By: Michael Singer
Edited by: Sigalle Barness
When you sit plaintiff and defense lawyers opposite each other at a table, you don’t often expect agreement, let alone camaraderie. Then again, not every legal roundtable is Lawline’s Industry presentation on Aviation. Specifically, Fredrick Alimonti (Alimonti Law Offices, P.C.) hosted aviation defense attorney Douglas H. Amster (LeClair Ryan), plaintiffs’ attorneys Brian J. Alexander (Kreindler & Kreindler LLP) and Douglas A. Latto (Speiser Krause), and forensic engineer Joseph R. Reynolds (RTI Group, LLC) to discuss Aviation Litigation: The View from 30,000 Feet. In the presentation, Amster observed that in aviation law, plaintiffs and defendants “are … aligned toward [the same end]: better safety.” Alexander followed quickly, confirming that everything occurring after an aviation incident, from the actions of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) all the way through subsequent litigation, is “moving towards making aviation safer…and is designed to make sure [a particular situation] doesn’t recur.” This fundamental agreement informs the unique roundtable that has something for everyone—from the experienced practitioner to someone looking to get started.
Over the weekend, a bailout was announced for Cyprus in which the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund agreed to give €10 billion to the Mediterranean island and, in exchange, Cyprus would raise €5.8 billion by imposing a tax on depositors in Cypriot banks. Accounts with €100,000 or less would be taxed 6.75% and those with more 9.9%. Banks in Cyprus were temporarily closed pending the approval of the deal by the Cypriot government.
On Tuesday, in response to intensely negative public outcry, the Cypriot parliament voted against the plan, which failed to receive a single favorable vote.
Banks remain closed as the parties involved returned to the bargaining table.
Hugo Dixon at The New York Times identifies Cyprus’ best alternatives to a negotiated agreement (BATNAs or “Plan Bs” as we like to call them) as follows:
“…sell its soul to Russia [many Russians have significant deposits in Cyprus banks, and it is rumored Russia might offer a bailout in exchange for an interest in Cypriot oil and gas reserves], default and possibly quit the euro or patch together a new deal with the euro zone.”
Why did the Cypriot parliament decline the deal? Because they determined that at least one of their Plan Bs was better than approving the deal and facing the wrath of their constituents (and possibly the wrath of the Russian mafia who reportedly make up a substantial number of the Russian depositors).
Here is our general advice:
If your Plan B is better than the deal on the table, don’t do the deal. If the deal on the table is better than your best Plan B, take it. If you can’t reach an agreement, work hard to improve your best Plan B (and possibly also work to undermine your counterpart’s).