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Judge speaks with NFL, union lawyers in Tom Brady case

A day after Tom Brady and commissioner Roger Goodell appeared in the Manhattan federal courthouse, lawyers for the NFL and its players' union met with U.S. District Judge Richard Berman yesterday for another round of settlement talks.

In an attempt to avoid a trial, Berman has urged the two sides to resolve their dispute over Brady's four-game suspension for the star quarterback's role in the Patriots' deflated football scandal.

Brady, a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player, and Goodell left the courthouse separately Wednesday after almost seven hours of discussing the case. Berman met privately with both sides for about 20 to 25 minutes each before Wednesday's public court hearing. Afterward, he talked with them together for about four hours in his robing room to discuss a potential settlement.

Berman met Thursday with lawyers representing Brady and the NFL Players Association as well as the NFL, according to the court docket. Brady and Goodell weren't present.

The NFL and the union have said they won't comment on the settlement talks, which Berman said are always confidential.

Brady was suspended after an investigation determined that he probably knew team employees had deflated game balls below the minimum pressure required by league rules before last season's AFC Championship Game, in which the host Patriots beat the Colts, 45-7.

The NFL sued the union to confirm Goodell's decision, and the union countersued to reverse it. Both sides have requested that the judge rule before the Patriots' Sept. 10 regular-season opener.

Brady played briefly Thursday night in the Patriots' preseason opener, completing 1 of 4 passes for 20 yards in a 22-11 loss to the Packers.

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