MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — WVU Law professor
Anne Marie Lofaso has written an
amicus brief on behalf of NFL quarterback Tom Brady in the “deflategate” scandal.
Lofaso drafted the brief on behalf of labor law professors and industrial relations experts who question NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's role in the case’s arbitration. They assert that the commissioner is “an angry arbitrator who does his own brand” of justice.
In 2015, Goodell handed Brady a four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated balls during the AFC Championship game. The suspension was later overturned by a lower court judge. This April, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of Goodell and the NFL, reinstating Brady's suspension.
After that loss, Brady's legal team sought the assistance of Lofaso and other labor law experts as part of their request for a rehearing before the full Second Circuit.
Goodell is a "non-expert, non-experienced, and non-neutral arbitrator” who “improperly exercised his authority,” Lofaso says in the brief.
The Second Circuit's ruling in favor of Goodell is a "significant question of national labor law," according Lofaso and her colleagues.
By upholding Brady’s suspension, Lofaso argues, the Second Circuit threatens U.S. labor relations and the established systems of arbitration endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1960 ruling known as the Steelworkers Trilogy.
The AFL-CIO has also filed an amicus brief on behalf of Brady. It contends the NFL commissioner acted unfairly against Brady and undermines the "integrity of arbitrations procedures."