Bonds plans to hire new lawyer ahead of federal court appearance

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds plans to add an attorney to his
legal team before his federal court appearance next week, the
slugger's longtime business affairs lawyer said Thursday.

Michael Rains has represented Bonds since the home run king
first was subpoenaed in 2003 to testify in front of a grand jury
investigating performance-enhancing drug use among elite athletes.
Bonds is charged with lying to that grand jury when he testified he
didn't knowingly take steroids and is scheduled to make his first
court appearance Dec. 7.

Laura Enos, who has legally advised Bonds on business matters
since 1997, said Bonds was negotiating with a high-profile lawyer
with federal experience to help in defense against five felony
charges of perjury and obstruction. She declined to discuss names,
though San Francisco attorney John Keker's name was mentioned
throughout the legal community here as the likely candidate.

Keker's law office declined comment.

If Bonds does hire Keker, he'll be taking on one of the top
criminal defense attorneys in the country.

Keker first rose to prominence as the special prosecutor of Lt.
Col Oliver North during the Iran-Contra trial in 1989. Since then,
he has represented, among other high-profile clients, Enron Corp.
finance chief Andrew Fastow, securities litigator Bill Lerach and
former star stock analyst Frank Quattrone.

"I'd hire Keker if I were in trouble," Enos said, declining to
confirm if Bonds was targeting Keker.

"This has been in the works for six months," Enos said. "Mike
doesn't have a deep bench, and he doesn't have a lot of federal

Rains, a former U.S. Marine and police officer, operates a small
law firm in Walnut Creek that is focused mostly on defending in
state court police officers accused of misconduct.

Rains told The Associated Press last year that he landed Bonds
as a client through a mutual acquaintance, Dan Molieri, a boyhood
friend of Bonds and a former South San Francisco police officer.

Enos said Bonds has been satisfied with Rains' outspoken
representation, which included taunting prosecutors over the summer
that they didn't have enough evidence to indict a ham sandwich, let
alone Bonds. Rains apparently alienated federal prosecutors so much
they didn't extend a typical courtesy and give him advance notice
that Bonds would be indicted.

"Barry was surprised," said Enos, who added Bonds and his
legal team had hoped the investigation would end without an
indictment because they believed the statute of limitation on
Bonds' December 2003 testimony would expire next month.

"Things were quiet for months," she said.

Enos said she expects Rains will remain part of Bonds'
post-indictment legal team, but she wasn't sure of Rains'

"You never know if there will be differing of opinions on how
to handle the case," she said. "But I assume Mike is staying."

Rains declined comment Thursday.