Bloomberg News

Clemens Cites Biggie Smalls Case in Bid for Legal Fees, Costs

October 26, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens asked a federal judge to order the U.S. to pay attorneys’ fees and other costs he incurred defending himself in a perjury trial aborted because of prosecutor error.

Clemens, in a filing yesterday in Washington, said U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton “invited this motion” by stating during a hearing last month that it would be unfair for Clemens to pay a second time to defend himself in a retrial scheduled for April.

“An award of fees and costs will at least partially restore Mr. Clemens to the same position he was in before the prosecutors engaged in conduct meriting a mistrial,” Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Clemens, said in the filing.

Walton declared a mistrial in July after finding that prosecutors violated a court order when they showed the jury a video clip of a 2008 congressional hearing where the wife of government witness Andy Pettitte was discussed. Walton ruled earlier that no references to Laura Pettitte, or an affidavit she gave Congress, could be made during the government’s case.

Clemens said in the filing that the government should pay “reasonable fees and expenses” incurred from June 25 to July 14. He didn’t say how much those costs were.

Biggie Smalls Case

Clemens cited as a precedent a ruling by a federal judge in California ordering the city of Los Angeles to pay attorneys’ fees and costs stemming from a mistrial in a lawsuit filed by the family of slain rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, alleging the city’s police department was involved in his murder.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen in Washington, declined to comment on the Clemens filing, citing an order from the judge in the case not to discuss it publicly.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in connection with a congressional probe of ballplayers’ alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. If convicted on all charges, he faces as long as 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

The charges stem from Clemens’s statements to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in February 2008, in an interview with committee staff and later at a public hearing. Clemens, under oath, denied ever using anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, according to the indictment.

The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

--Editors: Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in federal court in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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