Friday, January 1, 2010

Hush Money

All in favor of hush money, raise your hands!

The Gothamist is reporting on the legal defense of Robert "Joe" Halderman who tried to extort oh, a couple of cool million from David Letterman over Letterman's extra-marital job-related affairs.  The defense raised by legendary mouthpiece Gerald Shargel, is this:  Halderman wanted hush money, no biggie.  Halderman had information to sell, and if Lettermna didn't want to buy it, he was going to sell it somewhere else. 

This is a brilliant defense, Shargel has essentially postulated an intellecctual property argument.  I can see him in front of the jury now, setting forth this position with a shrug of the shoulders saying, "no biggie."  Now, there's the little problem of how the pitch to Letterman was made, a little unorthodox, but hey it's the wonderful world of celebrities--who knows, maybe someone other than Letterman might have admired the creative cojones of this conman, who knows?  Just as a refresher, here's Letterman's explanation of the pitch, you tell me.

The proposed Shargel defense reminds me of the defense of Corporate defendants in many cases I've seen over time, it sort of goes like this:  we did xxx, because we COULD.   Usually, what they are saying is, let's see what the Judge and jury do to us--maybe it won't hurt too much. 

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