The judge hearing the dispute over Tom Brady’s suspension urged the New England Patriots quarterback and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to get together and settle matters.
The NFL and the National Football League Players Association on Friday asked U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan to set a timetable to resolve their dueling lawsuits before the start of the season.
The judge responded later in the day by scheduling a settlement conference for Aug. 12, “including, without limitation, Mr. Goodell and Mr. Brady,” and a second meeting a week later.
He didn’t address the parties’ proposed timetable, which calls for a court decision by Sept. 4.
The Patriots’ regular 2015-16 season begins Sept. 10.
Brady was suspended for four games after the NFL concluded he was probably aware that team staffers deflated game balls below the minimum air pressure before last season’s conference championship game in a bid to advantage the Patriots.
The league sued July 28 to confirm Brady’s suspension. The players association filed its own suit to reverse it.
In a new filing Friday, the union denied the NFL’s claims against Brady, saying the quarterback hadn’t been put on notice he could be suspended for equipment tampering. Player policies specified only fines for a first offense, the union said, adding that Goodell wasn’t impartial and that the league lacked reliable procedures for testing ball pressure.