SBD/Issue 128/Law & Politics

Judge Denies Barry Bonds’ Request To Hold Book Profits

Judge Denies Bonds’ Request
To Hold “Game Of Shadows” Profits

S.F. Superior Court Judge James Warren on Friday denied a motion from Giants LF Barry Bonds “that he appoint a receiver to monitor sales of the newly published ‘Game of Shadows’ and seize all profits,” according to Bob Egelko of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Warren said that Bonds’ lawyers “failed to show how he would be harmed if the authors and publisher are allowed to continue to collect the book proceeds.” He added that the money “can be accounted for and redirected if Bonds ultimately wins the suit.” Bonds’ attorney, Allison Berry Wilkinson, argued that “depriving writers of ill-gotten gains would not interfere with their constitutional right of free expression.” Bonds’ attorneys also argued that it was illegal to possess the grand jury testimony cited in the book, “knowing they had been obtained improperly, and to use them for financial gain.” Federal law prohibits leaking grand jury testimony but not the publication by outside parties. Jonathan Donnellan, a lawyer for the Hearst Corp., which owns the S.F. Chronicle, said, “There’s never been a prosecution of a reporter for publishing leaked documents.” Meanwhile, Warren said he had “very serious questions about the likelihood of success” of Bonds’ lawsuit. He also “expressed doubt about Bonds’ lawyers’ assertions that they were not trying to halt sales of the book.” Donnellan said that he “would ask Warren to dismiss the suit and to order Bonds to pay the defendants’ legal fees and costs under a California law penalizing suits that seek to stifle free speech” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/25). In N.Y., Sears & Quinn cites sources saying that Bonds and his lawyers “considered dropping their legal challenge” after Warren’s denial of the motion (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/25).

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