BOSTON (CBS) — DeflateGate will be back in the headlines, and more importantly, back in the courtroom next week when the NFL’s appeal of Judge Richard Berman’s decision to throw out Tom Brady’s four-game suspension is heard in New York.
We learned on Thursday that Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, Judge Barrington D. Parker and Judge Denny Chin will serve as the panel of judges presiding over the league’s appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and while there’s no way to predict how they’ll rule, many legal experts believe liberal judges would rule in Brady’s favor while conservative judges would side with the NFL.
Sports attorney Daniel Wallach joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Friday to discuss the upcoming hearing, and said the trio of judges named on Thursday bodes well for Brady.
“It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s certainly helpful to have three judges initially appointed by Democratic presidents. While much is made of the fact Judge Barrington Parker was appointed to the Second Circuit by George W. Bush, he was named to Federal District Court bench by Bill Clinton in 1994 – so you can make the case that all three have been appointed by democratic presidents,” explained Wallach.
Judge Berman was an “excellent” judge for the Brady camp in his appeal of the NFL’s suspension, and Wallach points out that Brady also had a liberal judge side with him and the NFLPA in 2011 when he was named in a lawsuit to end a lockout before the conservative eighth circuit overturned that decision.
“It does matter. It doesn’t guarantee any results, but it pushes things a little bit in Brady’s favor, coupled with the fact lower court judges are reversed at a fairly low rate — somewhere between 7.5 and 12 percent — so the optics are definitely good for Brady.”
Each side will have 15 minutes for their oral arguments next week, which will be followed by questions from the judges. The three will then take all the information and write their opinion, which could take up to five months to be released. Both the NFL and Brady’s camp would like the matter to be decided before training camp begins, but Wallach cautions that DeflateGate is far from over.
“Whoever loses is going to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in, so I think we’ll be talking about DeflateGate into next year,” said Wallach.
Wallach thinks Brady will attend even though he’s not required (or at the moment, listed among those attending), which will show the court how serious he is taking the matter. Roger Goodell is not expected to attend next week’s appeal.
Wallach will be in court for the appeal, so he’s definitely worth a follow on Twitter as we get ready for the next chapter of DeflateGate. Listen to the full interview, as Wallach describes what is at stake for both sides: