Cecily Strong. (Credit: NBC via YouTube)
I’ve got nothing against Sheri Dillon, the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius tax partner who spoke at Donald Trump’s press conference and was parodied on “Saturday Night Live.” But frankly, Cecily Strong’s version was a lot speedier and more fun.
Last Saturday, SNL turned the spotlight on a Big Law partner in its much-watched opening skit with Alec Baldwin as Trump.
You might recall that Dillon, who works in D.C., appeared next to The Donald at his first press conference as president-elect, explaining how he would navigate the ethical thicket involving his business interests during his presidency.
In a nutshell, Dillon says not to worry because Trump, under Morgan Lewis’ tutelage, has put in all sorts of safeguards. But, no, it’s not practical for him to divest himself from his companies or sell his business. My favorite line from her remarks: “President Trump can’t un-know he owns Trump Tower.”
I tried to watch the entirety of Dillon’s speech but it was, frankly, bone dry. Very much the earnest lawyer, Dillon read from prepared remarks and even cited section letters and numbers from the U.S. Code. Oy.
Dillon got her 15 minutes of fame from that much-anticipated event—literally: She went on for over 14 minutes—a significant chunk of time, considering that the conference was just over an hour.
On SNL, Strong poked fun at Dillon and the voluminous legal documents she trotted out as props to bolster her position. (Yes, redwelds and manila folders were piled high on a side table during the actual conference—just like the Trump steaks and wine on display at other events during the election.)
I’m not faulting Dillon for her performance at the press conference. I mean, it’s tax law, after all. But what is exciting is that SNL deemed an Am Law 100 partner to be worthy of parody. So, exciting, in fact, that I dashed off an email to Dillon to get her reaction. I was hoping she’d say she was tickled silly about the whole thing.
Instead, I only got a curt reply from the firm’s PR handler who wrote: “We do not comment on our clients or the work we do for them.”
For goodness sake, Morgan Lewis, chill. I wasn’t asking for gory details about your client. All I wanted to know was how it felt to be included in an SNL skit. I was hoping to see a glimpse of humor—to show that Big Law can laugh at itself.
Apparently, it can’t.
As Trump would say: “Sad!”