Paul Cambria, noted Buffalo criminal defense attorney, discussed with WBEN the recent finding by the NFL that 11 New England Patriots’ footballs were inflated below league standards for a recent AFC championship game. Mr. Cambria also weighed in on recent developments in the Jeffrey Basil trial.
Click here for the interview.
Deflation may be a diversion
Mr. Cambria noted about accusations that the New England Patriots used deflated balls, “The officials weigh the balls [and] we have to ask what went wrong there. If they were deflated and they would weigh less, why didn’t they detect it before the game even started? It just seems like the Patriots beat them to death, and it seems to me that deflated balls . . . it’s just a red herring.”
Asked if he thought it would turn into a big scandal, Mr. Cambria said, “I do, because everybody likes to beat on Belichick.” He added, “Everybody wants to beat Belichick because he is so good at what he does.”
Wouldn’t under-inflation need to be proved?
“They are going to get into all sorts of things about who had the balls, who handled them, and, again, the thing that sticks with me is the officials weigh the balls, so how did they blow it?,” Cambria said. “And apparently there is a new or so-called fresh ball when they are kicking off, and that might factor into it as well. There will be all sorts of science, I’m sure, as to how much it was deflated and could it be for one reason or another.”
Jury deliberates Basil’s charges
Jurors in the trial of Jeffrey Basil, the former manager of Molly’s Pub who is charged in the death of Bill Sager, spent three hours in deliberations the day before Mr. Cambria’s interview.
“This is a case where everybody knows who did it,” Mr. Cambria said when asked what the jury is likely to decide. “The question is, what was the mental state, what was the intent. It appears the jury is focusing there. They’ve asked the judge to read back what is ‘intentional,’ and then at one point at the end of the day, they asked if they could have that instruction in writing to take it back there, so they are focused in the right spot.”
“That’s what the case is all about,” he said. “What was the level of mindset at the time he did an act that nobody disputes that he did. If it’s intentional, it’s a higher penalty than if it’s reckless.”
A senior partner in Lipsitz Green’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, Mr. Cambria also advises clients on Constitutional and First Amendment law, zoning and land use, antitrust, and professional licensing defense. He practices in the firm’s Buffalo and Los Angeles offices.