrator under the LMRA and FAA and conduct fundamentally unfair proceedings in which he cast aside undisputed CBA requirements, adjudicated his own conduct, and issued an unprincipled arbitration award based on his unilateral notions of industrial policy,’’ Kessler writes. “This is exactly the type of ‘extreme’ case that even the NFL now concedes the Court has the power to vacate.’’

Both sides are scheduled to meet with Berman in a final settlement conference on Monday. Berman is expected to rule on the case by September 4.

Collection of other Goodell punishments

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