EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece appears in the April 10, 2006, issue of National Review.
Wachtell & Zabel
300 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y.
IN RE: Resolution of side-agreement dispute between Clinton and Clinton
Many thanks for your prompt response to my letter of 9 March 2006. In that conversation, as I’m sure you’ll recall, you suggested that perhaps this dispute over the current Dubai Ports World matter might be more effectively resolved if we, along with our clients, met in conference at some mutually agreeable location. I passed this on to my client upon his return from Davos and the Vanity Fair Oscar party, at which point he tells me that he promptly placed a call to your client, his wife, and was rebuffed by what he describes as “hurtful” and “non-constructive” language.
Clearly, this matter needs attention. If you’ll permit me to be frank, both of our clients are talented and articulate lawyers, and therefore it is incumbent on us, their counsel, to seek ways to maintain an atmosphere of good cooperation and communication between them. Six years ago, they elected to communicate with each other exclusively through counsel, and I think both of us would be hard-pressed to declare this agreement anything but a success. Your client has gone on to the United States Senate, and is currently a top contender for the Democratic nomination to the presidency. My client is a sought-after speaker and world leader and, additionally, has to beat them off with a stick. (As is his right under the terms of the agreement.)
It does neither of them any good to be seen as a quarreling, unhappy couple locked in a sham marriage of political necessity, when the truth is that they’re a happily married team of compatible professionals who prefer to maintain totally separate domiciles and to communicate solely via the medium of their individual legal representation (and they have fully executed contracts to that effect).
Let’s talk soon, Mike, and put this matter to bed quickly, before my client leaves for the Cannes Film Festival.
Patton & Pickering
1990 Connecticut Avenue, NW
IN RE: Clinton/Clinton Side Agreement Section XLV, ii
Many thanks for your last letter, and for your continued efforts to resolve this troubling issue. I’m puzzled, however, by your insistence in our last telephone conversation that we’re just “miscommunicating.”
The truth is, as I’m sure you’ll agree when you reacquaint yourself with the relevant section of the Clinton/Clinton Side Agreement that I cite above (page 268 of the final compilation of terms and agreements we worked out in January 2000), your client is to “make known in writing” any and all “alliances, contacts, arrangements, and employments” within a reasonable time frame, to which my client has veto rights not to be unreasonably exercised. Your client neglected to mention his work with the United Arab Emirates or Dubai Ports World, and his flippant response to our complaint (“Where d’ya think I got this Rolex, babe?”) is non-responsive at best. . . .
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