A judge is handing former White House chief of staff John Sununu a loss in a suit over a half-million-dollar consulting fee and a warning against handshake deals.
The former top aide to President George H.W. Bush and his business partner sued Philippine Airlines in 1998 after it refused to pay them a $520,000 "success fee" for negotiating an aircraft lease agreement.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled for the airline Monday but accused it of "stinginess" for enforcing formal terms of a contract in spite of the consultants' earnest efforts. Lamberth says the consultants were accustomed to relying on personal relationships in business dealings, but "made a reckless bet" by trusting the airline.
Lamberth closes his opinion with some practical advice: "When it doubt, write it out."