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View Full Version : AP: Bonds to sue over book



CincyRedsFan30
03-23-2006, 03:46 PM
Apparently Bonds is suing over "Game of Shadows." What a shock.

registerthis
03-23-2006, 03:56 PM
Apparently Bonds is suing over "Game of Shadows." What a shock.

Reclaiming his good name that has been soiled by this tragedy, no doubt.

Maybe he could get Giambi, Palmeiro, McGwire, and Sosa to go in on a class action.

BrooklynRedz
03-23-2006, 04:00 PM
So, he's going to take the stand and open himself up to countless perjury charges? This could get interesting.

M2
03-23-2006, 04:05 PM
So, he's going to take the stand and open himself up to countless perjury charges? This could get interesting.

Exactly. Talk about a move almost sure to backfire.

RedsManRick
03-23-2006, 04:21 PM
He probably just wants a cut of the profits...

MasonBuzz3
03-23-2006, 04:22 PM
Bonds isnt filing suit for libel, he is suing to have the authors of the book turn over any profits they make. He isnt suing to clear his name, but rather to make a dollar.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/23/MNG3OHSVC84.DTL

M2
03-23-2006, 04:23 PM
So Bonds doses with multiple chemical cocktails and then seeks to make money off it when someone exposes it? He's my hero.

RedsManRick
03-23-2006, 04:25 PM
Bonds isnt filing suit for libel, he is suing to have the authors of the book turn over any profits they make. He isnt suing to clear his name, but rather to make a dollar.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/23/MNG3OHSVC84.DTL

LOL -- I was kidding. I guess I was right...

vaticanplum
03-23-2006, 04:25 PM
Bonds isnt filing suit for libel, he is suing to have the authors of the book turn over any profits they make. He isnt suing to clear his name, but rather to make a dollar.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/23/MNG3OHSVC84.DTL

Are you freaking kidding me? Wow. I did not think it was possible for barry Bonds to make himself look worse than he already has.

redsfan30
03-23-2006, 04:53 PM
Are you freaking kidding me? Wow. I did not think it was possible for barry Bonds to make himself look worse than he already has.
Agreed, just when you thought Barry Bonds couldn't do any more damage to his reputation......

Chip R
03-23-2006, 05:04 PM
I guess if your reputation is in the gutter, why not try to make money off of it.

M2
03-23-2006, 05:27 PM
To be fair (not that Bonds deserves it), there's probably a sound legal reason for this type of suit. My guess is that if Bonds sued for libel, the entire issue of whether he went on the juice would be on trial. He'd have to take the stand and insist he wasn't. The defendants would be presenting mountains of evidence that he was.

This is probably an attempt to narrow the focus of the suit.

IMO, this suit indicates just how weak Bonds' footing is at the moment. If MLB conducted a hasty investigation and banned him from the game I doubt he'd have a leg to stand on. Any challenge to that ruling would have to involve the commissioner's finding of fact that he'd played the game while using a host of illegal substances. Bonds has just all but sent up flare that he doesn't think he can win that fight.

Roy Tucker
03-23-2006, 05:31 PM
So, this isn't about disputing the content of the book?

This is "the book is about me and what size slice of the pie do I get"?

Good God.

BCubb2003
03-23-2006, 05:44 PM
His attorney is claiming that the grand jury information in the book was illegally obtained. Not that the book is wrong.

letsgojunior
03-23-2006, 05:55 PM
To be fair (not that Bonds deserves it), there's probably a sound legal reason for this type of suit. My guess is that if Bonds sued for libel, the entire issue of whether he went on the juice would be on trial. He'd have to take the stand and insist he wasn't. The defendants would be presenting mountains of evidence that he was.

This is probably an attempt to narrow the focus of the suit.

IMO, this suit indicates just how weak Bonds' footing is at the moment. If MLB conducted a hasty investigation and banned him from the game I doubt he'd have a leg to stand on. Any challenge to that ruling would have to involve the commissioner's finding of fact that he'd played the game while using a host of illegal substances. Bonds has just all but sent up flare that he doesn't think he can win that fight.

