Patriots

Kraft defense includes high-profile attorney with local ties who has represented Jay-Z, Edelman

Kraft defense includes high-profile attorney with local ties who has represented Jay-Z, Edelman

Robert Kraft has some of the country's most in-demand attorneys on his side as he faces charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida.

In a Palm Beach County court filing last week, attorney Alex Spiro was identified as having been retained as counsel for Kraft. The New York-based attorney has established himself as a go-to option for big-name clients, including Jay-Z, Mick Jagger, DeMarcus Cousins, Charles Oakley, Thabo Sefolosha, Julian Edelman and Aaron Hernandez.

In the Feb. 26 court filing where Kraft pleaded not guilty to all charges and requested a non-jury trial, Spiro and William Burck, partners at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, were named as having been retained by Kraft. Burck is co-managing partner of Quinn Emmanuel's Washington, D.C. office and was a lawyer in the George W. Bush White House. High-powered Florida defense attorney Jack Goldberger has also been hired by Kraft.

Spiro, 36, has plenty of New England ties as well as Patriots-specific ties.

He's a graduate of Wellesley High School (2001), Tufts University (2005) and Harvard Law School (2008). A psychology major at Tufts, he worked at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., for five years, according to his resume on Quinn Emanuel's website. He's also recognized as a lecturer at Harvard Law.

Hired by Edelman when Edelman appealed of his four-game suspension last year, Spiro was also a member of Hernandez's defense team in Hernandez's double-homicide trial.

Spiro focuses largely on "white collar" crime, according to Quinn Emanuel, but he represents a variety of clients. One case that effectively raised Spiro's profile was when he helped Sefolosha -- now of the Jazz, then of the Hawks -- to be found not guilty of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest stemming from an incident in 2015. Sefolosha eventually received $4 million from New York City in a settlement. 

Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, which opened a Boston office a little over a year ago, Spiro worked as a trial attorney with Benjamin Brafman. Before that, as a Manhattan prosecutor, Spiro helped indict and convict Rodney Alcala, the "Dating Game" killer.

The New York Times pointed out earlier this week that Kraft's attorneys "could mount an aggressive defense by poking holes in video evidence that may prove that Mr. Kraft did not ask anyone for sex and by arguing that the police violated Mr. Kraft's Fourth Amendment rights during an improper traffic stop, among other arguments."

Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann has written that while the maximum sentence facing Kraft includes up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service, the Patriots owner is unlikely to spend any time in jail. "Kraft's legal issues," McCann writes, "might prove resolvable through Florida's pretrial misdemeanor diversion program," which offers first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to pay a fine and perform community service in order to have charges dismissed.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

The New England Patriots' Thursday injury report raised some eyebrows as Tom Brady was downgraded to limited in practice. But per usual, the injury designation doesn't seem to be a cause for concern.

In fact, Brady couldn't help but laugh when asked about being listed with elbow and toe ailments. During his Thursday night appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, Brady assured Patriots fans he'll be good to go vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

“That might be the first time my toe’s been on the injury report,” Brady said. “So, you know us Patriots. We’re pretty diligent about listing everything. So, I guess you have to make mention of my toe now, as well.”

As for the elbow issue, Brady dealt with it during last week's game in Houston and is ready to do the same at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

“Isn’t there some HIPAA violation or something like that when I start talking about all of my injuries?” Brady joked. “I’m doing pretty good. I’m doing pretty good. At this time of the year, I’ll take it. I’ll take anything if I’m still able to go out there and feel like I can play my best. I’m feeling really good, really positive about this weekend.”

Kickoff for the much-anticipated Patriots-Chiefs matchup is set for 4:25 p.m., and it sounds like Brady's more than ready for the AFC Championship Game rematch.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

patriots_talk_podcast_cvs.png
NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

For 19 seasons, Tom Brady has been the unquestioned starter at quarterback for the New England Patriots. And for 19 years, he has started every game that he has been healthy for.

But ahead of the 2020 offseason, Brady's status with the organization remains as questionable as ever.

For the first time in his career, the 42-year-old Brady will be set to hit unrestricted free agency. He agreed to a restructured contract with the team this offseason, but it only gave him a pay raise this season and guaranteed that the team couldn't slap him with the franchise tag.

While Brady could return to the Patriots, it's possible that he could choose to go elsewhere if the team doesn't commit to him financially or surround him with better weaponry.

On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed the possibility of Brady leaving. And as Curran pointed out, that topic hasn't been broached with much seriousness despite the fact that free agency is closer than some may realize.

We're talking about a seismic occurrence in the arc of the dynasty that is basically 90 days away. They could come to some kind of conclusion and rectify it and he might finish his career here, but it doesn't smell that way.

It's important to note that nothing is set in stone, and the Brady-Patriots relationship has endured for two decades for a reason. Despite some strain in the relationship at times, things have always been smoothed over. 

That said, there are some quarterback-needy teams that could attempt to lure Brady away from New England in an attempt to put their team over the top. Curran and Perry identified a few different options on the podcast, one of which was the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hear more from Curran and Perry on the latest episode of "The Patriots Talk Podcast," which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.