#DFG: Canceling the Noise

Is there any level of suspension that you would advise Tom to accept?


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drbretto

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Let me let you in on a secret. The Judges know there's doubt.
[
One of them clearly didn't, as he surprised everyone by saying that the evidence was compelling if not overwhelming (or whatever the words,I'm sure you've read the same thing). He took the evidence at face value, and that colored his opinion.

Throw in just a small sample of a reason to doubt that evidence, something quick yet compelling, like the selective memory on the gauges, including the obviously intentionally misleading pictures with the ruler and all that, something just enough to grab their attention and give them reason to doubt the whole thing from the beginning.

The way you're talking, it's like you think they know it's bullshit and don't care. I don't buy that for a second. I think 2 out of the 3 judges saw the evidence, accepted it, and thought Brady was just some rich white celebrity trying to lawyer his way out of a mess. But, if you crack the base of that pillar, the whole thing comes tumbling down.
 
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DourDoerr

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I've exchanged a couple of emails on all this with Al Saracevic who's the sports editor for the SF Chronicle. Sent him the latest links to Olson's petition and the 20+ scientists' brief. Gave him some gentle grief on how the hometown paper has not said a peep on the matter on behalf of Brady - a hometown star. It should be a good angle for readers who are in unions as well as a warning to fans that their favorite team could be next. Finally, there are clear reasons for outsiders to care just a bit. To his credit, he wrote that he'd take a look.

I've done this before on other issues and newspeople have always been pretty receptive if you're fairly articulate and courteous. If someone else lives outside of New England and sees an angle for the local paper, it can't hurt to point it out to an editor or reporter - they're always looking for stories and this whole thing seems to be gaining some traction - especially now with Kraft putting himself in the crosshairs.

At the least, you might shed some frustration.
 

DourDoerr

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Quick aside - 776 pages. Jeezy creezy. Off the top of his/her head, does anyone know if this the longest thread ever on SoSH? I don't remember seeing one this long, but this site's been going a long while and there's tons of threads.
 

Shelterdog

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One of them clearly didn't, as he surprised everyone by saying that the evidence was compelling if not overwhelming (or whatever the words,I'm sure you've read the same thing). He took the evidence at face value, and that colored his opinion.

Throw in just a small sample of a reason to doubt that evidence, something quick yet compelling, like the selective memory on the gauges, including the obviously intentionally misleading pictures with the ruler and all that, something just enough to grab their attention and give them reason to doubt the whole thing from the beginning.

The way you're talking, it's like you think they know it's bullshit and don't care. I don't buy that for a second. I think 2 out of the 3 judges saw the evidence, accepted it, and thought Brady was just some rich white celebrity trying to lawyer his way out of a mess. But, if you crack the base of that pillar, the whole thing comes tumbling down.
You're forgetting aboutt Brady destroying his cell phone--the judges found that to be extremely persuasive evidence. The deflating emails are pretty bad too. As much as we all think that this is bullshit the facts are murkier then we like to admit--and certainly murky enough that you won't get a ton of traction arguing actual innocence at the appellate stage.

Judges are quite comfortable with upholding an arbitration award where they wrong party may have won.
 

drbretto

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You're forgetting aboutt Brady destroying his cell phone--the judges found that to be extremely persuasive evidence. The deflating emails are pretty bad too. As much as we all think that this is bullshit the facts are murkier then we like to admit--and certainly murky enough that you won't get a ton of traction arguing actual innocence at the appellate stage.
I'm not forgetting about anything. I'm saying it was a mistake to not offer this along with the rest. Considering the comments from the judges that voted against it. They should have at least brought up the suspicions of how the whole process was a witch hunt to begin with. Which they have now done in an attempt to get a second chance. I think it was a mistake to have omitted it in the first place.
 

Saints Rest

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Quick aside - 776 pages. Jeezy creezy. Off the top of his/her head, does anyone know if this the longest thread ever on SoSH? I don't remember seeing one this long, but this site's been going a long while and there's tons of threads.
Possibilities:
  • The ARod trade speculation in 2003
  • the original Crater Chris
  • Hello?
  • AANYSA
  • the Boston Marathon bombing thread
 

Van Everyman

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You're forgetting aboutt Brady destroying his cell phone--the judges found that to be extremely persuasive evidence. The deflating emails are pretty bad too. As much as we all think that this is bullshit the facts are murkier then we like to admit--and certainly murky enough that you won't get a ton of traction arguing actual innocence at the appellate stage.

Judges are quite comfortable with upholding an arbitration award where they wrong party may have won.
If this process has taught me anything it's that our vaunted judicial system and legal profession is just as full of shit as everyone else. Consider:

Ted Wells: a man of supreme integrity and unimpeachable legal acumen ... reduced to relying on phony science and abusing his purported independence to trick the accused.

