Wednesday, August 12, 2015


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Artwork by Elizabeth Williams

Wednesday's settlement conference involving the NFL, NFL Players Association and Tom Brady has concluded in New York after roughly 7.5 hours.
The proceedings included one period open to the public, which was then followed by a session during which the sides remained behind doors while attempting to find common ground on a potential settlement on Brady's four-game suspension.
"We won't be making a formal statement other than to say that we had a productive day in court, and we'll get back to work on the issue. Thank you," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said after the conference.
The public portion of the day opened with pointed questions from New York Federal Court Judge Richard Berman to attorneys for both the NFL and NFLPA.
NFL Attorney Daniel Nash speaking in court with Tom Brady seated left, flanked by his attorneys
Tom Brady in court, during hearing in Judge Berman's courtroom.

Berman then questioned NFLPA attorney Jeffery Kessler as to why two low-level Patriots employees would act independently and deflate footballs without Brady's knowledge, saying, "He's the one who throws the ball."
Another line of questioning centered on why Brady didn't cooperate with the investigation, to which Kessler admitted Brady could have conducted himself differently with Ted Wells. Kessler said Brady did not cooperate at the time based on the advice of his agent Don Yee, not the NFLPA, which Feldman believes could open the door for a possible settlement if both sides are willing to find the common ground.
"I think the questions were clearly designed to create fear on both sides (they could lose the case)," Feldman said.
Feldman pointed out that Berman asked the NFL questions for roughly 45 minutes, while the judge only asked Brady's side questions for 25 minutes. Feldman said not to read much into that difference.
Prior to Wednesday's settlement conference, Berman also set a potential Aug. 19 date for both parties to meet again and either continue to conference or hear oral arguments.

                                                        Judge Richard Berman presiding

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