“I had a powerful weapon had we needed to go to war.”
Conan’s underlying contract was heavily criticised (including by us) for lacking a specified time, though we also noted that the argument that The Tonight Show can only be at 11:35 pm EST would likely be a winner.
Glaser did not provide detail on the final agreement — reportedly $44 million to O’Brien and staff — but she did make clear in another interview that the options were either a settlement or full-out litigation. “I represented Conan regarding potential litigation with NBC. I am not his transactional lawyer, and he’s not particularly litigious,” she said.
One would of course expect a litigator to tout her client’s position, but the outcome certainly indicates O’Brien & Co. were in a good position, both as to what the contract said and in the sympathies of the public, the latter fact especially important in a dispute as public as this one.
Glaser is a partner at Glaser, Weil. NBC was represented by attorneys at Gibson Dunn. Glaser, of course, did not draft the contract — that was handled by Leigh Brecheen of Bloom Hergott. Brecheen joined the call to ATL with Glaser.
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