Sports

I can’t remember the last time I was this happy about an indictment. From NPR (gavel bang: Going Concern):

Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008, with his former trainer, Brian McNamee, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.

According to the Department of Justice, he has been “charged with one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury.”

Go get him, feds. You go get that bloated, shady, suspicious, bat-throwing antichrist. Get ‘em all, I say; you lie to Congress, you get the horns!

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Major League Baseball Pitcher Roger Clemens [NPR]
Roger Clemens indicted [ESPN]

Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher

Just because a man deposits on your leg doesn’t mean you can take him to the bank. The jury in the Karen Sypher eight-day trial began deliberating yesterday at 3 p.m., and finished up today after about five hours — an eternity in Rick Pitino time.

While it may have been embarrassing for Louisville basketball coach Pitino to testify about his terrible sexual performance, it led to Sypher being found guilty of extortion, lying to federal agents, and witness retaliation. The jury is still out on whether she’s guilty of giving creepy head.

Sypher guilty on all counts [WAVE 3]
Sypher found guilty on all counts [Kentucky Sports Radio]

Earlier: The Bluegrass State’s Sordid Sports Trial (Or: University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino must really hate Karen Sypher)

Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher

Every sports fan we know is bugging us to cover the prosecution of Karen Sypher, a former car-show model and auto-glass saleswoman, who is being tried for extorting University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, lying to the FBI, and retaliation against a witness. Since it concerns balls, it seems like a natural fit for resident ATL sports fan Elie Mystal, but there’s lots of sex in the trial testimony as well, so the case has been reassigned to me.

Well, not lots of sex. A little bit of sex. Like 15 seconds of it.

The trouble started with a sexual encounter between Pitino and Sypher back in 2003. Pitino, who is married with children, says the encounter was consensual. Sypher says it was rape. It gets really complicated from there. Lots of salacious stuff has come out of the trial: Pregnancy. Abortion. Extortion. Multiple lovers. Sypher giving her lawyer, Dana Kolter, a blow job to get representation. You know, pretty standard stuff…

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(Or: University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino must really hate Karen Sypher)

I know, I know — it sounds like the perfect third-year law school course. But I’m not talking about a way for 3Ls to get an easy A; I’m talking about the apparent proliferation of law blogs devoted to mixed martial arts (MMA). Writes Bruce Carton of Legal Blog Watch: “I’m not exactly sure what this development means for the current state of legal blogging, but just know this: There are now two blogs dedicated to mixed martial arts law!”

Carton highlights Mixed Martial Arts Law Blog and Fight Lawyer. There’s something perfectly satisfying about lawyers writing about the laws that pertain to beating the crap out of each other. You could imagine cooks writing about what meal you should have before you knock another cook over the head with a frying pan. It just fits very nicely with the profession.

But aside from lawyers writing about MMA, let’s not forget that we’ve seen a number of attorneys actually practice the fine art of choking another man into submission….

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If he doesn't get you in court, he'll get you in the ring.

Have you ever clerked and wanted to beat the stuffing out of your judge? In Texas, you might just get that opportunity. But be careful — some Texas judges have skills.

The Supreme Court of Texas Blog has the story of one of them: Texas State Supreme Court Justice, David Medina:

Justice David Medina’s biography notes that “in college he competed on the university’s karate . . . team.”…

Turns out, he recently participated in a match — with a law clerk. Thanks to the power of YouTube, you can watch from the comfort and relative safety of your office.

Does the opportunity to beat up a state supreme court justice outweigh the possibility of getting your ass handed to you on a plate by a 51-year-old man?

Let’s get ready to rumble…

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In the aftermath of last week’s “LeBromination,” where we witnessed the Miami Heat become the basketball power equivalent of the SuperFriends, this was the response from a colleague of mine to a related story gaining steam in the media:

“Yeah, and I’m Shaq’s uncle.”

