Bonds still looking to complete legal team
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' first date with a federal judge is Friday, when he is expected to plead not guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice charges, but the slugger still has yet to assemble his full legal team.
Bonds and longtime attorney Mike Rains began shopping around the Bay Area for another lawyer with federal experience even before Bonds was charged Nov. 15 with lying to a grand jury about his steroids use.
Rains has a small firm focused mostly on defending police officers accused of misconduct and he has limited experience in federal court. So Laura Enos, another lawyer who represents Bonds' business interests, said the slugger was looking to add another lawyer while also retaining Rains.
Negotiations between Bonds and John Keker, one of the country's top -- and most expensive -- criminal defense attorney, fell through last week over his fees and disagreements over control of the case, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
Criminal law experts also said Keker may have faced conflict of interest issues because his firm represented the Major League Baseball players union in its unsuccessful lawsuit to prevent federal investigators from keeping the names of some 100 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drug use in 2003.
So Bonds is still interviewing criminal defense lawyers, and is being advised by San Francisco civic leader Daniel Walter Shorenstein, and trial lawyer and deep-pocketed Democratic donor Joseph Cotchett, who was once the law partner of the judge presiding over Bonds' case.
A grand jury indicted Bonds last month on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. The career home run leader and former San Francisco Giant likely faces a maximum of two years in prison if convicted.
Bonds' legal problems began with his testimony in December 2003 before a grand jury investigating a performance enhancing drug ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame. Five men involved in the ring, including BALCO founder Victor Conte, Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson and track coach Remi Korchemny have pleaded guilty to drug charges.
George Walker, who represented Korchemny, said he's been interviewed by Bonds' representatives as a potential candidate. Walker said he had dinner with Bonds' business manager four months ago and has several telephone conversation since. But Walker said he hasn't heard anything from Bonds' camp in the last few days.
"They are looking over a lot of horses," Walker said. Walker also said that it's not paramount that Bonds have his legal squad in place by Friday. The hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston is expected to be brief and perfunctory with Bonds pleading not guilty, a new court date being scheduled and the slugger being released without having to post any bail money.
Before President Clinton appointed Illston to the bench in 1995, she was a partner with Cotchett in a Burlingame-based law firm that specializes in suing Wall Street corporations on behalf of aggrieved shareholders.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Agent: Dodgers don't plan to trade Kemp
- Sources: M's add Hart; Morrison deal close
- Trumbo heads to D-backs in 3-team trade
- Reports: MLB agrees to Japanese bid system
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
BARRY BONDS INDICTED
News• Bonds pleads not guilty to refiled federal charges
• Judge unseals Bonds testimony | Read it (pdf)
• Bonds' lawyers set to make request for dismissal
• Prosecutor cleared to work Bonds perjury case
• Bonds asks judge to dismiss perjury charges
• Bonds seeks to keep legal team in perjury case
• Hearing to determine lawyers' conflict of interest
• Bonds pleads not guilty; Feb. 7 next court date
• Fish: Defense could challenge Bonds' positive test
• Report: Agent says Bonds wants to play in 2008
• Bonds lawyer shopping as arraignment nears
• Bonds' new judge presiding over BALCO cases
• Old friends-turned-foes to testify against Bonds
• Bonds' trainer still won't testify if case goes to trial
• Bonds indicted on perjury, obstruction charges
• Bonds' trainer gains release after year in prison
• Bonds latest name on sports' infamous legal list
• Timeline: Bonds and steroid allegations
Analysis• Bryant: Remembering McGwire while Bonds is arraigned
• Fainaru-Wada/Quinn: Answers to key questions as Bonds begins legal journey
• Nelson: Bare market for Bonds
• Bryant: Bonds a misguided martyr
• Hill: Indictment is just plain wrong
• Olney: All roads lead to infamy
• Fainaru-Wada/Quinn: Path to indictment
• Bryant: Bonds case puts pressure on Mitchell
• Olney: Era of dishonesty
• Wojciechowski: Bonds' dare backfires
• Fish: Bonds' positive test didn't come from MLB
• Munson: Don't expect Bonds to cop a plea
• ESPN.com: How should MLB react?
• Kreidler: Mixed reaction in Bay Area
• Neyer: How bad is it?
• For the record: Legal definition of perjury
The indictment• United States v. Barry Lamar Bonds
SportsNation• Polling the reaction of SportsNation
ESPN Video• Indictment may end career
• Bonds' attorney speaks out
• Roger Cossack's take
• Will Bonds be in the Hall of Fame?
• Will Bonds play again?
• Was race a factor in indictment?
• Charles Barkley weighs in on Bonds
• Buster Olney on Bonds
• Steve Phillips on Bonds and A-Rod
ESPNRadio.com• Peter Gammons: A sad ending
• Baseball Today: Peter Pascarelli
• Shaun Assael on timing
• Cossack on the indictment