Bonds would never win in a million years on a libel suit. Truth is a complete defense. Additionally, being a public figure, Bonds would have to show that the reporters either a) KNEW that there assertions were false b) recklessly disregarded their falsity.

The chief problem with Bonds would that it would add major fuel to the fire - I would imagine they could admit a great deal of the Balco evidence (stuff we've only heard rumors about), doping schedules, anecdotal evidence - it would be extremely bad for Bonds.

Chip R
03-23-2006, 06:03 PM
If this thing actually goes to trial, could't the lawyers for the defense depose Bonds, get him on the stand and ask him all kinds of embarrassing questions? Like, Do you take steroids? Have you ever taken steroids? Things like that. If he tells the truth, it confirms what people have known all along. If he lies it opens him up to perjury charges.

registerthis
03-23-2006, 06:05 PM
So, this isn't about disputing the content of the book?

This is "the book is about me and what size slice of the pie do I get"?

Good God.

No kidding.

Wow.

registerthis
03-23-2006, 06:07 PM
His attorney is claiming that the grand jury information in the book was illegally obtained. Not that the book is wrong.

The lawyers, the jury and the people who testify are forbidden from commenting on the transcript of a grand jury investigation. Witnesses to the testimony are not. The only way the testimony was illegally obtained was if the information came from one of the aformentioned sources. Even then, it wouldn't be Bonds who would be seeking a remedy, it would be the Court.

Team Clark
03-23-2006, 06:12 PM
This is like suing the wind for blowing your roof off. Nice deflection Barry.

registerthis
03-23-2006, 06:22 PM
This is like suing the wind for blowing your roof off. Nice deflection Barry.

No, it's like suing the wind for a piece of the action.

Caveat Emperor
03-23-2006, 06:33 PM
The bottom line is, it's time for the commissioner's office to launch a full scale investigation of this matter and get answers.

Now.

This is a black eye on the sport, and it's only going to get worse as the season moves forward and Bonds gets closer to Ruth and Aaron. This problem isn't going to go away, no matter how much Selig wishes it would.

Chip R
03-23-2006, 07:17 PM
The bottom line is, it's time for the commissioner's office to launch a full scale investigation of this matter and get answers.

Now.

This is a black eye on the sport, and it's only going to get worse as the season moves forward and Bonds gets closer to Ruth and Aaron. This problem isn't going to go away, no matter how much Selig wishes it would.

The problem is time. It took these reporters 2 years to investigate this stuff. Now all of that book is not about Bonds but a good deal of it is. If MLB is serious about doing an investigation they have to track the same leads that the reporters did. This sort of thing cannot be done in 2 weeks. That is the problem. If Bonds had 508 HRs instead of 708 there would not be so much outrage. But he is only a few HRs away from the HR total one of the most beloved figures in the history of the game. People want Bonds stopped before he gets to Ruth and if not then before he gets to Aaron. There is not time enough to complete an investigation before he gets to Ruth unless he is injured. Aaron may be safe but the threat is still there and people do not want the home run record held by someone like Barry Bonds.

MLB had better be careful what they find if they do investigate because what they find may hit closer to home than they like.

Strikes Out Looking
03-23-2006, 07:30 PM
This seems like a very novel legal issue being put forth by Bonds's lawyer. If I read the article right, he is suing for the profits of any articles/book by the authors under California law because they based their story, in part, on leaked grand jury testimony.

I'm not sure if Bonds will really pull the trigger and file the suit as it sounds ridiculous. This seems to be a Bill O'Reilly situation, where a lawsuit is filed or contemplated to be filed even though reasonable minds don't think it is a good idea.

If the suit is filed, I would think that the lawyers defending it immediately file a motion to dismiss based on the fact that it is b.s. If the lawsuit proceeds to discovery, then I would think the authors would try to depose Bonds as well as other players (even though I'm not sure on what grounds).

