Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It gets even amazinger

Not only have legal events continued to evolve in America's Cup 33, and with Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)'s help, they actually verge on the bizarre.

But now the truly bizarre has arrived.

The wonderfully gifted writer Cory E. Friedman, Attorney of New York, famed for 13 episodic commentaries on the proceedings in Justice Herman Cahn's courtroom at the New York Supreme Court (the latest here), has now become a player in the event.

You will remember that Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), the Prince of Alinghi, asked Mr. Friedman to sit with him in New York for a lengthy chat during Ernesto's visit in the Fall. And they chatted. And Mr. Friedman wrote about it.

Now Ernesto's new attorney, Barry R. Ostrager, the high-profile partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, famous for his successful multi-billion dollar defense of the huge Swiss insurance company, Swiss Re, in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, now effulgent in his role as lead attorney for SNG, approached Mr. Friedman to explain SNG's position in the appeal.

Mr. Friedman, whose most recent post on Scuttlebutt sounded more like a lecture at NYU than the plain talk commentaries we have enjoyed to date, graciously accepted Mr. Ostrager's offer and (not to put too fine a point on it) did so in a curiously judge-like tone.

"Naturally I agreed," he wrote. "I give almost anyone the courtesy of a hearing."

Well, that's nice to hear, Judge Friedman.

But the Judge wasn't done. Not by a long shot.

In his next breath, he advised Mr. Ostrager that the parties in the dispute could resolve the problem "with the help of a really first class mediator like Ken Feinberg who resolved all of the World Trade Center claims."

Mr. Ostrager assured the Judge that he personally knew Mr. Feinberg.

Judge Friedman added "having bested Herb Wachtell (who represented the owner of the Twin Towers) in the mammoth World Trade Center Insurance Litigation, Barry Ostrager had the clout to get this gig (i.e., be hired for the SNG appeal) and has the skills and resources to litigate for a long time."

He concluded, "He also has the clout to get it resolved."

How? By persisting in Justice Cahn's court? By retaining Mr. Feinberg?? By retaining Mr. Friedman???

All we humble bloggers get to do is name, blame and shame. And I must admit that most of us are enormously ineffective in achieving this. Ernesto, for one, is deaf to our entreaties.

But Mr. Friedman, now there's a powerhouse, I assure you.