Paul Clement: brilliant attorney and respected solicitor general ... knowingly passing off lies before a federal judge.

Jim Kessler: Slayer of dragons ... apparently doesn't understand how to advocate for his client's innocence during the appeals process or step aside so someone else can.

Denny Chin: respected judge with a supposedly liberal bias ... accepts arguments roundly discredited months earlier on their face.

Ted Olson: Give it time ... he'll do something stupid before all is said and done.

I'm not sure why everyone is crapping over Don Yee. It's not as if a single legal mind during this fucking charade has done anything but set their reputation on fire. Yee may not have given his client great legal advice but at least the intent of his counsel (specifically, to protect his client's privacy) was borne out by subsequent events. Can we say the same for a single lawyer or judge?

Edit: I forgot Dick "Hampton" Berman. Nice job there too, asshole.
 

vintage'67

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drbretto, one of the things good advocates do is assess the best arguments for their case. When a case is on appeal, there are certain things that can be argued and certain things that cannot. Knowing these things is a huge part of an appellate lawyer's expertise. It's a big part of a of an appellate judge's job. Sometimes, whether something can be argued on appeal is not clear, and the parties first argue whether the issue is an appropriate one for the appeal. If there is an issue that a lawyer knows cannot be part of the appeal, raising that issue can undercut the credibility of all of the lawyer's arguments. It also can distract from the allowable arguments. Judges, especially appellate judges, are used to parties focusing on the process only and do not assume these arguments are put forth put forth to get off on a technicality even though the client really is "guilty."
There is a lot of excellent analysis of the briefs in the legal issues thread starting at page 34: http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/sons-sam-and-horn-l-l-p-brady-case-legal-issues-only.10455/page-34

Here is an excerpt from the NFLPA brief:
Before the AFC Championship Game, the Indianapolis Colts sent an e-mail to the NFL accusing the Patriots of deflating footballs. But the NFL had no protocols to test for ball pressure tampering.
After the Colts again complained during the game, the referees—at the direction of Vincent—measured the pressure of both teams’ footballs at halftime. The Patriots balls were below the 12.5 PSI minimum. Vincent later testified that, at the time, no one involved understood that, under the Ideal Gas Law, environmental factors alone—e.g., the cold, rainy weather at the game —would predictably cause significant deflation, potentially explaining the measurements.
Accordingly, the NFL never recorded the data necessary to understand why the Patriots balls deflated below 12.5 PSI (e.g., timing, temperature, and wetness). To render opinions on whether the balls were tampered with, the League’s scientific consultants had to make myriad, uncertain assumptions about missing information. As the NFL’s investigators conceded, the failure to record the necessary data meant that “undue weight” could not be given to the “experimental results”—which were “dependent upon assumptions and information that is uncertain”—and “varying the applicable assumptions can have a material impact on the ultimate conclusions.”
Whatever the cause, not even the NFL suggests that the alleged deflation affected the game’s outcome. “Brady’s performance in the second half of the AFC Championship Game—after the Patriots game balls were re-inflated—improved.” The Patriots won by 38 points.
It's far from clear that the strategy you so angrily believe was not used was in fact not used or that your strategy would have changed the judge's mind on the "facts."
 

Leather

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That's all well and good drbetto, but you are approaching this as a Brady advocate. You are biased, too.
 

drbretto

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No offense, lawyers of SoSH. I respect you all, I do. I am not approaching this as an advocate for Tom Brady. I am approaching it as an advocate of the truth. I don't give a shit about Tom Brady, Roger Goodell or the law and its little quirks. This has been nothing but a cloud of bullshit from the get-go. And while I appreciate that they made this tactical decision based on some solid reasoning, nothing about this case has ever been reasonable. Given the comments from the judges, even if this is entirely based on hindsight, I don't see an argument where not mentioning what I just mentioned was the right tactical move.

And yes, I do believe that if you give the Judges a reason not to just take the evidence at face value, things would have gone differently. Apparently Ted Olsen agrees. But, even if that's what I believe, you are free to disagree all you want. Despite this whole situation doing nothing but shattering any remaining faith I have in the integrity of the legal system, in the end, I still believe it will be the truth that sets Brady free. You can call me what you want for that, but here's really not a damn thing any of you can say to change it. Again, as lawyers, I appreciate the insight on the technicalities here, but I don't think you can appreciate what this case means to someone like me.

