MLB seems none too pleased that Roger Clemens retained the services of a firm with long time ties to the league. Covington and Burlington added Clemens to their client list in 2008 and will represent the pitcher in Congressional hearings; the firm also represents MLB. Oops, we smell a conflict brewing. To Law.com.
Earlier this year Covington & Burling decided to add pitcher Roger Clemens to its roster of high-profile clients. But perhaps it should have received approval from another client, Major League Baseball, first. Covington agreed to represent Clemens in the congressional steroids inquiry without getting the league's sign-off -- a potential blunder in the high-stakes world of sports league representation. According to a source familiar with the matter, Covington's decision to represent Clemens annoyed the league. The official relationship between Major League Baseball and the firm has not changed but, according to the same source, a meeting between the two is imminent. Mitchell Dolin, a Covington partner designated as the firm's spokesperson, declined to comment. Patrick Courtney, a spokesperson for MLB, also declined to comment.
Covington represents the NFL and the MLB. With regard to MLB, Clemens points to problems with the Mitchell Report. Thus Clemens retained a lawyer from a firm with ties to one of his potential lawsuit targets. Here is how that went down:
(Clemens) turned to Lanny Breuer, co-chairman of Covington's white-collar defense and investigations group, who has plenty of experience on the Hill. As special counsel to President Clinton, he represented the president during his impeachment proceedings. Since then his clients before congressional committees have included Halliburton Co., Moody's Investors Service in connection with Enron Corp.'s collapse, and the University of California in an investigation into Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Clemens main attorney, Rusty Hardin, says there are no conflicts. We will see about that:
In January, Hardin told The New York Times that Breuer said he had to get clearance first. "We'd talked to him, and we'd just been waiting a day or two to check out conflicts," said Hardin. "He had no conflicts."