I haven't read the book, but in an interview I heard with the authors they stated that they based most of the book on interviews and publicly available information, not just leaked grand jury testimony. Further, those that testified before a grand jury are not barred from telling someone what they testified about, so they could have interview Greg Anderson and others about the testimony.

In the end, Barry Bonds will continue to seek in the court of public opinion. He's starting to make Ty Cobb look like a nice guy.

Cyclone792
03-23-2006, 07:54 PM
MLB had better be careful what they find if they do investigate because what they find may hit closer to home than they like.

Yep, that's why I believe - even though it'll tick a ton of people off - baseball's best move is to just not act on it altogether, unless they find evidence that players cheated on baseball's steroid testing once they implemented it. It's also what I believe Selig's stance will be.

IIRC, the state of the game for about the first six or seven years of Landis' time as commissioner - also the first six or seven years after the Black Sox Scandal - was essentially a witch hunt to find gambling in baseball. Not surprisingly, that witch hunt extended into the past into the years before Landis ruled the game.

Finally, I believe it was shortly after the Cobb-Speaker-Wood scandal in 1926-27 that Landis came out and said he was sick and tired of investigating gambling in the game prior to the beginning of his term as commissioner. He basically stated that if you gambled in the game in 1914, for example, and had gotten away with it to that point, consider yourself free without penalty. He was focused on the happenings during his administration, the present, and most importantly, the future. Constantly digging into the past wasn't doing the game any favors in his mind.

Selig's stance will probably be similar to Landis in that regard. He's focused on the first year of steroid testing and going forward, specifically focusing on trying to ensure the game is cleaned up in the future. Like Landis, he'll leave the past alone and let historians debate it long after all who lived during the era are gone.

Landis also had one major advantage in power that Selig does not enjoy: there was no player's union in the 1920s. Landis answered to nobody but himself; Selig doesn't have anything close to that luxury.

GAC
03-23-2006, 08:47 PM
Pride goeth before a fall. ;)

dman
03-23-2006, 09:17 PM
Could they put Bonds on some sort of Investigation Pending hiatus from the game that way he would not be allowed to play until the investigation is complete?

Shaggy Sanchez
03-23-2006, 09:35 PM
I guess if your reputation is in the gutter, why not try to make money off of it.

Pete Rose has been trying to get people to understand this type of reasoning for years.

jmcclain19
03-24-2006, 01:00 AM
This type of lawsuit has suceeded before.

Don't know if many remember the ABC News/Food Lion case, where ABC News reporters went undercover to report on terrible food handling practices going on at the Food Lion. Food Lion sued ABC for tresspassing and fraud in regard to being hired as meat workers, not about anything in regard to the report about selling off nasty meat. And they won a huge verdict. Something to think about anyway.

BCubb2003
03-24-2006, 01:55 AM
See Chiquita, Enquirer, Lindner.

But grand juries are a more specific creature. Doesn't mean you can't try to sue, though.

savafan
03-24-2006, 02:15 AM
Barry Bonds meet Pete Rose, your twin brother from a different mother.

klw
03-24-2006, 08:47 AM
In a way the suit is a great move. Realistically a suit to prevent the sale of the book based on its content would have no chance to succeed. The first amendment hurdles would never get publication prevented. I believe the Pentagon Papers case saw to that. However, if the profits can be seized, then the publisher loses any motivation to put out the book. It's a long shot but an interesting legal idea.

Yachtzee
03-24-2006, 10:41 AM
This type of lawsuit has suceeded before.

Don't know if many remember the ABC News/Food Lion case, where ABC News reporters went undercover to report on terrible food handling practices going on at the Food Lion. Food Lion sued ABC for tresspassing and fraud in regard to being hired as meat workers, not about anything in regard to the report about selling off nasty meat. And they won a huge verdict. Something to think about anyway.


