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Prosecutors are worried about Roger Clemens’ lawyer

Jan 27, 2011, 5:31 PM EDT

Rusty Hardin

The Roger Clemens prosecutors are asking the judge to grill Clemens to make sure he’s aware that his attorney — Rusty Hardin — may have a conflict of interest in that Hardin briefly represented Andy Pettitte back when the Mitchell Report came out.  My assumption is that the prosecutors are trying to make sure that, if they get a conviction, Clemens can’t later appeal on the ground that his lawyer was unable to effectively cross-examine Pettitte, who will likely be a major witness against him at trial.

I’m fairly certain that Clemens is well-aware of this potential conflict, what with the fact that Brian McNamee’s lawyer had tried to disqualify Hardin from representing Clemens in the defamation case down in Texas nearly three years ago.  Motions were filed and a decision issued with the judge saying that there was no problem with Hardin cross-examining Pettitte. At least as long as Pettitte himself didn’t object to it.  It’s Pettitte’s confidences with Hardin that would potentially be at risk, after all. He’s the one who would be damaged the most.  And to date he hasn’t cared.

And probably for good reason:  Hardin represented Pettitte for something like four whole days around the time the Mitchell Report was released, during which only a couple of conversations were had.  Pettitte didn’t like Hardin’s strategy so he left him, hired competent counsel and hasn’t really looked back.  Since then, Pettitte has testified in depositions and in Congressional hearings, all of which Hardin was part of.  Really, if there is anything left unexplored in the Pettitte-Hardin relationship, it’s not worth exploring.

And now, unlike the player who stuck with Hardin, the biggest problem that Andy Pettitte has is deciding whether to accept an eight figure deal to play baseball in 2011 or to stay home in his mansion with his adoring family.

Frankly, I imagine he’s just fine with the present circumstances.

  1. Loren - Jan 27, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Is Rusty Hardin modeling the A’s new alternate home uniform in that picture?

  2. clydeserra - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Its a good Idea to make a record of the potential conflict, but I have a hard time believing that a court of appeal would find reversible error for a conflict of your own making.

    How does this Hardin guy stay employed? Is he capable of giving good advice?

  3. stankfinger - Jan 28, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Clemens is in such a corner I bet he comes clean, admits to everything and blames it all on Hardin’s coercion to deny, deny, deny. Do you really think Clemens would EVER take any real responsibility for his own actions? Doubtful.

  4. BC - Jan 28, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Why is Hardin wearing an NFL Hall Of Fame jacket?

  5. dondbaseball - Jan 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Thank you for that crisp and concise recap. This has been mentioned numerous times in mainstream media but without any real intelligent overview of the situation.

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