http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2015/05/12/top-10-reasons-why-an-appeal-overturns-tom-bradys-suspension/It's a very interesting question as to whether Brady could sue the NFL Commissioner for damaging his reputation in this episode. I think that's quite unlikely to happen - indeed, I expect that after all the big headlines die out there will be a very quiet resolution of this that revokes the suspension and substitutes some wrist slap as a fig leaf for the NFL. By the time the season starts this will all have blown over.
Google Jeffery Kessler. I have forgotten half of the cases he has slammed the NFL on. I do not believe he has ever lost. I now think it is never even getting to the “merits” of the case. Kessler will have it thrown out based solely on the fact that they based the suspension on his failure to “cooperate” by giving them his phone. Unlike any of all of the talking head analysts on tv and radio, I downloaded and read the entire NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. There are several sections where the League collectively bargained for the ability to do discovery as part of a dispute. See, for example, Article XI entitled “Non-Injury Grievance” where the rules for discovery conducted by each side are clearly laid out. An example of this type of dispute would be one involving the terms/requirements in a player’s contract. If the player disputes the league’s/teams interpretation, it brings an arbitration/appeal under this Article and per the agreement that has been collectively bargained for, the member of the union must submit to discovery, including one would assume, discovery of his electronic devices. However, the appeal of a suspension is governed by Article XI entitled “Commissioner Discipline.” It does not contain any agreement by the players to be subject to discovery. Put conversely, it does not empower the League to seek discovery of electronic devices. Of course, the League can always ask as Wells did, but members of the union (i.e. Brady and Gostkowski as opposed to everyone employed by the Pats) do not have to give them anything. The League expressly sanctioned Brady for his failure to do something the is not required under the CBA and for which they have never collectively bargained. Kessler is going to slam the NFL. So much so that I go back to wondering if this wasn’t done by Goodell intentionally. To everyone else, he appears to be hardassing the Pat’s and Brady, but when the dust settles, his buddy Kraft is at least partially placated in the hopes it will blow over.
Brady should win [if he sues]. He has to go through the charade/farce of an “appeal” to the Commissioner. After that he will go to the NLRB, I would imagine. He as a dispute under the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement. If he really wants to get nasty, he may be contemplating an anti-trust suit. Kessler cut his teeth on anti-trust. That prospect may scare the crap out of the League. And I still don’t think the merits of the case will come in. The argument would be as follows: The only reason Brady is in the position he is is because the NFL is an illegal monopoly. I.e. it is acting in an anti-competitive manner. Since the League is an illegal monopoly, it is a legal nullity. If the league is deemed a monopoly, then there is no Office of the Commissioner. No Office of the Commissioner, no power to suspend. No power to suspend, no Brady punishment . . .
And don’t forget, it was Kessler that won the anti-trust suit that got the NFLPA free agency.
Kraft, on the other hand, agreed to the League constitution and franchise agreements. He has no right of appeal and a very tough case.
Otherwise the NFL would have some very interesting information come out during the discovery process in the lawsuits, information that would almost certainly be very damaging to the Commissioner's office.