Friday, December 7, 2007
Above the Law has eyewitness reports (here) on the initial appearance and arraignment of Barry Bonds. In addition to the usual procedures, such as Bonds being released without having to post bond or surrender his passport, it appears that the conflict of interest issue with one of his new attorneys, Christine Arguedas, is an issue, at least for the moment. From various reports, it sounds like prosecutors raised the question about one of Bonds' lawyers representing other witnesses in the case, which is probably Arguedas' representation of witnesses in the Balco grand jury investigation in which Bonds allegedly committed perjury. Of course, a defendant can waive the conflict, but the court is not required to accept it. This may be the first test regarding the relationship between the two sides, and if the government takes a hard line and files a motion to disqualify then things are likely to get pretty frosty.
The defense also said it will seek dismissal of the indictment, which will probably require briefing and a hearing on the motion. The next court date is February 7, at which time the judge may set a trial date. With a flurry of motions like to come soon, it is unlikely the case will be completed before the end of the 2008 season, which raises the question whether any major league team will take a chance and sign Bonds to a contract. (ph)
UPDATE: Here's the text of the court's order recounting the hearing:
The defendant’s appearance maybe waive at the next appearance. The appropriate waivers shall be filed in advance of the next hearing. The government indicated that there may be a conflict issue with certain defense counsel. The government shall e.file a letter indicating the situation as they see it and the Court will determine if a hearing is necessary. If the Court determines that a hearing is necessary, the defendant must be present. Defendant indicated that they may file a motion to dismiss the indictment.