I’ve never been a fan of the phrase “Women lie, men lie, money doesn’t.” I generally don’t care about pots calling the kettle black or roses being just as sweet by another name, but that particular phrase about money not lying makes me start seething à la Ghiaccio. It is plainly just not true! Money lies all the time! Not even in the sense of say one American dollar has a higher exchange rate than the Kwacha — American dollars aren’t even equivalent to each other: just take this set of two single dollar bills that sold for $100!
Now you might think that this pedantry over semiotics has no real bearing on the law, but you’re wrong! If people would have lead with the question of How Much A Dollar Costs, then maybe Sabre wouldn’t have to fight against paying out approximately $150M over an antitrust case that resulted in a dollar payout.
Travel booking software provider Sabre Corp told a U.S. judge on Friday that it should not have to pay American Airlines Group Inc’s legal fees after American won just $1 from Sabre in an antitrust trial in May.
American said last month that it should be awarded legal fees from its long-running case against Sabre, which included two trials and an appeal. Although American has not named an exact fee amount, the airline could seek around $150 million, Sabre said in its Friday filing in Manhattan federal court…”A nine-figure fee for a so-called $1 ‘win’ is plainly unsupportable, and any recoverable fees should be slashed by at least 99%,” Sabre said.
Now that is a hell of an exchange rate! You know the saying about losing the battle but winning the war? This would appear to be one of those pyrrhic victories. As important as it is for lawyers to be zealous advocates for their clients, maybe some of that duty should be delegated to zealous accountants. Whichever way this resolves, I hope this doesn’t come back to bite consumers at the ticket line. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy cheap flights. For now.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.