Maybe Kessler shouldn't have thought of that. Maybe it was a defensible tactical move. According to what I've read, it was a surprising thing to everyone that the one judge even mentioned that part about the evidence being conclusive. I don't really care, though. This case is too public to let that stand. Judges are human, not decision bots. And even the best humans are influenced by perception. If they go into it already of the mind that he's guilty, then that will color the ultimate decision. A paragraph couldn't have hurt. It could only have help start the first crack.

vintage67, I really appreciate your post specifically. It did help me understand the reason for the decision in the first place. I still disagree that it was the right choice, but at least I have some understanding of why the choice was made.
 

Van Everyman

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Adding onto my post above, while I have sat largely quiet as SoSH lawyers have dominated these threads the last several months, it is worth noting that while there is undeniable legal talent (even brilliance) on this board, the thrust of virtually all these posts has been the same:

Brady and the Patriots should trust the legal process (and, hence, the lawyers).

And in my view, that mindset has probably been the fatal flaw in this whole process. From the very beginning this has not been a legal fight, but a knife fight in the public domain over who “cheats” and who has “integrity.” To the NFL’s credit, they realized this early on — and used raw power and ownership of the process to shape the outcome in their direction. Thus, the leaked information that wasn’t corrected, the “independent” investigation, the “appeal” with Goodell as arbitrator. At no point has there really been any incentive to “trust the legal process” — because either A) the process itself was a sham or B) it was irrevocably damaged by the process that had come before it (which collected “compelling evidence,” barf). In that sense, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that all the lawyers involved in this fiasco have been disgraced during its process — they have been square legal pegs trying to fit into the round hole of Public Relations from the beginning.

In many ways, the closest parallels to this case are OJ and Bush v. Gore (which our Ted—as opposed to their Ted—knows well). From the beginning, both of these cases were ostensibly about arriving at a legal outcome but in retrospect clearly were decided not only legal ground but rather public perception and the influence of predetermined biases. Perhaps all trials are determined that way in some fashion—certainly celebrity trials—but in the case of these two, there is little use in going back to suggest that Boies should have made argument X or if only Marcia Clark and Chris Darden had focused on Y. Both of these cases were decided by factors outside of the courtroom.

Again, the NFL recognized the nature of this fight from the beginning. Brady may have as well, but at a certain point—perhaps advised by Kraft—he chose to “trust the process." Which not only put him at a disadvantage from the outset, but also diminished his strongest asset: his celebrity. Again, I understand why people would think that a strength of Brady’s compared to, say, John Jastremski is that he can hire lawyers and has millions of dollars. But that was never going to make a difference here — what could have is that Brady is a known entity to millions of people and can drive media coverage.

So again, I go back to this conclusion: for all the millions Brady has spent on lawyers in this process, not a single dollar has helped improve his situation. Not one. He should have gone public about this early, period. Would he have won? Certainly no guarantee. But at the end of the day, I’d give him—and everything we know about him—a better chance of being the one who the public would end up seeing as having “integrity” in this process than Roger fucking Goodell.

Edit: Clarity
 
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ifmanis5

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Totally agree with the above. The NFL was on the offensive from the beginning and playing by the rules was not a good option since Roger had no intention of playing fairly.
 

lexrageorge

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I have trouble blaming a guy that believes he's innocent and so therefore decides the process can be trusted.

It's not like he could have done much else. Had he not cooperated with the investigation, he would have been suspended for the entire season. He also may have viewed a media offensive as a bigger distraction to the team.

And it was probably a lot more than just Kraft that told him to "trust the process". That list probably included his coach (maybe), his agent, the NFLPA, and Kessler.
 

Myt1

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Adding onto my post above, while I have sat largely quiet as SoSH lawyers have dominated these threads the last several months, it is worth noting that while there is undeniable legal talent (even brilliance) on this board, the thrust of virtually all these posts has been the same:

Brady and the Patriots should trust the legal process (and, hence, the lawyers).
That doesn't accurately describe reality.

And in my view, that mindset has probably been the fatal flaw in this whole process. From the very beginning this has not been a legal fight, but a knife fight in the public domain over who “cheats” and who has “integrity.” To the NFL’s credit, they realized this early on — and used raw power and ownership of the process to shape the outcome in their direction. Thus, the leaked information that wasn’t corrected, the “independent” investigation, the “appeal” with Goodell as arbitrator. At no point has there really been any incentive to “trust the legal process” — because either A) the process itself was a sham or B) it was irrevocably damaged by the process that had come before it (which collected “compelling evidence,” barf). In that sense, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that all the lawyers involved in this fiasco have been disgraced during its process — they have been square legal pegs trying to fit into the round hole of Public Relations from the beginning.

