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Roger Clemens pleads not guilty, and a digression on entering courthouses

Aug 30, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

Roger Clemens just pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. No bail set. Clemens just can’t leave
the country, which is standard. Nothing crazy happened.  He’s now off to play golf someplace, just as most
well-heeled criminal defendants do after they get arraigned.

There’s nothin’ else going on right now, so I’m left to consider the following:

  • Roger Clemens showed up for his arraignment several hours early today, thereby making it into the courthouse before most of the press could assemble and photograph and tape him entering the building;
  • Frank McCourt, according to the L.A. Times, “entered a side door” to the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse today, thus avoiding the press;
  • Jamie McCourt walked right in the front door wearing a white dress, shades, flanked by a phalanx of lawyers and got photographed like crazy.

I was part of a couple of cases that got a lot of media attention back when I was practicing. There was always talk of how to avoid the press and, on at least one occasion, I was part of some elaborate scheme in which the quasi-celebrity client was trucked in and out via freight elevators and loading docks and stuff.

I never understood this. They’re going to get their pictures eventually. You don’t have to say a word to them. Unlike in the movies, you don’t have to fight your way through them. Unless you’re some coked up starlet or something, they really will get out of your way. They’re working the legal beat for crying out loud.

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