BOSTON (CBS) — As has been well-documented and widely repeated, the chances for Tom Brady and his team of lawyers to find success in their appeal for rehearing at the Second Circuit remain absurdly low. As in, 0.3 percent low.
While those chances aren’t quite one-in-a-million, such stacked odds can often feel to be that way.
Yet Ted Olson remains undeterred, and in an interview with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the high-powered attorney pointed to a very rare occurrence which has already happened as a positive sign for Team Brady.
“The Chief Judge wrote a very convincing dissent. He’s a highly respected individual,” Olson told Florio. “He’s been a member of that Court for many, many, many years. He very rarely dissents from an opinion by his colleagues. Over the years, just a few times out of thousands of cases in which he’s participated. So here’s an individual who is highly respected, who’s the Chief Judge of the court, who wrote a very cogent, persuasive, dissenting opinion pointing out important principles that he felt — and we feel — the majority got wrong. So we do think that that gives us an extra impetus in seeking rehearing.”
Katzmann has indeed been with the Second Circuit for some time, as he was appointed to the court in 1999, working 14 years before elevating to chief judge status in 2013. And indeed, Katzmann’s dissent to April’s ruling against Brady stood in stark contrast to the philosophy of his peers on the matter at hand. Katzmann went so far as to say he was personally “troubled” by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s behavior.
In the 15-page written request for a rehearing, Olson was naturally complimentary toward the chief judge, writing that “Chief Judge Katzmann had it exactly right” and “Chief Judge Katzmann correctly explained” while quoting Katzmann’s dissent as much as possible. Clearly, the existence and thoroughness of that dissent from Katzmann, as well as Katzmann’s standing as chief judge, figure to have inspired some confidence in Olson and the rest of the Brady camp.
And aside from seemingly having an ally in the chief judge, Olson expressed confidence that the Second Circuit judges would believe his case that this decision affects all employees subject to a CBA — not just football players.
“I think that the court will realize this is broader than just the DeflateGate or the Brady case,” Olson told Florio.
Add everything up, and it still may not be much, but it’s undeniably something — something that makes Brady’s camp feel as though the odds of being granted a rehearing are at least higher than 0.3 percent.