In many ways, the closest parallels to this case are OJ and Bush v. Gore (which our Ted—as opposed to their Ted—knows well). From the beginning, both of these cases were ostensibly about arriving at a legal outcome but in retrospect clearly were decided not only legal ground but rather public perception and the influence of predetermined biases. Perhaps all trials are determined that way in some fashion—certainly celebrity trials—but in the case of these two, there is little use in going back to suggest that Boies should have made argument X or if only Marcia Clark and Chris Darden had focused on Y. Both of these cases were decided by factors outside of the courtroom.

Again, the NFL recognized the nature of this fight from the beginning. Brady may have as well, but at a certain point—perhaps advised by Kraft—he chose to “trust the process." Which not only put him at a disadvantage from the outset, but also diminished his strongest asset: his celebrity. Again, I understand why people would think that a strength of Brady’s compared to, say, John Jastremski is that he can hire lawyers and has millions of dollars. But that was never going to make a difference here — what could have is that Brady is a known entity to millions of people and can drive media coverage.

So again, I go back to this conclusion: for all the millions Brady has spent on lawyers in this process, not a single dollar has helped improve his situation. Not one. He should have gone public about this early, period. Would he have won? Certainly no guarantee. But at the end of the day, I’d give him—and everything we know about him—a better chance of being the one who the public would end up seeing as having “integrity” in this process than Roger fucking Goodell.

Edit: Clarity
Who the fuck cares? No one was saying "trust the system." We were saying that, "Given that Brady has to play chess, these are the rules and the moves." That you think he should have done something differently to win a game of Yahtzee instead (with loaded dice against a public that already hated him for being too awesome and handsome) has little to do with it.

Literally no one here with anything remotely approaching a professional understanding of the situation Brady faced posted that the system would inevitably be his savior. I'd go look for the quotes, but I'm a little too worried about finding out that I'm actually posting on a cube-shaped planet where Superman is an asshole.
 
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Myt1

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Totally agree with the above. The NFL was on the offensive from the beginning and playing by the rules was not a good option since Roger had no intention of playing fairly.
What should he have done? Had Yee kidnap Roger and bring him to the Brady residence to protest the Jelly of the Month Club Christmas bonus? Whipped his dick out in court? Told the 2nd Circuit that if he were the man he was 20 years ago, he'd take a flamethrower to this place?
 
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ifmanis5

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What should he have done? Had Yee kidnap Roger and bring him to the Brady residence to protest the Jelly of the Month Club Christmas bonus? Whipped his dick out in court? Told the 2nd Circuit that if he were the man he was 20 years ago, he'd take a flamethrower to this place?
The speech Kraft gave at the Super Bowl? Give that on Monday. And then again on Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. They failed the PR battle early and often.
 

lexrageorge

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The speech Kraft gave at the Super Bowl? Give that on Monday. And then again on Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. They failed the PR battle early and often.
That's an absurd comment in a thread that has often bordered on the absurd.
 

ifmanis5

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Would winning the PR battle have avoided our WB being suspended for four games? No. So who gives a shit?
PR battle is important since that was all this was about. There was no there there, only Roger and the league's ego. Public pressure turned the Ray Rice case and the lack of it the Saints case. PR (and money) is everything to the NFL. The facts and the law here were only means to an end.
 

Ed Hillel

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You're forgetting aboutt Brady destroying his cell phone--the judges found that to be extremely persuasive evidence. The deflating emails are pretty bad too. As much as we all think that this is bullshit the facts are murkier then we like to admit--and certainly murky enough that you won't get a ton of traction arguing actual innocence at the appellate stage.
Man, this is depressing to me. The facts here are not "murky," they are as close to conclusive as you're going to get in court 99.9% of the time. The science should be overwhelmingly compelling to an objective observer willing to put the work in, since it essentially proves the footballs were not deflated. You're not going to get much stronger evidence than an absolute law of nature.

Note that I don't think his actual guilt or innocence is going to weigh on the en banc decision, I just continue to remain baffled at how so many smart people can seemingly make the same error in logic.
 
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Shelterdog

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That doesn't accurately describe reality.
Who the fuck cares? No one was saying "trust the system." We were saying that, "Given that Brady has to play chess, these are the rules and the moves." That you think he should have done something differently to win a game of Yahtzee instead (with loaded dice against a public that already hated him for being too awesome and handsome) has little to do with it.

Literally no one here with anything remotely approaching a professional understanding of the situation Brady faced posted that the system would inevitably be his savior. I'd go look for the quotes, but I'm a little too worried about finding out that I'm actually posting on a cube-shaped planet where Superman is an asshole.
I do recall a handful of lawyers (apparently ones unfamiliar with internal investigations done by law firms) suggesting that the Wells report was going to be objective because of Wells' reputation, etc.
 

