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Judge Berman Again Expresses Doubts In NFL's Case Against Tom Brady

BOSTON (CBS) -- While Wednesday's meeting in court between Tom Brady's side and Roger Goodell's side lacked the production value of last week's fireworks, it was nevertheless a momentous day in the courtroom.

Judge Richard Berman heard arguments from both sides' lawyers, and again he expressed serious doubts with the very foundation of the NFL's case against Brady.

Judge Richard Berman
Judge Richard Berman in court, Aug. 19, 2015 (Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)

According to the New York Daily News' Stephen Brown, aka last week's live-tweeter, Berman remains unconvinced of the conclusions reached by Ted Wells as well as the NFL's interpretation of the Wells report.

The NFLPA argued, on behalf of Brady, that Wells concluded only that Brady was "generally aware" of the deflation of footballs, whereas Goodell's ruling to uphold the suspension referenced that Brady "approved of, consented to, and provided inducements in support of ... a scheme to tamper with the game balls."

Berman also noted that Wells' report did not actually find Brady "generally aware" of a football deflation plan on the night of the AFC Championship Game, which was the only incident for which Brady was suspended.

Jeffrey Kessler, in his oral argument, took a shot at the NFL for the complete lack of knowledge of basic science -- something that could have easily explained the deflation level in the Patriots' footballs as well as the deflation level in the Colts' footballs.

Judge Berman, however, did not spend much focus on the scientific argument.

The NFL's argument remained consistent: Goodell acted within the powers granted to him by the collective-bargaining agreement, and there is simply no recourse for Brady.

According to Brown, Berman also asked what the basis was for Goodell to settle on a four-game suspension.

These questions from Berman were likely spurred from the NFLPA's filing, which noted that no player has ever before been suspended for non-cooperation.

Berman also took aim at the NFL for likening Brady's alleged actions to a player taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Berman appears to have given due consideration to the NFLPA's case, because he also pressed the NFL to explain why Brady's side was no allowed to call Jeff Pash as a witness during Brady's appeal hearing. The NFLPA took umbrage with the inability to question Pash, considering Pash was named as a co-lead investigator and also edited the report before its public release. Pash is the NFL's executive vice president and general counsel.

Berman set a date of Aug. 31 for the two sides to meet again in court. Brady and Goodell will both be required to attend, if the sides are unable to reach a settlement before that date.

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand discussed the news from the courthouse, listen below:

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