Clemens' lawyers ask to keep lawsuit in Texas

August 8, 2008 11:02:00 AM PDT
Roger Clemens' lawyers asked a federal judge to reject attempts by Brian McNamee to dismiss the former pitcher's defamation suit or have it moved from Texas to New York. In papers filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Houston, they responded to a July 2 motion filed by attorneys for McNamee, Clemens' former personal trainer.

Clemens filed the defamation suit against McNamee in January, after the trainer claimed the seven-time Cy Young Award winner used steroids and human growth hormone.

"Desperate to avoid the merits of Clemens's claims, McNamee moves to dismiss on insubstantial and frivolous grounds that are contrary to controlling authority which requires McNamee to answer to a Texas court and jury for his intentional conduct that injured a Texas resident in Texas," Clemens' lawyers wrote.

They said hearing the suit in New York instead of Houston would be wrong "because most of the key witnesses in this case are in the Southern District of Texas, the cost of attendance in New York City for willing witnesses is substantially higher than it would be in Houston (and) the courts in the Southern District of Texas are less congested."

"Whether McNamee falsely charged Clemens with using steroids in New York, Texas, or on the moon is of little consequence. It simply does not change that McNamee's conduct was calculated to and did harm Clemens where he lived and worked."

The case is being heard by U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison.