Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Roger Clemens Threatened With Contempt

BROOKLYN (CN) - Two federal judges threatened Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens with contempt if he doesn't turn over documents involving his personal trainer's defamation lawsuit against him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollack on Tuesday gave Clemens until Nov. 26 to turn over the documents that she already had told him to hand over to Brian McNamee's attorney.

U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson backed up Pollack in a separate order Wednesday, after Pollack recused herself from considering some of the documents.

"Defendant Roger Clemens shall show cause why he should not be sanctioned ... for his continued and repeated abuse of the discovery process," Pollack wrote in her 36-page order. Twenty-three of the pages are an appendix listing documents, including emails.

McNamee sued Clemens in December 2008, claiming that the pitcher had defamed him by falsely accusing of lying and creating evidence about Clemens's alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

McNamee testified against Clemens at a congressional hearing after a report blew the lid off performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball made waves when it issued its Mitchell Report, which claimed that McNamee helped get steroids for Clemens and other trainers.

In November 2012, McNamee sought all communications involving Hendricks Sports Management, Randal and Alan Hendricks and Jose Householdholer, as they relate to McNamee, the Mitchell Report, and the congressional hearings.

Clemens objected, claiming the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege.

In August 2013, Pollack ordered Clemens to produce the documents.

Clemens' counsel then submitted a "privilege log" that the judge found to be inadequate, in that the "subject line contain[ed], in many instances, exceedingly unhelpful descriptions" and insufficient information.

Pollack also found that his attorneys purposefully withheld documents.

"Defendant's decision not to produce all responsive documents in violation of this court's order was deliberate and intentional," Pollack wrote in her Tuesday order.

Pollack had recused herself from viewing a select number of documents because of her personal connection with the law firm.

U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson stepped in, and on Tuesday ordered Clemens to turn over all but seven documents.

He also threatened Clemens with contempt, stating that his actions were "sanctionable," and "forewarns the defendant here."

Pollack gave Clemens until Dec. 19 to show why he should not be held in contempt of court and sanctioned.

She also ordered him to turn over the documents.

Pollack scheduled a hearing for Jan. 9, 2015.

Clemens, a fastballer, had a 354-184 record in the Major Leagues, primarily with the Yankees and Red Sox. He struck out a record 4,672 batters, including a record 20 in one game, and won a record seven Cy Young Awards.

He was indicted, but cleared, of felony counts of lying to Congress.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.