Mind Your P's and Q's
Robert Khuzami, SEC director of enforcement, upbraided some defense attorneys for engaging in sharp practice, during a speech in New York. Chief among his complaints were defense lawyers coaching their clients during testimony (by using their feet of all things), preparing their clients not to recall damaging details, and allowing their clients to proffer patently implausible explanations for alleged wrongdoing. Khuzami was especially critical of situations where one law firm represents both the company and several individuals or even just groups of individuals, suggesting that inherent conflicts and divergent interests militate in favor of refraining from multiple-party representations.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected former Governor of Illinois and convicted felon (not that one) George Ryan's collateral attack on his conviction for honest-services fraud in light of Skilling. The court reasoned that Ryan's arguments were far afield from those adopted in Skilling and concluded: "There is no doubt that a properly instructed jury could have deemed the payments bribes or kickbacks; the inference that they were verges on the inescapable."
The 11th Circuit held that a search warrant allowing federal agents to seize all business records of a company fit within the "pervasive-fraud doctrine." That doctrine forgives a warrant's lack of particularity of things to be seized (as required by the Fourth Amendment) from an entity when "fraud has permeated the scope of the defendant's business." The court rejected the notion that applicability of the doctrine depends, not on breadth, but on "how deeply the fraud runs."
A Possible Privilege, but No Immunity
The jury is not always entitled to learn about the intricacies of the attorney-client privilege when an in-house lawyer is charged with conspiracy, according to an opinion from the 6th Circuit. In the trial of a former general counsel convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS, the trial court had refused to answer a jury's note about whether the lawyer-defendant was shielded by the attorney-client privilege. The court reasoned that the government's theory relied on the defendant's active participation in the conspiracy, rendering any alleged attorney-client relationship irrelevant.
"Where Ignorance Is Bliss . . ."
The no-knowledge provision of § 32(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78ff(a)) can be used to thwart imprisonment for violating the securities laws, according to a ruling by the 8th Circuit. The defendant, who pleaded guilty to violating §10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78j(b)) and Rule 10b-5, was sentenced to a prison term even though he claimed to have no knowledge of Rule 10b-5, which the sentencing court refused to consider. The appeals court disagreed and remanded his case for resentencing.
So, Sue Me . . . Please
Rajat Gupta, often mentioned in the Raj Rajaratnam trial, persuaded Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff to allow his suit against the SEC (for bringing an administrative proceeding instead of suing him in federal court) to proceed. Judge Rakoff ruled that Gupta's federal equal-protection claim survived the SEC's motion to dismiss.
Former professional-baseball player Lenny "Nails" Dykstra may be headed to federal prison after being indicted for bankruptcy fraud and obstruction of justice, along with various state-law offenses.
On January 30, Jed Davis will speak at The Knowledge Group Webcast, "Best Strategies in Protecting Your Firm Against Hackers: What Hackers Can and Cannot Do?"
Jed Davis authored the article, "Cybersecurity for the Under-Resourced" for Bloomberg BNA.
Day Pitney Newsletter
Dan Wenner wrote an article, "No Conviction, No Credit: Troubling Sentence For Cooperator," for Law360. Wenner explores why cooperation agreements don’t always work by analyzing the case United States v. Harrington, No. 15-3486, 2016 WL 4409337 (7th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016), in which the government and defendant-cooperator Richard Harrington sought resentencing under Rule 35.
Day Pitney Newsletter
Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Senate Judiciary Committee To Be Led by Non-Lawyers," in The Wall Street Journal. In the article, Cash discusses how Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is set to become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, joining the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Neither Grassley or Feinstein attended law school.
Steve Cash was named in an article, "How Two Russian Defectors Helped the FBI Nab European Mobsters Then Wound up Stranded in Oregon," in Newsweek.
Dennis Kearney was quoted in an article, "Bridgegate verdict: How long could Kelly and Baroni serve?," in The Star Ledger. In the article, Kearney discusses Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly’s sentencing in the Bridgegate trial.
Dan Wenner was quoted in an article, "Appeals could drag Bridgegate case on for another year," in The Bergen Record.
Dennis Kearney was quoted in an article, "Christie defends himself following Baroni, Kelly guilty verdicts in Bridgegate trial," in NJBiz. Kearney commented on how Gov. Chris Christie defended himself Friday in a statement after a federal jury in Newark found former aides Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni guilty of all charges for their roles in carrying out politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.