Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Lawyer

Juliet Macur of the New York Times reports that Lance Armstrong may confess to doping during his cycling career. (We previously discussed Mr. Armstrong here.)

I can't say I really care that much whether Armstong admits the doping or not. But I was intrigued by some comments that Tim Herman, Armstrong's lawyer, made to the New York Times about whether Armstong might confess: "I suppose anything is possible. Right now, that’s not really on the table."

I thought this was a strange comment. "Right now" that's not on the table? "Anything's possible"? This sort of implies that it is a possibility that could be on the table in the future. And it's far from the stern denial you might expect. Fundamentally, why would the lawyer say anything, especially on the record?

But you'll notice that the link I provided for Mr. Herman's comment isn't actually to the New York Times article itself. That's because that quote no longer appears in the New York Times article. Instead, the article now quotes Herman as saying, "Lance has to speak for himself on that." Good answer.

I suspect that Mr. Herman claims that this comment was made off the record and demanded that the quote be removed. Either that or he claims he was misquoted. I've sent an inquiry to Ms. Macur, the reporter, through Twitter but she has not responded. (Apparently she does not know the power I wield through this blog.)

I don't understand why lawyers ever talk to reporters about live cases. Nothing good can come of it. But I certainly like Mr. Herman's new quote better than his old one.


  1. Nice catch on the quote. As for talking to the press, I suppose in criminal cases one might feel it is important to get the defendant's version of events out to potential jury members. Is Mr. Armnstrong's case still "live"? I thought that he had declined any further appeals.

  2. As reported in the article, Armstrong has several ongoing legal matters related to his "alleged" doping.

  3. Surely you mean his confessed doping.

  4. In Mr. Torvik's defense, I don't think it was confessed on January 8. I thought the confession happened later in the month.


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