In general, high-powered lawyers are paid by the hour but it appears that the legal team defending Alberto Contador against doping charges is being paid by the page.
In the latest count, courtesy of the Associated Press sports columnist John Leicester, the Spaniard’s legal submission has now reached a colossal 3,5000 pages.
This would put Contador ahead of author Leo Tolstoy and his sweeping epic novel War & Peace. The famous Russian novelist could only manage to reach 1125 pages, although a later 2006 edition did top out at 1475 pages.
A legal opus that might justly be called Contador’s War & Steak is over twice the length of Tolstoy’s’ meager offering. That’s not a quick read for the judges at the Court of Arbitration for Sport or the lawyers representing the UCI and WADA.
Along with his novel Anna Karenina, the seminal War & Peace is considered perhaps Tolstoy’s greatest work — a riveting chronicle of life in Russia set in the years leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Still, it’s nothing compared to what Contador’s hard-working legal team have churned out in less than a year and a half.
By comparison, French writer Marcel Proust’s sprawling seven volume novel Remembrance of Things Past also falls short of the Spanish legal submission. Coming in at 3,200 pages, the story contains only 1.5 million words and thus cannot hope to match the prodigious output of lawyers Gorka Villar, Vivian James, Mike Morgan, Louis Rover and Paul Scott.
Given the astonishing length of the Contador legal submissions, it’s a rare novel that can equal the high number of pages. Perhaps only the French prose classic Artamene by Madelaine and Georges de Scudery truly surpasses what the lawyers for Contador have been able to create. Written back in 1653, it numbers over 15,000 pages in ten separate volumes.
Still, don’t discount the writing skills and work ethic of Alberto Contador’s legal team. While their legal submission is far short of Atramene’s 15,000 pages, they still have four says until the November 21st court date in Lausanne, Switzerland.