We’re all so interested in the names being linked from the 2003 tests, but no one (besides me and a few other lawyer types) seems all that interested in who’s leaking the names. I wanna know, both as a lawyer — and for as much as complain about the legal system, I still hold my duties as an officer of the court in pretty damn high regard — and as a baseball guy.
You’ll recall that the reason the names are still out there is because, while some Nero at the Players’ Association fiddled, federal agents, acting on a search warrant in connection with the BALCO case, seized the 2003 test results from their custodian, Comprehensive Drug Testing. The warrant and its execution has been litigated to death (a great summary of it all can be found here), and the matter is still pending on appeal.
One’s first thought might me to simply go to the docket and write down the names of counsel of record to see if one could guess who’s leaking. If one did that, however, one would realize that there’s no shortage of suspects. In addition to baseball and the union and BALCO and the government and everyone else with a direct interest in the case, there are multiple amici curiae who have weighed in as well. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor groups, privacy advocates and folks like that, all of whom will be impacted by a ruling that has to do with workplace drug testing and the handling of sensitive medical information. In light of that, it’s not hard to imagine that several dozen lawyers involved in the case itself are privy to the list, not to mention lawyers and others in-house at the various parties. And that’s before you get to the judge, the law clerks, and anyone else who fits the description “lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation.”
One of ‘em — probably more than one of ‘em — feels that leaking information subject to a court order is worth their while. Maybe they have an axe to grind against the players. Maybe they’re pro-player and have some messed up, double-secret-reverse-psychology motive for outing the ones on the list. Maybe they just get a woody from seeing the information they leaked in the news. There are as many possible motives as there are suspects.
I wanna know who’s doing it. Specifically, I want the judge to get good and angry and sic the feds on the matter to suss out who’s doing it. Short of that, I want someone in the investigatory side of the media to take it upon themselves to find out who’s leaking. Short of that (and I know that’s not going to happen because the media isn’t going to rat out one of their sources), anyone with ideas as to how to answer the question is encouraged to drop me a line. We can call it citizen journalism or angry mobism or whatever you want, but at the moment I find determining the identity of the leaker(s) to be a far more interesting and pressing question than who the rest of the famous 103 are. And just so no one is uncertain on this point and accuses me of being a tricksy Hobbitses, let me be 100% clear: If I learn who it is, I’m tellin’.
Maybe that seems a bit heavy handed on my part. But hey, like LaTroy Hawkins said, “it’s America, dude.”
UPDATE: Random Googling found this bit from AmLaw Daily back in February:
Charles La Bella, a founding partner of San Diego’s La Bella & McNamara and former U.S. attorney for Southern California, told Yahoo’s Littman that he expects U.S. district court judge Susan Illston to order criminal contempt hearings to determine who leaked the news of Rodriguez’s failed test.
“It’s unfair to tarnish an individual [i.e., Rodriguez] based on that illegally seized information,” La Bella said.
La Bella noted that Illston–the district court judge in the BALCO case who is also presiding over Barry Bonds’s upcoming federal perjury trial–previously has ruled that the government was entitled to information gleaned from the raid on CDT in April 2004. And the judge hasn’t taken kindly to leakers of privileged material.
I’m guessing Illston is taking a bit kindly, because as far as I know, there have been no hearings on this matter. There should be.