"I’m not going to get myself emotionally involved on a very deep personal level in a case like this again."
Sam Bankman-Fried's attorney is apparently rethinking his career after handling the FTX pariah's defense.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Stanford Law School professor and lawyer David Mills said that the youthful crypto con was among the most difficult clients in his decades-long career.
"He may be at the very top of the list as the worst person I’ve ever seen do a cross-examination," said Mills, a friend and Stanford colleague of SBF's parents Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.
In the interview, Mills somewhat surprisingly said that he thinks Bankman-Fried is innocent, if only because "he didn’t form the intent to do anything wrong." That didn't seem to matter much, however, given that FTX's other cofounders all pointed their fingers at him.
"I thought it was almost impossible to win a case when three or four founders are all saying you did it," he told the outlet. "Even if they’re all lying through their teeth, it’s really, really hard to win a case like that."
According to the 76-year-old legal expert, Bankman-Fried made things all the more difficult by going off script during his testimony, which brought his case from arduous to "unwinnable."
Losing isn't something that happens to Mills often — as Bloomberg's Ava Benny-Morrison points out, he wore a hat emblazoned with the number 3,419 during their interview, which is the number of people the attorney and investor has helped get out of prison. His friends' son, however, won't be the next, because as Mills puts it, he's not only not going to do anything else FTX-related, but he may not do any more cases like it again at all.
"I’m not going to get myself emotionally involved on a very deep personal level in a case like this again," Mills told the website. "I’m just not going to do it."
Chief among the lawyer's vexations these days are his relationship with SBF's parents, the report indicates, with Mills worrying that they may blame him for their son's imprisonment.
"I’m concerned, when you believe in your child’s complete innocence, that you need to blame someone," the attorney said, "and I am a likely candidate."
Although Bankman and Fried said in a statement that they "love" Mills and will be forever "grateful to him for being with us in a dark time," the lawyer expressed apprehension about being able to move forward in the wake of their son's guilty verdict.
"My sadness for them is extreme," Mills said, "and I don’t know that our friendship will survive this."
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