Strategy: Leverage The Media, Both Here and Abroad ||||
What do Boris Becker, the President of Colombia and AT&T all have in common? Don Hayden successfully leveraged the media in each of these high-profile cases to facilitate the best result for his client. He represented the President of Columbia, other government officials and the Colombian government-controlled oil company, Ecopetrol, S.A., in federal court in Orlando. The claims involved significant RICO and fraud claims involving alleged kickbacks and corruption including collusion with narco-terrorists in the award of oil exploration and drilling rights with damages asserted of over $250 million. While not headline news in Orlando, it was headline news in Colombia. Don was able to dissect each of the scandalous claims through aggressive motion practice, and consistently provided the Colombian press with credible evidence contradicting the claims. Similarly, when representing Boris Becker in his high-profile divorce and custody, the representation extended beyond the courtroom where the proceedings were televised live daily by all the German media outlets, and required almost daily responses to efforts by opposing counsel to try the matter in the media. In the high-profile “Brothers to the Rescue” litigation, (see Alejandre v. Telefonica Lara Distancia de Puerto Rico 183 F. 3d 1277 (1999), the families of pilots shot down by the Cuban Air Force obtained a $178 million default judgment against the Republic of Cuba. The only known available assets to satisfy that judgment were held by AT&T and two other carriers in blocked accounts pursuant to presidential executive order. The engagement required ensuring that the garnishment proceedings were appropriately effectuated and that AT&T would not be subject to subsequent claims from Cuba while not appearing to be unsympathetic to the families of the deceased. The two year engagement involved issues of first impression involving the interplay of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, federal regulations and executive orders and state garnishment procedures.