Perhaps my all time favorite sequence from Seinfeld occurs in a car rental office. Jerry's car has been stolen forcing him to reserve a rental car, which he has arrived to pick up, accompanied by Elaine. The rental clerk informs him that they do not have a midsize car that he had reserved, prompting a hilarious exchange on the nature of the reservation.
I couldn't help thinking of that exchange when reading about Donald Sterling's testimony at his trust hearing yesterday. I imagine that if Seinfeld were the attorney questioning Sterling, it might go something like this:
Lawyer Jerry: Mr. Sterling, did you sign a letter from your lawyer to the NBA authorizing your wife to negotiate the sale of the Clippers?
DTS: Yes I did.
Jerry: So why are we here? You authorized her to sell the team, she sold the team, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah...
DTS: When I found out what was accurate, I didn't want to go through with the sale.
Jerry: Did the letter make stipulations regarding the sale? Did it require that Shelly should retain a percentage of the team or that the fines against you should be dropped or that the sale should fetch a minimum price? What's the deal with all that?
DTS: Are you just being a wise ass?
Jerry: Why yes. Yes I am. But in fact the letter "authorizes Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team, owned by LAC Basketball Club, Inc." It says "All issues."
DTS: I don't want to sell the team.
Jerry: I don't understand. Did you sign a legal document?
DTS: Yes I did. Then I changed my mind. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
Jerry: But the legal document keeps you from changing your mind. That's why you have the legal documents.
DTS: I know why we have legal documents.
Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, Steve Ballmer would have a team and your trust would have two billion dollars and we wouldn't be here. See, you know how to sign the legal document. You just don't know how to abide by the legal document. And that's really the most important part of the legal document. The abiding. Anybody can just sign 'em.
It goes on from there. Eventually, the judge orders Sterling to sell the team and also sentences him to be Jerry's butler. Hilarity ensues.