In a decision today, the Second Circuit, by a 2-1 vote, reversed Judge Berman’s ruling in the DeflateGate case, effectively reinstating Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.

Tom Brady and the NFL Player’s Association focused their appeal on the fact that, based on the NFL’s written policies, Brady had no prior notice that a first-time violation could result in anything more than a fine, but the Second found that the NFL’s reading of those policies was justifiable, and met the minimal standards for confirming an arbitration award:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Sides With NFL in DeflateGate Appeal

The NFL filed its reply brief in the DeflateGate appeal yesterday.  As we previously reported, Tom Brady’s opposition brief focused on the fact that the NFL’s written policies for players state that first-time equipment violations will result in fines, which, he argued, would give no notice that a suspension was possible.  The NFL’s reply brief counters that Tom Brady has already conceded the policy is inapplicable: 
Continue Reading NFL DeflateGate Reply: Policy of “Fines” for Equipment Violations Is Not Applicable to Footballs and Doesn’t Foreclose Suspensions

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL Player’s Association filed their appeal brief yesterday with the Second Circuit, responding to the initial brief filed by the NFL.  The brief from Brady and the Player’s Association argues that there was a bargained-for policy for first-time equipment violations to result only in fines, and that Judge Berman correctly ruled that imposing a four-game suspension on Tom Brady violated that policy and failed to give Brady prior notice of the possibility of a suspension:
Continue Reading Tom Brady’s Deflategate Appeal Brief Focuses on Bargained-For Policy that First-Time Equipment Violations Would Result Only in Fines

The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at www.sdnyblog.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern District while we were away:

  • Judge Berman vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.  Judge Berman concluded that “Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation.”

Continue Reading SDNY Blog Returns as Steptoe Blog

In an opinion today, Judge Hellerstein confirmed a nearly $400 million arbitration award in favor of “COMMISA,” an affiliate the Houston-based contracting firm KBR, against “PEP,” a subsidiary of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, notwithstanding that a court in Mexico, where the arbitration was held, ruled the dispute was not arbitrable and nullified the award:
Continue Reading Judge Hellerstein: Mexican Court Violated “Basic Fairness” in Attempting to Nullify $400 Million Arbitration Award Against State Oil Company