Myt1

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The speech Kraft gave at the Super Bowl? Give that on Monday. And then again on Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. They failed the PR battle early and often.
God knows that it's PR 101 to have an old guy deliver a prepared speech with no new information day after day after day. Because that's pretty much exactly what the NFL did to outsmart that Pats.

You're basically saying that John Farrell should try to win tomorrow's cricket match by going for the two point conversion after landing a triple salchow. I understand that this is a frustrating situation, but using hindsight as an excuse to embrace ignorance isn't a good look.
 
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Bleedred

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I do recall a handful of lawyers (apparently ones unfamiliar with internal investigations done by law firms) suggesting that the Wells report was going to be objective because of Wells' reputation, etc.
Almost every single one of the lawyers here said Wells had an impeccable reputation and wouldn't work backwards to prove the thesis posited by the NFL. Those lawyers were wrong, at least about staring with the NFL's thesis, and working backwards. I cannot say what his reputation was before this case began..
 

Myt1

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I do recall a handful of lawyers (apparently ones unfamiliar with internal investigations done by law firms) suggesting that the Wells report was going to be objective because of Wells' reputation, etc.
That's not a "trust the process,' thing, though. That's a suggestion as to what Wells would do. Unless someone is suggesting that the way to have won (in either a court of law or public opinion) was to simply ignore the Wells investigation, it has nothing to do with what we're discussing.

And the Patriots and Brady didn't trust that part of the process, given their actions in not producing one of the terror twins for another interview and Brady destroying his phone, which is all part of the pretext against them and which was pointed out as a bad idea in as real time as we had.
 

Myt1

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Basically, you'd all like to retcon a world in which anyone with a professional clue spent a whole bunch of posts telling anyone who would listen that this was a crapshoot and in which a 2-2 federal judge split was where the dice landed into one in which the professionals claimed all along that the system would set Brady free.

You're all fucking high, and I say that with the greatest admiration and jealousy.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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PR battle is important since that was all this was about. There was no there there, only Roger and the league's ego. Public pressure turned the Ray Rice case and the lack of it the Saints case. PR (and money) is everything to the NFL. The facts and the law here were only means to an end.
You're conflating a PR battle with an actual power struggle between Goodell and the NFLPA. Both were involved here, but they are not the same thing.

Kraft standing up and bloviating everyday isn't winning a PR battle with anyone except Pats fans. It would have been a waste to time and if we saw any other owner do the same, we'd be just as critical as the rest of the league if Kraft had done it.

Rice and the Saints directly led to this. Roger got overturned by an arbiter (Tagliabue) in the Saints case, so he acted as his own in the Rice case (and Peterson). He got overturned by a court in those, but he had already doubled down here.

Kraft wasn't changing either of those.
 

WayBackVazquez

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I do recall a handful of lawyers (apparently ones unfamiliar with internal investigations done by law firms) suggesting that the Wells report was going to be objective because of Wells' reputation, etc.
Almost every single one of the lawyers here said Wells had an impeccable reputation and wouldn't work backwards to prove the thesis posited by the NFL. Those lawyers were wrong, at least about staring with the NFL's thesis, and working backwards. I cannot say what his reputation was before this case began..
Not that I have any idea why it matters, but that's not how I remember it at all.

Before the report, there were a couple of people who said Wells would take forever, and run up a huge bill. That was true, of course.

Immediately upon release of the report, a couple of lawyers and a couple of non-lawyers assumed Brady must be guilty because they believed Ted Wells would never prejudge this case. But there were others of us who immediately recognized it for the garbage it was, and said he absolutely would--and did--tailor his findings to what he believed his client wanted to hear.
 

Bleedred

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Not that I have any idea why it matters, but that's not how I remember it at all.

Before the report, there were a couple of people who said Wells would take forever, and run up a huge bill. That was true, of course.

Immediately upon release of the report, a couple of lawyers and a couple of non-lawyers assumed Brady must be guilty because they believed Ted Wells would never prejudge this case. But there were others of us who immediately recognized it for the garbage it was, and said he absolutely would--and did--tailor his findings to what he believed his client wanted to hear.
That's a fair point WBV; I should have qualified my comment to lawyer comments made about Wells's sterling reputation "prior to releasing his report." There were many here (lawyers and non-lawyers) who thought the WR was the shit that it is, and said so.
 

Shelterdog

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Not that I have any idea why it matters, but that's not how I remember it at all.

Before the report, there were a couple of people who said Wells would take forever, and run up a huge bill. That was true, of course.

