Lawyers: Clemens lawsuit faces challenges to prove defamation Print
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Monday, 07 January 2008 17:20
MLB Headline News

 NEW YORK (AP) -As a public figure, Roger Clemens must meet a higher standard to prove defamation in court than an ordinary citizen would.
Clemens filed a lawsuit late Sunday against former trainer Brian McNamee, who told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens could face several legal hurdles if the case went to trial, said Randall Bezanson, a law professor at the University of Iowa who has written extensively on defamation law.
In addition to the public figure argument, McNamee's lawyers could contend that his statements didn't qualify as defamation, Bezanson said.
``It could be claimed under common law used in many states that it's privileged because it's part of the government record,'' he said.
Gallagher, speculated Clemens could cite the suit as a reason he cannot answer some questions when he testifies before Congress.
The next step for the case will depend on each side's strategy, said Kheel, the former lawyer for the National League. McNamee's lawyers could file a motion to dismiss, which would tie the suit up in legal procedures for months. They also could choose to aggressively move forward in the case. That would mean Clemens would have to provide evidence such as medical records, but it also could force McNamee to reveal potentially damaging information.
 

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