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NEW YORK — No fewer than 25 attorneys and executives from the NFL and the NFL Players Association will be present at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Thursday to argue on behalf of Tom Brady and Roger Goodell.

Two people who aren’t scheduled to be present: Brady and Goodell.

The marquee names weren’t on the list of attendees submitted by the NFL and the NFLPA in advance of Thursday’s hearing, to be held at the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in downtown New York.

Jeffrey Pash, the NFL executive who is at the center of the lawsuit for not being made available to testify at Brady’s hearing in front of Goodell last June, is also not expected to attend.


But the courtroom will be packed with plenty of legal star power as the NFL appeals the decision from Federal District Judge Richard M. Berman to vacate Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in Deflategate.

Arguing on Brady’s behalf again will be attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who successfully persuaded Berman to vacate Brady’s punishment in September. Kessler will be supported by 12 associates, including NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and Stephen Dubin, one of Brady’s agents.

Now leading the NFL’s side is Paul Clement, the former US Solicitor General who has argued more than 80 cases in front of the US Supreme Court, more than any other attorney since 2000. Clement will be supported by 11 associates, including attorney Daniel L. Nash, who argued on behalf of the NFL at the initial lawsuit, and NFL executive Adolpho Birch.

“You’re not going to hear much better arguments than you will in this case,” said Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane University. “When the NFL brings a case to the court of appeals, they usually bring in a heavyweight, and Paul Clement is definitely one of those heavyweights.”


Each side will get 15 minutes to present oral arguments and field questions from a panel of three judges. The hearing should take 30-45 minutes.

The randomly selected panel consists of Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, Barrington D. Parker, and Denny Chin.

“We should be able to come out of there with a pretty good indication of how this will go,” said Daniel Wallach, an attorney at Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale who has followed the case closely.

Although the hearing will be relatively brief, the decision phase could take several months. A ruling from two of the three judges is necessary for either side to win the appeal.

“I’ve seen cases go more than a couple of years, but I think par is about six months,” said Dennis Lalli, a labor attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King in New York.

Legal experts say there are four possible four outcomes:

■  the judges uphold Berman’s ruling and vacate Brady’s punishment.

■  the judges reverse Berman’s ruling and reinstate the punishment.

■  the judges reverse the decision and remand the case back to Berman in federal district court.

■  the judges reverse the decision and force the NFL and NFLPA to hold another arbitration hearing in place of the one that took place last June 23 at NFL headquarters.

If either side loses outright, it has the ability to appeal to the entire Second Circuit and then to the US Supreme Court, but “a very small percentage of those cases are heard,” Feldman said


“There’s lots of variables, and there are big wins and big losses and some gray area in between.”

At issue is whether Berman ruled correctly in stating that Brady’s arbitration hearing in front of Goodell last June was fundamentally flawed.

Berman overturned the decision on three grounds: that Brady was not afforded proper notice of his punishments for being “generally aware” of someone else’s wrongdoing; that Pash was not made available to testify and be cross-examined at Brady’s appeal; and that the NFLPA was not privy to some of investigator Ted Wells’s attorney notes.

The NFLPA will once again argue that Goodell overstepped his bounds in handing out the four-game suspension.

“The NFL insists that the CBA’s “conduct detrimental” provision grants Goodell unlimited authority to discipline players however he pleases — even if that means defying the CBA requirement of notice and disregarding the collectively bargained penalties for specific misconduct,” Kessler wrote in his brief filed with the court.

The NFL, meanwhile, will argue that the CBA gives Goodell broad authority to punish players for “conduct detrimental to the league,” and that Brady’s punishment and the league’s conduct during Brady’s arbitration drew its essence from the CBA.

“The decision is, in fact, eminently fair and reasonable given the egregious conduct involved, but the League’s burden was not to persuade the district court that the punishment was optimal or even fair,” Clement wrote in the NFL’s briefs. “The district court’s evident disagreement with the Commissioner’s substantive rulings did not empower it to overturn his award.”


Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin