Monday, January 07, 2008


This Clemens story is going to be great. He just filed a defamation lawsuit against his old trainer, Brian McNamee.

The legal case is so weak that it must be for show.

In nonlawyer talk, to win a defamation case a plaintiff has to show that the defendant made a false statement and that he (the plaintiff) suffered damages. Was McNamee's statement false? Obviously, that's the big debate--whether McNamee told the truth. Clemens would have to show that McNamee lied. Seems unlikely, considering that McNamee testified to the Feds under penalty of perjury.

Even worse for Clemens, it's harder for "public figures" to win a defamation case. The theory is that public figures voluntarily put themselves out there to be praised by people, so they also have to accept more criticism. As a public figure, Clemens will also have to show that McNamee acted with "actual malice". I don't think he can show actual malice.

McNamee made his comments under oath to the Feds. Even if McNamee is lying, and it would be crazy for him to lie under oath, it doesn't make sense that he would have actual malice to Clemens. (I suppose it's theoretically possible that he has a big grudge against Clemens and made all this up to "get" him, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.)

In any event, I'm sure the legal ridiculousness is just starting!

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