If you're an Oklahoma City energy executive, the worst thing you can hear to start your morning is either:
A) "Hey, Carl Icahn is on the phone. He wants to buy some stock!" or
B) "Hey, Reuters is on the phone. They want to ask you some questions!"
As you know, Option B seems to happen all the time, especially if you work for Continental Resources.
In what perfectly defines the state of our news media, Reuters, a freakin' British-based news agency, has essentially been the only outfit in town to provide in-depth coverage of the closed-to-the-public Harold and Sue Ann Hamm divorce trial. You know, the one that may see billions of dollars in wealth – and control of one of Oklahoma's largest companies – change hands.
In fact, Reuters has even filed a lawsuit to open up the divorce proceedings to the public, and last week, took an extensive look at one person who was allowed to attend the divorce trial: Continental Resources executive honcho Eric Eissenstat.
During the divorce trial of oil baron Harold Hamm and wife Sue Ann, an unusual relationship took shape in the Oklahoma courtroom as the marriage was being dismantled.From the bench, Special Judge Howard Haralson playfully tossed red and white peppermints to a lawyer sitting alone in the jury box who didn't represent either of the Hamms in the case.The man, Eric Eissenstat, serves as general counsel, senior vice president, secretary and chief risk officer for Continental Resources, the publicly traded oil company founded and run by Harold. And during a trial that could result in one of the largest divorce judgments in U.S. history, Eissenstat emerged as one of the most important people in the courtroom....
To at least one witness, Eissenstat, a tall, slim career litigator, was an imposing presence. “Eric positioned himself in a very tactical way in the room, in the jury box, basically right on the witness's shoulder,” said a former associate of Harold's who testified in the case. “When the judge looks at the witness, he's also looking at Eric. It just seems intimidating.”
This trial not being open to the public is a crock, and our local media's complacency with that has been a bigger joke, but come one Reuters. We're Oklahomans. We're hard working folks who wear boots and eat lamb testicles as appetizers. How intimidating can a lawyer named Eric Eissenstat guy really be?
Let's take a look at him:
Okay, on second thought, I guess having the world's most surprised human stare into your soul and eat your dreams while giving a deposition can be a little intimidating. My bad.
Seriously, what the hell is going on with that guy? He should change his name to Eric Eisseedeadpeople. Can someone either explain to him how to blink, cry or not look like he's having his prostate examined? He's kind of like the male Mona Lisa. I can't tell if he's smiling, playing poker or just saw Harold Hamm naked.
Anyway, if you're bored today, I guess print this picture and hide it underneath your roommate's pillow. That would be funny. Or, go read the Reuters stuff on the Hamms divorce. It's actually a good read, and will remind you that when you have money and power, you basically get to play by a different set of rules. Must be nice.