The Carlyle Group's lawyers will seemingly argue anything to avoid responsibility. Carlyle's LifeCare Hospitals said 25 patients deaths post Hurricane Katrina were the federal government's responsibility as soon as FEMA teams began setting up teams in the region. After highly leveraged mortgage backed security Carlyle Capital Corporation imploded, co-founders said, "We're Carlyle, but not that Carlyle."
The latest involves Mountain Water, the target of government appropriation in an eminent domain action. Carlyle argued that it does not own Mountain Water and that it is merely an upstream equity owner. Here's the exchange:
Judge: "Then, it would go on up a line to you, right?"
Carlyle's lawyer stumbled in response, but eventually agreed: "It certainly, I'm not going to deny, it's sort of. Yeah, I mean, that's right. It's like any other corporate structure."
Other interesting legal positions came when Carlyle affiliate Synagro bribed the wife of Rep. John Conyers in a Detroit sewage sludge processing deal, while SemGroup imploded from bad energy hedging. Like any other corporate structure where Carlyle wants to avoid any liability or responsibility.