I don't have the ABC News/Food Lion case in front of me, but if it came out as you say, it could be argued that the cases are distinguishable. In the Food Lion case, ABC News employees themselves used deceit to get jobs at Food Lion. In this case, I don't believe the reporters used fraud or deceit to get the grand jury testimony. They likely got it from people who were present for the testimony or had access to the records. If anything, Bonds should be going after those who leaked the testimony. He'd have a better case than going after reporters. As klw mentioned, this case is probably more analagous to the Pentagon Papers case, where the New York Times and Washington Post published government documents that had been leaked to the reporters, even though the documents had been obtained or leaked illegally. Newspapers could publish the documents because they discussed a matter of public concern, the conduct of the US government in the Vietnam War. Steroid use, although not as important as the Vietnam War, is a matter of public concern at least to the degree that there have been Congressional Hearings on the matter.

It's definitely interesting that Bonds chose to file suit under an "Unfair Competition" statute rather than the traditional libel. Although California's law appears to be quite broad, usually laws like these are intended to protect businesses from competitiors who gain access to their trade secrets. I wonder if Bonds' lawyers will actually argue that Bonds' lawyers will argue that steroid use is a "trade secret."

TeamBoone
03-24-2006, 12:36 PM
Don't you have to be able to prove the allegations are untrue in order to successfully sue?

Chip R
03-24-2006, 12:37 PM
Don't you have to be able to prove the allegations are untrue in order to successfully sue?

He's not suing for libel.

Chip R
03-24-2006, 01:00 PM
Did anyone wonder if Bonds' attorney had a straight face when he said this?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2381381

"What we're saying is, who are the real cheaters? They are the ones who are using these illegally obtained materials," Rains said."

As Dave Chappelle says, "Man, irony is wasted on some people.

registerthis
03-24-2006, 01:02 PM
"What we're saying is, who are the real cheaters? They are the ones who are using these illegally obtained materials," Rains said."

I really hate attorneys sometimes.

And I work for a law firm.

Caveat Emperor
03-24-2006, 02:32 PM
I don't have the ABC News/Food Lion case in front of me, but if it came out as you say, it could be argued that the cases are distinguishable. In the Food Lion case, ABC News employees themselves used deceit to get jobs at Food Lion. In this case, I don't believe the reporters used fraud or deceit to get the grand jury testimony. They likely got it from people who were present for the testimony or had access to the records. If anything, Bonds should be going after those who leaked the testimony. He'd have a better case than going after reporters. As klw mentioned, this case is probably more analagous to the Pentagon Papers case, where the New York Times and Washington Post published government documents that had been leaked to the reporters, even though the documents had been obtained or leaked illegally. Newspapers could publish the documents because they discussed a matter of public concern, the conduct of the US government in the Vietnam War. Steroid use, although not as important as the Vietnam War, is a matter of public concern at least to the degree that there have been Congressional Hearings on the matter.

I agree, I don't think the Food Lion case is applicable to this situation.

Not having read too much of the facts of the case, I wonder if the controlling decision isn't Florida Star v. B.J.F., which was a Supreme Court case that held that a newspaper cannot be held liable for publishing truthful material, lawfully obtained, even if the material is otherwise forbidden from publication. In that case, a newspaper published the name of a rape victim in violation of a law that prohibits that information from being released to the public by the police. Since there was an inadvertant disclosure, the newspaper wasn't liable for illegally obtaining the information, and since the name was truthful, there was nothing to prevent thew newspaper from publishing it.

Here, I believe the issue will turn on how the reporters who authored book gained access to the grand jury testimony and other such documents. Without looking at the statutes, I'd imagine that there are certain ways that they could've recieved the documents that would absolve them from responsibility for discovering their content. Once that's the case, as long as the information reported is truthful, then there can be no liability for the reporters.

Undoubtedly they consulted many attorneys before publishing this book, so I'm sure they understood their liability level well in advance of any lawsuit filed by Bonds and I'd be shocked if they would've published the book with knowledge that they (and their publisher) would be liable for damages at any point down the road.

savafan
03-24-2006, 04:35 PM
A judge denied Bonds' lawyer's request.

savafan
03-24-2006, 04:35 PM
By the way, anyone get the book yet? I have a copy on reserve at the library.

Chip R
03-24-2006, 04:44 PM
A judge denied Bonds' lawyer's request.

That's a shame. :laugh: