Performance Review

Performance Review

Apparently the Chicago courtroom atmosphere was laden with tension as the long-awaited star witness, David Radler, began “finger pointing” in earnest, accusing Black of hatching a fiendish plot that lined both their pockets with shareholder booty. All such high drama, as we keep being told.

And how did Mr. Radler perform? Well, let’s start with his appearance. Who counselled a pink tie, the gangster’s trademark, for his opening day? (I realize my old friend Gabor Apor—who dressed Turner and Trudeau, among others—said pink ties are cool in the Globe on the weekend, but sorry, the Hollywood mafioso look is dark suit and pink tie.) Big mistake for this jury. Someone with a sense of the importance of a conservative image obviously got to him, as later in the week he sported a nice, expensive grey silk tie with black polka dots. Much better. Almost bankerly. Trustworthy, even.

The next Globe photo shows Radler gently waving off reporters as he leaves the courthouse, head tilted in a sort of modest “I-was-just-a-subordinate-doing-his-best-for-the-boss.” Just the kind of demeanour and tone I’d advise for the courtroom. And a bit of regret, as he has shown, is always effective.

It can’t be easy to maintain your equilibrium when you’re being called a liar hundreds of times a day. But Radler is bearing up well, giving as good as he gets, challenging Greenspan’s persistent attacks. This doesn’t take eloquence, just guts and timing. Well rehearsed, I’d say.

Interesting to have admitted guilt and to meet the challenge of being credible before a jury of ordinary Americans. Easier for an “ordinary” guy like Radler, who followed in Black’s wake and now must establish that he did his bidding even in the question of the non-compete payments. If he were my client, I’d advise him to keep it simple, keep it plain, keep away from the complicated scheming we know lay behind the core of this case. Just play the good lieutenant. Perhaps a nice, sincere blue tie for your next outing.