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Tom Brady Taps Ted Olson in Deflategate Saga

April 29, 2016, 9:46 PM

After suffering a blow this week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated his four-game suspension, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vowed to double down and pool resources to explore all available legal options.

On Friday, Brady and the NFL Players Association came out with news of its latest addition to the Brady party’s legal team: Theodore Olson, who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore in 2000, and then served as U.S. Solicitor General from 2001 to 2004.

The Boston Globe has the rundown :

Olson, 75, also represented the NFLPA in the 2011 lockout, and currently works for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., which has another attorney on Brady’s legal team.

A case that at its core is about deflated footballs now includes two of the biggest attorneys in the country. The NFL is represented by Olson’s successor as Solicitor General, Paul Clement (2005-08).

But even with Olson, what kind of legal avenues would Brady have at this point?

Earlier this week, an appeals court in New York reversed a federal judge’s ruling that had overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to penalize Brady over his alleged involvement in a scheme to deflate footballs used in a 2015 playoff game.

Bloomberg reported at the time that the appeals court decision focused on the authority granted to Goodell in the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the NFL.

“The Supreme Court has recently and strongly held that arbitration is a matter of contract, and judges cannot upend those agreements by substituting their own notions as to how to proceed,” said Anthony Sabino, who teaches law at St. John’s University in New York.

Olson did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The Globe said that Brady has a few legal avenues, including filing for an en banc hearing or panel rehearing.

Brady would need seven of 13 active judges to agree to even hear an en banc appeal. The Second Circuit is notorious for respecting the panel process and not granting en banc hearings, saving them for rare and exceptional circumstances.

Olson took this into account, highlighting in his petition that the Brady case “will have serious consequences for each of the NFLPA’s over 1,600 members and the sport of professional football.” The petition also states that this case could have far-ranging implications for all unionized workers.

Olson also assured the Second Circuit that the time extension is not a ploy to delay the process to allow Brady to play in 2016 while the matter is tied up in court.

“While good cause exists to grant the requested extension, counsel avers that the extension request is not made for purposes of unnecessary delay,” Olson wrote, “and Appellants will not be prejudiced if the extension is granted. The NFL regular season does not begin until September 2016.”