BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An appeal hearing is underway for former Ravens star running back Ray Rice. The two-day hearing is taking place in New York, as the running back appeals his indefinite suspension with the NFL over domestic violence.
Rick Ritter has the latest from day one.
The hearing is closed to the public but several key witnesses are expected to testify before the end of Thursday. Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer, may testify as well.
Again, Rice and his legal team are arguing the former Raven can’t be punished twice for the same crime.
Hand in hand and side by side, Rice and Palmer made their way into a New York law office for the start of his two-day hearing.
Rice desperately wants another shot in the NFL. With the union behind him, his appeal focuses on whether the commissioner abused his power and improperly punished him twice for hitting the woman he’d later marry inside an Atlantic City casino elevator.
“It really has nothing to do with money,” Rice said.
Commissioner Roger Goodell first suspended Rice for two games but when video of the incident surfaced, the Ravens cut Rice and the league banned him indefinitely, claiming it was new evidence.
“It was clear there was an act of domestic violence but inconsistent with the way he described what happened,” Goodell said.
Law professor Byron Warnken says that’s clearly double jeopardy or race judicata.
“It means you can make me run the gauntlet one time but after I run the gauntlet, you can’t make me run it again,” said Byron Warnken, www.warnkenlaw.com.
Former federal judge Barbara Jones is hearing the appeal. She’s issued a gag order requiring that all parties involved not comment on the pending hearing.
Powerhouse attorney and longtime NFL nemesis Jeffrey Kessler stands in Rice’s corner. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the league over several high profile scandals, including Michael Vick’s bonus following his dog-fighting conviction.
Legal experts find it hard to imagine Rice not coming out on top.
“Unless there’s some bombshell I don’t know about, I predict Ray Rice will prevail,” Warnken said.
The hearing is expected to wrap up Thursday. A resolution could come before the end of the month. If reinstated, Rice could be back on the field this season. The question is which team would be willing to take a chance and sign him.
Rice has also filed a separate grievance against the Ravens for wrongful termination of the contract he signed back in 2012.
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