Immediately upon release of the report, a couple of lawyers and a couple of non-lawyers assumed Brady must be guilty because they believed Ted Wells would never prejudge this case. But there were others of us who immediately recognized it for the garbage it was, and said he absolutely would--and did--tailor his findings to what he believed his client wanted to hear.
You're absolutely right, I'm just ripping on the handful of people--some of whom are (transactional) lawyers- who assumed that the report was either going to be objective as you say assumed Wells wouldn't prejudge a case because he's at a fancy firm, has a sterling reputation, etc. Anyone with any experience in this stuff read the report and knew it wasn't objective.

EDIT: I think the point is just to add some nuance to the discussion of whether SoSH's lawyers blew it. The best analysis--including what you've offered--is as good as you can get anywhere for free but there have been a bunch of lawyers who have been out of their element.
 
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DourDoerr

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Man, this is depressing to me. The facts here are not "murky," they are as close to conclusive as you're going to get in court 99.9% of the time. The science should be overwhelmingly compelling to an objective observer willing to put the work in, since it essentially proves the footballs were not deflated. You're not going to get much stronger evidence than an absolute law of nature.
I couldn't agree with this more. This case is crystal clear and if Kraft, Brady, etc. were going to do some PR, this should have been the only argument. Hit it again and again and again and don't confuse the message with anything else. Once they knew about the Ideal Gas Law, they should have had people (lawyers? scientists?) appear on Fox, CNN, ESPN, and the like getting out this one simple message and dare Goodell and the NFL to disprove the Ideal Gas Law.

BB gave it a shot, but there's a lot of unmixed feelings there from the media and he's frankly not a PR person's dream of a mouthpiece. Hell, they might have had Donald Trump out there bringing up IGL (not sure if this would help or hurt, but it'd get coverage).
 

lexrageorge

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I do recall some attorneys here noting the sterling reputation of Paul Weiss when the firm was hired by the NFL to conduct the investigation. They had set an expectation that the process would be well run and result in a fair report. That seemed to be a reasonable expectation. The former was probably true; the latter turned out to be utterly false.

I also recall some folks initially lauding Exponent as a well respected consulting firm. That was before their report was debunked as nothing more than glorified misconduct in pretty wrappers. However, I always had a fear that some judges would take the position that "it has to be true because the scientists at Exponent said it was...". It appears that at least one of the appellate judges did just that with his "compelling if not overwhelming" comment.
 

Ed Hillel

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The problem with the PR war strategy is that they were up against an organization that has every major network by the balls. They were also arguably the most hated team in sports before this fiasco even began. The only chance Brady/the Pats ever had/have in the PR war was/is via discovery in a defamation suit.
 

DourDoerr

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Agree and I'm probably naive here, but don't the networks have to at least give the appearance of fairness? Their on-air talent are free to disagree with their guests and can grill them, of course, but would all of them be able to blackball the reps daylighting the IGL?
 

dcmissle

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I expressed the belief that Wells would play it straight and that he would bill a fortune.

I did not believe he would sell his soul to frame Brady and the Pats, but that is exactly what he, his partners and associates did.

I thought this was a rogue operation gone bad -- Kensil -- and that they'd eventually get it right because Goodell had no skin in the game and no incentive to get it wrong.

What I didn't realize at the time is that the owners -- or certain owners -- drove this, not Goodell. And that from the get go, the mission was to hurt the Pats. They pull the strings, he takes the heat and is paid extravagantly, in part, for doing exactly that.

It goes well beyond this. If you look to concussion land and beyond, League owners rather plainly are running a criminal enterprise. Goodell is the fall guy -- and so was Wells.
 

WayBackVazquez

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I do recall some attorneys here noting the sterling reputation of Paul Weiss when the firm was hired by the NFL to conduct the investigation. They had set an expectation that the process would be well run and result in a fair report. That seemed to be a reasonable expectation. The former was probably true; the latter turned out to be utterly false.

I also recall some folks initially lauding Exponent as a well respected consulting firm. That was before their report was debunked as nothing more than glorified misconduct in pretty wrappers. However, I always had a fear that some judges would take the position that "it has to be true because the scientists at Exponent said it was...". It appears that at least one of the appellate judges did just that with his "compelling if not overwhelming" comment.
Well, Paul Weiss is an elite law firm. And I think one or two attorneys here have worked with Wells, who is a talented and zealous advocate, so I can't blame them for feeling at least somewhat heartened by the fact that he was hired. As others of us noted, however, he is an advocate, and it was clear to some of us from the outset that this was not a true internal investigation and that he was likely to feel pressure to produce the result his client wanted.

