Cincinnati Enquirer, Front Page
Wednesday, February 8. 1956
Ohio industrial giant Ardent Motors Corporation was dealt a resounding blow today, as their lawsuit against Dutch manufacturer Anhultz came to an end today. The judge’s decision, delivered via the United States District Court in the Southern District of Ohio, went completely against Ardent.
The lawsuit stems from an apparent interpretation by Ardent CEO Jack Chancellor that a loan extended by the long-deceased owners of Townsend Coachworks, now a subsidiary of Ardent, was improperly issued and was to be called in immediately. After hearing testimony from Anhultz chief financier Bastiaan Rynsburger, former Townsend CEO Jeffrey Moss, and several others connected to the case, it was found that not only was the loan legally and properly issued, but that Ardent had, in its zeal and rancor during the legal process, abandoned all claim to acting in good faith.
The judge dismissed Ardent’s claim, and awarded Anhultz a victory in its counterclaim, voiding the remainder of the loan balance, and forcing Ardent to pay legal fees for Anhultz. It is estimated that this will end up costing Ardent somewhere over $200,000.
Jack slammed the paper down on Leo Scaletta’s desk. “We lost.”
Leo arched his eyebrows, unamused. He kicked his heels up on his desk and leaned back. “Mr. Chancellor, we made it explicitly clear, many times, that the case was trending in that direction.”
Jack scoffed. “Can’t even handle a little Dutch company, can you?”
Leo rolled his eyes. “Ignoring the fact that they hired one of the most prominent firms in New York City, you brought us a weak case. As soon as Rynsburger produced his copy of the loan paperwork, and you couldn’t produce anything to counter it, your case was as good as dead.”
“I am not amused by this, Leo.”
“By what?” Leo swung his feet to the floor and leaned forward, his burning gaze fixated on Ardent’s CEO. “By your hamstringing us through the entire process on some weird, hopeless crusade?”
“How dare you…”
“Please listen to the next words I say very carefully, Mr. Chancellor. I wasted a lot of time on this case. Andy Lowe wasted a lot of time on this case. Time that was wasted at your direction. You need to walk away right this minute.” Leo slowly rose to his feet. “Go back to your office and drink yourself stupid, like you always do when you’re pissed. Get mad, trash the place, I don’t care. But you better go down to your Accounts Payable department the next day, and have a check cut for our fees. And then you need to move on.”
Jack’s eyes narrowed into slits. “You little weasel. You dare to tell me what to do?”
Leo nodded slowly. “Oh, I dare, Mr. Chancellor. Your fees are due, and they are not negotiable. We are tired of your antics. And unless you want to start hopping on planes and crossing the country looking for new legal representation, you will start treating us with respect. And you will actually listen to our legal advice.”
“Bah, I should fire you…”
“And end up right back in court, this time against us. And you’ll lose again, Mr. Chancellor. I imagine your Board of Directors wouldn’t take kindly to that.”
Jack’s face turned a rather cherry shade of red, but he finally took his lawyer’s advice to heart, turned on his heels, and left.
(the next section is a copy-paste from Generations I, as it is pertinent)
Ardent Corporate Headquarters
Tuesday, January 7, 1958
Jack looked up from the papers when he heard a knock at the door. The door swung open, and Stanton Glass hobbled in. Gray now streaked the engineer’s slicked-back hair, and the age lines on his face accentuated his burn scars.
“Stanton, please have a seat,” Jack motioned.
Stanton moved to his customary place when these meetings took place, turned to the side of the desk. Over the years his movement had slowed, though his mind was sharper than ever.
“We did well with the A1 once again,” Jack started. “But competition is shifting, and we need to look to solidify our position once. I need you to take on another design, if you can.”
Stanton smiled. “As always, I’m your man. I may need a couple more junior designers, though.”
Jack nodded. “Staffing is a bit thin right now. I’m putting in a requisition with Personnel. We’re going to hire three more for Powertrain and four more for Design. Which brings me to my next point. How would you feel about sitting in on the interviews?”
Stanton’s expression disappeared, and his jaw slacked. “Me, sir?”
“Of course. You might want to know a few things about your potential new hires. That, and it’s your damned job, Stanton.”
“My job is to mold clay from paper, and steel from clay, Jack.”
“That was your only job before you were Chief of Design. Now you have meetings and staffing and all of that other fun stuff that comes with it. And it’s past time you took on the rest of your responsibilities.”
Stanton grimaced. He was saved from having to think of a comeback when Chancellor’s phone rang.
Ardent’s head honcho picked up the receiver. “Chancellor.”
“Jack, my friend,” Alonzo Rodriguez, his legal representative in Spain, chirped on the other end. “I have some news about your inquiry. It should be arriving in your mailbox within the next couple of days.”
“Can you at least tell me if it’s good or bad news?”
“I would consider it good news, though my mind and yours are not the same,” the Spaniard replied.
“Bad news, then,” Jack grumbled.
“Where there is a will, there is a way. Your will is being tested. Remember, this is not up to me, but to those who hold the keys.”
“Yeah, I know, Alonzo. I guess we’ll see.” Jack hung up.
“What was that about?” Stanton asked.
Jack’s brows arched. “Maybe you’ll know some day. Four new hires, Stanton. That’s your goal.”’