FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – In the movie “And Justice For All,’’ Al Pacino, forced to defend a prominent client he knows is guilty, chews up the scenery in the climax by yelling in the courtroom, “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!”
Pacino is then dragged from the courthouse, his legal career ruined.
What the movie doesn’t show: The prominent client now gets a new lawyer. A new trial. And more time.
Randy Gregory — the Dallas Cowboys pass-rusher who was supposed to be in the NFL “courtroom’’ today making his appeal on the league’s ruling that he’s got another one-year drug-related suspension coming — has parted ways with his representation.
As first reported by NFL Network, Gregory “parted ways with his representation.’’ Since then, others have chimed in to note that Gregory fired the representation … or that the representation quit Gregory.
And those chimes are badly missing the point.
On Sunday night, after Gregory played well in the otherwise-meaningless loss at Philly, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “We just got to work and figure out a way to keep him on the field.’’
But what would be that way? The NFL rules here are lacking in transparency. We think we know that Gregory is facing a ban of an entire calendar year. We think we know that his missed test (counting as a “failed test’’) may have come while he was in a rehabilitation facility, and that that might be the basis of his appeal. We think we know that once the appeal is heard, if it’s rejected, Gregory’s suspension ensues immediately, meaning he’s ineligible for the Cowboys’ Super Bowl bid.
So, how does a “defendant’’ delay the appeal, the hearing, the rejection and the ineligibility?
He stands up in the courtroom and yells, “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!”
Or he gets his lawyer to do it.
Or the defendant’s employer gets the lawyer to do it.
Or they get the lawyer to not show up in the courtroom at all.
You see, it doesn’t matter if in reality Randy Gregory has been fired by his agent, or if in reality Gregory was the one doing the firing. (It certainly looks better to the “judge’’ if Gregory is the one who got dumped, though, eh?) All that matters is that suddenly — and somehow at the very last moment — poor Gregory doesn’t have the proper representation necessary to meet with the league for this hearing … so it will need to be postponed.
Unless the NFL forces Gregory to hurriedly find a new agent, Randy Gregory and the Cowboys may have just slyly bought themselves some time.
They found a way to yell, “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!” … without ever even raising their voice.
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