Appeals Court

The Tom Brady Ruling: Equal Protection and Due Process

Last September, Judge Berman eliminated Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, a punishment given to him by the National Football League (NFL) for being apart of the scandal in which footballs were deflated in last year’s Super Bowl.

Among other reasons, Judge Berman said his decision to throw out the suspension was because of “inadequate notice of punishment and misplaced reliance on NFL’s ‘conduct detrimental’ policy,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Seven months later, Brady’s suspension has been reinstated. This past week, “a divided federal appeals court in Manhattan has upheld the National Football League’s four game suspension,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

It was a decision that reflected an investigation which revealed rule violations at a high level. The three judge panel agreed 2-1 with the original suspension placed on Tom Brady by the National Football League (NFL) and that the reinstatement of the Tom Brady’s punishment was fair and right.

For a legal debate that continues to gain press and break new grounds, this ruling revealed the Judges’ mindset of treating everyone equally and sticking to a ruling they believed was fair and just in the first place.

Judge Barrington Parker who wrote for the majority stated that while the suspension may seem “unorthodox”, it was a collective agreement and it shouldn’t serve as an exception to the rule.

This ruling surrounds equal protection and due process, important factors when it comes to high-profile cases. It also received an incredibly large and diverse reaction from Tom Brady fans, New England Patriot fans and a slew of football fans in general.

Judge Katzmann however, disagreed. In his dissent, he called the suspension “unprecedented” and went on to say that The Commissioner who implemented the punishment “failed to even consider a highly relevant alternative penalty.”

Corso Law Group deals with difficult cases everyday. As your voice in the courtroom, we are deeply dedicated to our clients and their families.

For a free consultation, please call Corso Law Group – Texas at (713) 231-0499.

Police Gain Greater Access to Phone Records with No Search Warrant Required

Should Federal agents be allowed to access a phone caller’s location without a warrant?

A Cincinnati-based federal appeals court recently said yes with their latest ruling on the topic of protecting the privacy of data which is transmitted by one’s personal device.Phone Records

The records in question, obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were that of two men located near multiple robberies when they occurred.

Timothy Carpenter and Timothy Sanders were found guilty of being involved in nine armed robberies but argued that their phone records should have been dismissed as evidence.

Why did they argue this?

  • The phone records were obtained without a search warrant.
  • The Fourth Amendment should have protected the FBI’s access to their phone records.

Unfortunately, the court ruled against them.

In a 2-1 panel, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision stated that collecting this information did not require a search warrant and was not categorized as a “search”.

Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote, “Cell-site data—like mailing addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses—are information that facilitate personal communications, rather than part of the content of those communications themselves.”

Carpenter’s lawyer continues to focuses on the next step. In these situations, it’s crucial to secure a criminal defense lawyer who is willing to fight till the end and be the client’s voice in the courtroom.

Carpenter’s lawyer will either ask the Sixth Court to rehear the case or head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What’s the Supreme Court’s record when it comes to privacy?

Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of privacy. However, Judge Kethledge wrote that his decision was based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Smith V. Maryland. The Smith V. Maryland ruling stated that when a person dials a number on their landline, they are willingly releasing that information to phone companies and therefore, it’s not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

While landlines and cellphones are different, Judge Kethledge saw this as a solid reference for his decision.

What’s next?

This controversy will continue to be disputed as similar cases appear and questions continue to be asked.

Is this fair? Should the FBI be able to access this information? If police have access to this type of data, especially this much, shouldn’t they have to have a search warrant?

In this case, police had extensive amounts of information. They had months of data from more than 1,000 different locations. Carpenter was sentenced to more than 116 years in prison and Sanders was sentenced to approximately 14 years in prison.

To schedule a free consultation, please call Corso Law Group at (480) 471- 4616.