Jury? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Jury
A former in-house lawyer for GlaxoSmithKline won a Rule 29 judgment of acquittal in her criminal trial. In taking the case from the jury, and thus preventing a government appeal, the judge emphasized that a lawyer "should never fear prosecution because of advice that he or she has given to a client who consults him or her." The court also noted, "Not everybody can win the case. . . . In this case, I conclude that justice wins by acquitting this lawyer of the charges brought against her."
There's a First Time for Everything
The SEC announced its first deferred-prosecution agreement, which was with Tenaris, a steel-pipe manufacturer that had been investigated for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Pursuant to the agreement, Tenaris will disgorge $5.4 million and shore up its FCPA compliance controls.
The Perils of Consent
The Sixth Circuit held that a suspected marijuana grower's consent to a search of his residence for "other material or records pertaining to narcotics" allowed the police to search a thumb drive connected to his laptop, on which they found child pornography. In affirming the denial of the defendant's motion to suppress, the court reasoned that because marijuana growers often keep spreadsheets and images of their plants on their computers, the search was within the scope of the defendant's consent.
Waiting for Godot
Pressure continues to mount on the DOJ to bring a prosecution of a high-level executive for involvement in the credit crunch. According to this article, some lawmakers have lambasted the DOJ for failing to bring "any prosecutions on the bandits of Wall Street who brought the nation and the world to the brink of financial disaster." Attorney General Eric Holder said the DOJ is continuing to investigate.
You Spin Me Right Round
In a recent report, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) took the SEC to task for having a "revolving door" that allows former SEC employees to almost immediately represent entities overseen by the Commission and allows former employees at those firms to work at the SEC. The POGO made several recommendations, including a two-year cooling-off period for former SEC employees and the publication of the SEC's searchable record of its employees' recusals. Other agencies face similar scrutiny.
Be Careful What You Ask (the Government) For
The Supreme Court recently held that information received in writing through an FOIA request constitutes a "public disclosure" under the False Claims Act, which could preclude recovery for a whistleblower who received written responses to FOIA requests, in the absence of that person being an "original source" of the information. This provision of the Act - the "public-disclosure bar" - has been used very aggressively in the last 10 years by defendants to dismiss qui tam complaints filed by whistleblowers. But proponents of the Act continue to press for Congress to weaken the provision through amendment. In healthcare-related cases, they have succeeded with section 10104(j)(2) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which gives standing to the DOJ to oppose a defendant's dismissal of a False Claims Act complaint based on the public-disclosure bar.
And in Case You've Been Away . . .
A jury in the Southern District of New York convicted Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam of all counts in his insider-trading case. To read more, click here.
On February 5, partners Dan Wenner and Jed Davis will present a webinar, "Cybersecurity Incident Report: Applying Reason And Rigor To Control Chaos," produced by PLAC (formerly the Product Liability Advisory Council).
Day Pitney Newsletter
Day Pitney Newsletter
Day Pitney sponsored a program, "Parade of Corporate Horribles: Responding Ethically to a New Problem Around Every Corner," presented by the Westchester/Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).
Day Pitney Newsletter
Washington, D.C.-based counsel Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Mueller Fuels Foreign Lobbying Crackdown," published by The Hill.
Stan Twardy was quoted in an analysis article, "Follow the Leader? Courtesy and the Rule of Law in the Age of Trump," published by the Connecticut Law Tribune.
Day Pitney counsel Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Cohen Saga Reaches Dramatic Climax in Federal Court," published by The Hill.
Stan Twardy appeared live on the RNN-TV program "Richard French Live," a nightly news talk show.
Jed Davis was quoted in an article, "Marriott Hack Shows Risks Of Lax Cyber Diligence In Mergers," published by Law360.