Attorneys Amp Up Spat|Between Major Leaguers

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – An attorney for baseball star Albert Pujols today called a settlement offer for Pujols’ defamation lawsuit against a radio personality “an absurd publicity ploy.”
     Martin D. Singer, who represents Pujols, rejected the offer in a statement.
     Pujols – Jose Alberto Pujols Alcantara – sued former Major Leaguer turned radio host Jack Clark on Oct. 4, claiming Clark falsely accused him of taking steroids to drum up ratings for Clark’s recently launched radio show.
     On Monday, Clark’s attorney Albert Watkins sent Singer a letter outlining a settlement proposal, which required both sides to take a polygraph test.
     The letter gave Pujols 10 days to accept, but Singer wasted no time rejecting it.
     “What matters in court is sworn testimony,” Singer said in the statement. “There is a reason that polygraph exams are inadmissible in civil and criminal cases.
     “This defamation lawsuit was not filed so that Jack Clark and his lawyer can try to turn a very serious legal claim into a media circus. Instead of focusing on the facts and letting a jury decide a case based on evidence, Jack Clark’s lawyer is trying to use a serious legal claim to drum up publicity. We shall see how a judge reacts to his stated intention of using the court to create a ‘public spectacle.'”
     Watkins on Tuesday issued a statement of his own in response.
     “If the suggested settlement protocol constitutes an ‘absurd publicity ploy,’ how does one explain the countless boys and girls of the land who will undoubtedly sustain hurt and pain when they come to learn the ballplayer they worship(ed) is unwilling to submit to the same deception discernment device (lie detector test) as is employed on a daily basis by local, state and federal law enforcement personnel the nation over?” Watkins said. [Parentheses in original.]
     “That being said, I believe the public spectacle was created when Mr. Alcantara elected to file suit against Mr. Clark in the Circuit Court of the County of Saint Louis but asserted it was not about the money, being the only remedy available when one judicially pursues recovery under the theory of liability being pursued by Mr. Alcantara against Mr. Clark.
     “Here’s the rub. Mr. Alcantara, through his legal counsel, has asserted (much like when he departed the Gateway to the West for LA) that it is not about the money; that he will donate the proceeds of the case (to the extent there are any) to a charity; and that this is truly about maintaining the integrity of his name (whatever name that may be).
     “If we take Mr. Alcantara’s representations in this regard at face value, one is compelled to inquire as to why he is shying away from a protocol designed to cut to the chase. One can reasonably surmise this recalcitrance is premised on a sense of grave trepidation about the potential prospective results of a polygraph. It can certainly appear to some that Mr. Alcantara is waffling in his commitment to fostering the very integrity he purports to pursue.”

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