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NFL launches Brady appeal process

Tom Brady


Two weeks after Judge Richard M. Berman overturned the Tom Brady suspension, the NFL has commenced the process of getting Judge Berman’s ruling overturned.

Via multiple reports, the NFL has made its initial filing of materials in support of the appeal, which technically began the same day Judge Berman issued his decision. But the “notice of appeal” is a one-page kick-start that sheds no light on the case; Thursday’s paperwork provides some insight regarding the league’s planned attack on the ruling.

As attorney Daniel Wallach explained to USA Today, the submission includes a statement by the NFL of the specific issues presented in the appeal. And, as Wallach notes both in the article and at his Twitter feed, the NFL has crafted the issues in a way that attempts to ensure the use of what’s known as “de novo” review for the entire appeal -- which means that the judges in the appeals court would decide the case from scratch, without deferring to any of the factual findings made by Judge Berman.

Ultimately, the outcome of the appeal could hinge on the luck of the draw. With 22 judges assigned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, three will be randomly assigned to the case; if only two agree with the NFL’s position, the NFL will win.

Which could then result in further proceedings and appeals and, potentially, a final ruling after Tom Brady has retired.