I’m a fan of lawyers with a sense of humor. In the New Yorker this week, civil-rights
lawyer Clive Stafford Smith says that such a thing can even be a necessity:
“If you take everything that the government does in earnest,”
he said, “you’ll slit your wrists. When you’re dealing with
an absurd system, you’ve got to point out the absurdities.”
Stafford Smith, of course, literally deals in life-and-death situations. The
lawsuit between Chris Flowers and Sallie Mae doesn’t rise to that level
of importance. But it’s still refreshing to see that the lawyers there are keeping
things in perspective. Gregory Corcoran has some
of the color from the latest hearing, but he doesn’t include my favorite
quotes of the day, which came after Flowers graciously
agreed to let Sallie Mae seek a different buyer.
"We’re happy to waive the covenants," Mr. Wolinsky told the court.
"They can shop [the company]. God bless ’em. They are waived here and
"Obviously, we’re thrilled," said Stephen Susman, attorney for Sallie
Mae, after the Flowers group agreed to drop their control rights.
It’s rare that you can just smell the sarcasm rising off the page like that
in a news story; props to the (anonymous) journalist for not belaboring the