Speaking for myself, this is what I said immediately after reading the report:

Because it's not even close to being an objective report, it's more like a summary judgment motion. The exponent report reads like a plaintiff's expert report. I can almost guarantee you some scientist(s)/statistician(s) will prepare a "rebuttal" report, criticizing the findings and assumptions.
If Paul Weiss thinks the NFL wants a finding of wrongdoing than I absolutely think Paul Weiss would do everything in its power to conclude there was wrongdoing, especially in working with Exponent.
 

dcmissle

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After the report, no great sophistication was necessary to figure out what happened. Before the report was the critical time.

I am not greatly embarrassed in hoping and expecting that Ted Wells would not be football's Arlen Specter.
 

Super Nomario

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I couldn't agree with this more. This case is crystal clear and if Kraft, Brady, etc. were going to do some PR, this should have been the only argument. Hit it again and again and again and don't confuse the message with anything else. Once they knew about the Ideal Gas Law, they should have had people (lawyers? scientists?) appear on Fox, CNN, ESPN, and the like getting out this one simple message and dare Goodell and the NFL to disprove the Ideal Gas Law.

BB gave it a shot, but there's a lot of unmixed feelings there from the media and he's frankly not a PR person's dream of a mouthpiece. Hell, they might have had Donald Trump out there bringing up IGL (not sure if this would help or hurt, but it'd get coverage).
The Patriots essentially did this - Belichick had his Mona Lisa Vito press conference where he explained the Ideal Gas Law, and that was effectively the last word on Deflategate until the Wells Report came out. Until the report actually came out, I assumed Belichick's explanation would hold up and the Pats would be exonerated. The report itself did acknowledge the IGL but claimed it was insufficient to explain the level of deflation.

The other thing that Paul Weiss' involvement did was add some professionalism to the proceedings - the NFL was leaking like a sieve until Wells was brought aboard, and they did cut that shit out. I welcomed their involvement for that reason alone. In hindsight, even if Paul Weiss did screw the Pats over, at least they did limit the amount of distraction / nonsense during Super Bowl Week. Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but ...
 

pappymojo

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Let's not forget that in the midst of this bullshit (1) the Patriots were preparing for a Super Bowl, (2) the Patriots won the Super Bowl and that (3) Tom Brady was the MVP of the Super Bowl.

Brady, Kraft and the Patriots obviously did some things the right way.
 

WayBackVazquez

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After the report, no great sophistication was necessary to figure out what happened. Before the report was the critical time.
I'm not sure how anything written here could be considered "critical," but there were at least a few unsophisticates who were prepared to duel me over Ted's honor even after the report.
 

Leather

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Almost every single one of the lawyers here said Wells had an impeccable reputation and wouldn't work backwards to prove the thesis posited by the NFL. Those lawyers were wrong, at least about staring with the NFL's thesis, and working backwards. I cannot say what his reputation was before this case began..
I and others explicitly said the opposite.

Brady was always at a disadvantage because the NFL got to frame the debate, and did. Deflated ball? Oh no, it's about the Patriots being serial offenders. Oh, no, actually it's about "integrity of the game". Oh, wait, it's about being generally aware of something maybe happening. Oh no, it's really about cooperation. Oh no, it's a legal thing. Oh, no, not about the balls, about processes. Oh, actually, it's a labor thing.

There was nothing Brady could do except play defense. You can't win a defensive war except through attrition, and only then if your opponent ultimately had more to lose than you do. And the NFL is playing with house money.
 
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Myt1

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I expressed the belief that Wells would play it straight and that he would bill a fortune.

I did not believe he would sell his soul to frame Brady and the Pats, but that is exactly what he, his partners and associates did.
I had thought the same, mostly for reasons of naked self-interest. The shoddiness of the report and its bare advocacy, which WBV did point out quickly to the chagrin of some others, combined with Wells's ill-conceived hissy-fit press conference, should have destroyed him for anyone even remotely concerned with having their hired guns shut the fuck up after pumping two into the back of someone's head.
 

DourDoerr

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The Patriots essentially did this - Belichick had his Mona Lisa Vito press conference where he explained the Ideal Gas Law, and that was effectively the last word on Deflategate until the Wells Report came out. Until the report actually came out, I assumed Belichick's explanation would hold up and the Pats would be exonerated. The report itself did acknowledge the IGL but claimed it was insufficient to explain the level of deflation.
I mentioned the Belichick IGL press conference in the 2nd paragraph. The fact that that was the last word until the Wells Report allowed the IGL to wither and die. If they had pushed the IGL out to the public and news media again and again, you'd have a presumably better educated audience focussed on the IGL and could then potentially see the Wells Report for what it is. Ah, pie in the sky...
 

