Report: Tom Brady hires NFL nemesis Jeffrey Kessler to fight his suspension
|05.12.15 at 8:35 pm ET|
If the NFL wanted a fight with Tom Brady, they’re going to get one. And history indicates it’s not going to turn out real well for the league.
A day after being suspended four games for his role in Deflategate, the Patriots quarterback has hired 61-year-old Jeffrey Kessler as his lawyer for this Deflategate, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He has represented the players associations of the NFL and NBA in countless arbitrations involving player free agency rights, collusion claims, and salary caps.
Why should the NFL, which also fined the Patriots $1 million and docked the team two draft picks, be concerned?
Kessler is arguably the most successful lawyer in history representing clients who take on established sports leagues. Namely:
In Brady v. NFL, he successfully represented a class of NFL players in an antitrust action which eventually led to the end of the 2011 NFL lockout.
In Belichick v. NFL, et al., he represented Belichick in litigation over changing teams.
In NFLPA v. NFL, he represented NFLPA in a successful challenge to provisions of NFL TV Contracts used to fund the NFL 2011 Lockout.
In McNeil, et al. v. NFL, et al., he won jury verdict for NFL players striking down free agency restrictions under the antitrust laws, eventually leading to the Reggie White class action. That case paved the way for the negotiation of free agency and the salary cap system in the NFL.
In North American Soccer League, et al. v. NFL, he successfully represented North American Soccer League in antitrust case striking down NFL ownership rules.
Most recently, he represented Adrian Peterson and forced the league to reinstate the running back. Safe to say, the NFL didn’t envision this when they started asking about PSIs of footballs in January.