Monday, December 17, 2007

A-Rod and Boras

Following last night's 60 minutes interview, the headlines are all about how Alex Rodriguez and Boras aren't speaking. The actual words used by Rodriguez, however, say much more than the silence does:

The whole debacle started, he says, when his agent, Scott Boras, told him the
Yankees didn’t want him anymore. "But they were trying to reach out to you. It's
kind of hard to believe that you were taking Scott Boras' word as gospel when
you had all these other signs coming from Yankee management," Couric remarks.

"You're right," Rodriguez says. Asked why he fell for that, Rodriguez said, "Why
wouldn't I trust my attorney. Most people trust their attorneys. I'm a baseball
player. I'm not an attorney. I've never negotiated a contract."

When your biggest client tells the world that you're a liar, you are pretty much done as a lawyer. Hard to say now if that goes for lawyer/agents like Boras, but it should.


Osmodious said...

No offense intended, but doesn't society generally fall back on that hackneyed idea that ALL lawyers are liars? It's something I've always found curious, because I guess I always thought of the study of law as something rather exacting...determining the 'true' meaning of words (which is all the law is), the intent behind them and the application of such. Perhaps the act of picking specific words or phrases, in or out of context, might seem like lying, I don't know.

Not that I expect 'people' to take anything like a considered approach to this sort of thing. I guess most people think of lawyers as liars because of popular culture (as in: movies like "Liar, Liar", etc.), but there has been enough exposure to *real* lawyers (through press conferences in large trials and such) and the image hasn't changed.

I think I missed your point...a lawyer should never lie to his client (and, hopefully, a client shouldn't lie to his attorney). That is probably the whole point of attorney-client privilege. I mean, Boras appears to be as sleazy as they come, and the implication has always been that he lies (or at least exaggerates) with the *teams* with which he deals...but he should always be forthright with his clients.

Of course, it does stand to reason that someone who is as much of a control-freak as Boras might feel the need to 'manage' his clients, from time to time. But does that include outright lying, presuming that ARod has interpreted what was said correctly?

Anonymous said...

Society's perception is society's perception. That doesn't make it the reality.

I believe Shyster's point is that, upon retention, attorneys have a duty of loyalty to the client that presumes complete candor. The nature of legal work (in which Roshomon is a norm) will too often lead to different perspectives on WHAT HAPPENED (both between adversarial parties and between lawyer and client).

Clients often lie to their lawyers. Bad lawyers lie to their clients. Good lawyers, in the counseling function, often take the client's mindset, and its overall goals, into consideration when determining how to present legal options. That's the slippery slope that every lawyer navigates and probably the one that Boras slide down.

The point, through, is the perception of the individal client as to what occurred. Once the client feels lied to and publically states that to be the case, the lawyer-client relationship is effect over. The relationship requires a certain core trust that just isn't there anymore.

Matt G said...

I do not see this interview, or the events themselves, having any impact on Scott Boras's career, for these reasons:

1. I do not believe A-Rod, and I think many others won't. I think Boras is taking the blame, as part of a calculated plan B. Plan A was to get more money elsewhere, plan B was to go back to the Yankees, and do whatever was necessary to restore A-Rod's image, short of firing Boras.

2. Boras got A-Rod all the money. A-Rod used the work attorney, but to everyone else everywhere, Boras is an agent. Just the fact that A-Rod did not use the word agent--a much more apt identifier--indicates some pre-conceived plan to manipulate the events.

3. A-Rod did not fire Boras. What does all this matter, if he doesn't fire his agent? The paltry excuse--it's his last contract--explains nothing. Just for spite, you fire your agent if he lied to you so egregiously. You also probably get your actual attorney and attempt to deny him his commission.

Shyster said...

You know, Matt, I can't say I disagree with anything you just said. I think my brain was tired this morning after a weekend of having my nose in the Mitchell Report. Upon five minutes worth of reflection, I think you may very well be right.

bigcatasroma said...

Matt, I think you're dead on. Boras doesn't get to be successful, wealthy, and successful without out-thinking the media's interpretation of his actions.

And even if he did lie to Rodriguez (I think they're both slimy, A-Rod perhaps even *more* - again, I hate phoniness), if I were a baseball player, the only thought I would have is "WHO THE &$@* CARES?!?!?!? He just got A-Rod $275m to play until he is FORTY-TWO!!!

I mean, Boras is doing something right. And, honestly, I don't even know if you could question his ethics - morals, probably, but not ethics. His job is to do the best by his clients - and by and large, even if you HATE the guy, that's EXACTLY what Boras does - he get's the best employ for his clients, and remember, they aren't all of Alex Rodriguez caliber...

jnr98 said...

Dang work snarled me up all afternoon...Matt, I am right with you on this. I don't think Boras pre-calculated all of this drama, but he sure as hell told ARod to let it SEEM like he (ARod) was mad at him so HE (Boras) could take the heat. Boras could care less what WE think.

Mike said...

Matt and company, you could be right, although I'm not sure. It would be a logical move on Boras' part to take the blame to get A-Rod back to the Yankees so he could get his cut. Yet watching the interview, I got the strong imporession that he really was hurt by the whole situation. I've seen A-Rod give many an interview and if he was lying here, then his acting has gotten a whole lot better!

jnr98 said...

New reports out (Variety, of all places) that ARod has dumped Boras for an entertainment agent. The entertainment agent's first sports client is, AROD.

Boras still collects his share (about $15MM) and ARod likely won't need a baseball agent again anyways, but interesting nonetheless.