Barry Bonds Could Really Use Johnnie Cochran Right About Now

Considering the charges against him — and the public opinion forces, going all the way up to President bush — one would think Barry Bonds' legal team would be coming together and preparing a fierce, scorched earth strategy to take down what are arguably pumped-up charges. One would be wrong.

In fact, it looks like Bonds' legal team is in the midst of total chaos.

Much of the disarray can be traced back to Mr. Bonds's advisers. Unlike many celebrity defendants who respond to legal woes with flotillas of high-paid lawyers and public-relations experts, Mr. Bonds has largely depended on a high-school friend who works as a private investigator and bodyguard for guidance on hiring lawyers and laying out legal strategy, say several people working on the case. Meanwhile, his legal team has been spearheaded by Michael Rains, an attorney who usually defends police officers accused of misconduct in state court and who has little federal experience. In August, the slugger added John Burris, a plaintiffs lawyer with whom Mr. Rains has a contentious history, and whom Mr. Rains didn't want on the case.

Bonds is scheduled to be arraigned in San Francisco tomorrow; we find it amusing to imagine Lionel Hutz is representing him. "Lionel Hutz, court-appointed attorney. I'll be defending you on the charge of... lying under oath! Wow! Even if I lose, I'll be famous!"

Bonds' Team Has Trouble Deciding Who's On First [Wall Street Journal]