BigJimEd

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I mentioned the Belichick IGL press conference in the 2nd paragraph. The fact that that was the last word until the Wells Report allowed the IGL to wither and die. If they had pushed the IGL out to the public and news media again and again, you'd have a presumably better educated audience focussed on the IGL and could then potentially see the Wells Report for what it is. Ah, pie in the sky...
But I believe at the time of Belichick's conference, he and just about everyone else was still under the belief the balls were 2 psi, or even more, under the limit.
That's where he got into rubbing the footballs which can heat up the air inside etc...
 

MarcSullivaFan

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Hoo-hoo-hoo hoosier land.
If this process has taught me anything it's that our vaunted judicial system and legal profession is just as full of shit as everyone else. Consider:

Ted Wells: a man of supreme integrity and unimpeachable legal acumen ... reduced to relying on phony science and abusing his purported independence to trick the accused.

Paul Clement: brilliant attorney and respected solicitor general ... knowingly passing off lies before a federal judge.

Jim Kessler: Slayer of dragons ... apparently doesn't understand how to advocate for his client's innocence during the appeals process or step aside so someone else can.

Denny Chin: respected judge with a supposedly liberal bias ... accepts arguments roundly discredited months earlier on their face.

Ted Olson: Give it time ... he'll do something stupid before all is said and done.

I'm not sure why everyone is crapping over Don Yee. It's not as if a single legal mind during this fucking charade has done anything but set their reputation on fire. Yee may not have given his client great legal advice but at least the intent of his counsel (specifically, to protect his client's privacy) was borne out by subsequent events. Can we say the same for a single lawyer or judge?

Edit: I forgot Dick "Hampton" Berman. Nice job there too, asshole.

I agree with some of this, but the criticism of Jeff Kessler is only partly right. The performance at the district court level was A+ work. Getting an "arbitration" award vacated is very fucking difficult, and he deserves a lot of credit. Not stepping aside for a more seasoned appellate guy was obviously a mistake, but we don't really know who made that decision.

The criticism of Berman I assume is tongue in cheek, but, you know, judges are allowed to have lives.

I think the Pats and Brady could have handled the PR aspect better. At the same time, with respect to Brady in particular, no one knew until the Wells report came out that he would be the focus of the investigation. I think most of assume that if anyone bore the brunt, it would be Belichick.

I agree with Shelter on one point: Destroying the cell phone was a huge unforced error. Any litigator or investigator would be all over that. If he didn't want to hand over data, fine. That's a defensible decision, I suppose. But it should have been somewhere in a safe deposit box, or at least they should have had a reputable vendor make a forensic copy of the data (actually they should have done both). If I had represented him, I would have strongly reccomended that we do our own review and produce a narrow set of relevant texts, which is what Wells requested. And I would have hung on to Brady's ankles Van Gundy style before I let him destroy the phone. Maybe he would have been hosed anyway (probably), but its always better to wear the white hat. Destroying potentially relevant data just looks like shit. This isn't rocket science.
 

Super Nomario

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I mentioned the Belichick IGL press conference in the 2nd paragraph. The fact that that was the last word until the Wells Report allowed the IGL to wither and die. If they had pushed the IGL out to the public and news media again and again, you'd have a presumably better educated audience focussed on the IGL and could then potentially see the Wells Report for what it is. Ah, pie in the sky...
I don't think it would have mattered. The Wells Report does not deny the existence of the IGL; it says the IGL cannot explain the full level of the Patriots' deflation.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't think it would have mattered. The Wells Report does not deny the existence of the IGL; it says the IGL cannot explain the full level of the Patriots' deflation.
Correct. However, in order to do that, the Wells report first had to ignore Walt Coleman's recollection of which guage was used to make the pregame pressure checks. And it then compounded the error by relying on the gross misconduct of Exponent when conducting a supposedly scientific analysis of the data.

Which only reinforces the fact that there was absolutely nothing Brady, Belichick, Kraft, or the Patriots as a whole could do. The investigation's result was predetermined no matter what.

And, for those criticizing the Pats PR angle, they did keep the https://wellsreportcontext.com updated throughout the saga. Much to the chargin of both the local mediots and even some posters in this forum.
 

Myt1

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The Patriots and Brady were so destroyed in the PR battle which clearly drove the legal reasoning of the amateurs on the bench who are no better than the OJ jurors that half the federal judges agreed with them and took the extremely rare position that a CBA arbitration result should be reversed. I know this is true because I read it on the Internet from some pissed off fans who think PR is Sean Connery's speech in The Untouchables and know that the public would have just suspended its decision-making about the guilt of the Spygate!!!11!1 Patriots and their handsome, goat hugging, super-model-loving golden boy QB had they been offered an angry Bob Kraft on consecutive days or, like, something.