The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Leicester Bryce Stovell. As first reported by TMZ, and followed by a slew of other media outlets (including this video from Headline News), Stovell claims that he is the biological father of basketball star LeBron James. In making his claim, he did what any of us would have done: he sued his son and baby’s mama (Gloria James) for $4 million dollars.

Sounds a bit sketchy, right? After he was named our Lawyer of the Day last Friday, I decided to reach out to Stovell for an interview with Above The Law. It turns out that the former SEC lawyer currently works as a contract attorney here in DC, which means we are practically brothers, in a non-DNA-test sort of way.

Stovell gave me some frank, interesting answers — along with a startling revelation….

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(aka Gloria James’s ‘Baby Daddy’)”

Does LeBron James have lawyerly genes?

LeBron James, who’s your daddy? (Unfortunately, it’s not the Knicks, to Elie’s great dismay.) Could it be a Washington lawyer by the name of Leicester Bryce Stovell?

Stovell came forward this week, claiming to have knocked up Gloria James when she was 15 and to have genetic proof that he’s the King’s father. Like all good dads should, Stovell is suing his new-found son and baby mama for $4 million for denying paternity. TMZ reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday along with photos of Stovell, saying the resemblance is uncanny. At the very least, it’s true that they’re both tall.

TMZ was blown away by Stovell’s credentials:

[T]he man making the claim isn’t some schmuck — dude is a Princeton graduate … who earned a law degree from the University of Chicago … and then became a Senior Legal Advisor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Au contraire. You can get a law degree from the U of Chicago and still be a schmuck. One of Stovell’s former colleagues attests to that…

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At 9 P.M. tonight, Lebron James is making his big announcement about where he will play next season.

Cleveland?  Chicago? Miami?  New York?  New Jersey?

What about Europe? (Lebron once told ESPN he might play overseas for $50 Million per year).

NBA players should hope that Lebron chooses Europe.  And this is for reasons more important than just their chances of winning an MVP Award…

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We need help and will threaten legal action to get it.

The legal world might be wrapped up in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, and the international community might be wrapped up in the World Cup. But there is one thing that is capturing the minds of many “average Americans”: at midnight Eastern time, NBA free agency starts. LeBron, D-Wade, and the face of major professional basketball will begin to change tonight — and I promise you most Americans care more about who is on their basketball team than who is on their Supreme Court.

Is there a legal angle to the free-agent frenzy that’s about to kick off? Not really, but let’s pretend that there is. A month ago, Dwyane Wade said that he and other top free agents would be “having a meeting” to discuss their options — and this made a lot of people wonder if such a meeting (and any decisions coming out of such a meeting) would be tantamount to collusion and a violation of the Sherman Act. From ESPN:

But make no mistake: When Wade talks about sitting down with LeBron James and Joe Johnson (and perhaps Chris Bosh) to discuss free agency and where each of them will wind up playing, he is absolutely suggesting that a tiny handful of elite players could conspire — that’s the familiar use of the word, not the legal — to determine the future direction of the league.

Will Wade and LeBron engage in illegal price-fixing? If they end up in New York together, will I care? Let’s talk free agency and the law….

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It’s one of life’s great unanswered questions: Is cheerleading a sport? Soon a federal judge in Connecticut will make a ruling in a Title IX case that may help solve this age-old mystery. From the New Haven Register:

It is unclear whether federal judge Stefan R. Underhill will offer an opinion on whether competitive cheerleading is a viable varsity sport or not. But, Underhill will have to decide whether Quinnipiac University can truly count it as one in his decision in the case of the women’s volleyball team against the school.

The two sides of the lawsuit brought before the U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union to determine if Quinnipiac violated Title IX parameters debated the merits of competitive cheerleading for much of Tuesday’s session, the second day of testimony.

Says the (male) tipster who sent this along:

I’d love to work on this trial… the exhibits could be great.

One of the cheerleading experts for the volleyball plaintiffs offered a spirited argument against cheerleading as a sport, comparing it to chess.

Please. Could Bobby Fischer do what those women above are doing for the Indians?

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