The first of these witnesses, William Clewis, a senior vice president in consumer lending at the bank, set the tone.Clewis
had handled the negotiations of the contract with Steele, from the beginning of 1997; others at the company had negotiated with Steele previously.
was relentless from the start."I wanted to make this guy look bad within the first five minutes."
But under questioning, Clewis
again affirmed that he
was authorized to sign the contract.Snyder peppered Clewis
with questions about the contract.
had not contacted First Union
executives who handled negotiations before him to discuss the deal before signing or read previous drafts of the agreement.These claims further harmed the witness's credibility.
Snyder questioned Clewis
about the renewal provision in the contract.
and First Union
contended that the contract was for two years and there was no automatic provision for renewal, so it ended on May 1, 2000.Clewis
testified that he
could not remember the automatic renewal clause in the contract and that, at any rate, Steele could not rely on that provision.