• Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Cocktail Codex, Summertime Crime

    Readers, writers, and drinkers are irretrievably linked. “I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” ―Raymond Chandler Barry Day, ed., The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (2015) Books about cocktails, on the other hand, are often unhelpful. Where they are practical, they lack insight. The best I have come across in a long time is The Cocktail Codex, by the folks at Death and Company: “‘There are only six cocktails.’ So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail…

  • Due Process,  Grand Jury,  Presumption of Innocence

    A Meditation On Independence Day

    We all like the Fourth of July; most of us want it to mean something beyond cookouts and fireworks.  When my children were little, I would read aloud to them the entire Declaration of Independence, an oration they found both alarming and distracting. The nation’s Independence Day celebration has changed over time, as has its people (alarmed or distracted) and their culture. We have an Independence Day in film and in song, works of art that speak to a patriotism grounded in a corporate concept (national independence) and in a citizen concept (individual independence).  We have Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Here in the early portion of the 21st-century, it is…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Executive Privilege

    The Privileged Few

    From Morgan Chalfant at The Hill, notes on the production of that political and constitutional theater known as “executive privilege”: Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigation, noted that there have not been many judicial opinions concerning struggles between the legislative and executive branches over congressional oversight requests and that in most cases the two sides resolve the dispute outside of the courtroom. Sharman also said executive power has generally increased over the last several decades, apart from a handful of what he termed “retreats” of presidential authority. “The few occasions in … the last 50, 60, 70 years when executive power ended up being…

  • Leadership

    A Meditation On Father’s Day

                            At age 58, I am now six years older than my father was when he died.              For many years, I rarely thought of Daddy.  Primarily, I thought about him every January 6, the anniversary of the day he died. Annually, this was a day upon which my mother and I had the same conversation, rehearsed and hushed.  I loved him, and one might expect me to have thought of him more often, to have honored him, but I did not, at least not until recently.  Before you draw too many conclusions, though, bear in mind that I could not see him clearly.             Have you ever looked…

  • Privilege

    Global Privilege Issues

    [NOTE: my friend and law school classmate Greg Schuetz co-authored this piece, which appeared in the June issue of “The Docket,” the monthly publication of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Greg is Chief Legal Officer for Messer Americas, an industrial and medical gases company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  Previously, he was General Counsel-Americas and Head of Global Litigation for The Linde Group, a global gases company, headquartered in Munich, Germany.  Before joining Linde, he managed domestic and international automotive product liability for DaimlerChrysler Corporation, litigated civil disputes at Feeney Kellett Wiener & Bush in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Detroit.] Few doctrines are…

  • Cocktails,  Congressional Investigations,  DOJ

    Spring Drinks, Bill Barr, Bruce Lee

    I loathe Cinco de Mayo cocktails. They are generally ill-conceived and ill-prepared. But, if you insist, here is a set of recipes from Cowboys and Indians — I don’t name ’em, I just report ’em — and from the Houston Chronicle. For a step up, here are a recipes for Spring and Summer cocktails from Forbes, Refinery29, Marie Claire, and Fatherly that are worth reading (especially the bourbon cocktails in Fatherly). Bitterness reflects much white-collar work. This article from Town & Country about Aperol is worth reading: The Best Aperol Cocktails to Sip Al Fresco. Recent footage of the Attorney General and Congress reminds one of vintage Bruce Lee and…

  • Obstruction of Justice,  Special Counsel

    Mueller Notes

    In the torrent of comments on the report submitted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, here are mine from Law 360: Jack Sharman, who served as special counsel on the House Financial Services Committee during the Whitewater investigation and is now a partner at Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC, agreed that those findings in the report raise serious questions for Congress going forward. “There may be misconduct here, not criminal misconduct, and it may be up to the political branch to resolve that, and not in the hands of an Article II prosecutor,” Sharman said. Sharman said there is typically “a little bit of a shadow dance that takes place” when…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Spring Break Meditation

    It is the end of Spring Break, at least where I write. The end of the week always puts one in mind of the spring-breaker classic “Where The Boys Are” (1960). Here, after everyone else has left the beach and gone back to school, Merritt (Delores Hart) ponders love with Brown senior Ryder (George Hamilton): Crime Fiction To keep you current, here is a “Revue of Reviewers” from Rap Sheet, as well as recent reviews from the Irish Times, the Guardian and Crime Fiction Lover. Music An updated “White Collar Wire” is out on Spotify. New this week are Liily, The White Buffalo, Johannes Brahms, The Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath,…

  • Bribery,  Universities

    “Varsity Blues” and Lou Reed

    Two practical, timely articles on the “Varsity Blues” matter from my Lightfoot colleagues. First, Tenley Armstrong and Henry Gimenez in University Business: Revelations from the Justice Department’s recent “Operation Varsity Blues” admissions investigation—and resulting indictments—have rocked the college landscape. In its wake, all institutions of higher education should assess the implications of the scandal and reevaluate the compliance measures in place to prevent similar conduct on their campuses. Read the entire article: After “Operation Varsity Blues,” universities must reevaluate compliance Then, Brandon Essig and Brian Kappel in Law360: All changed last week with the DOJ’s announcement that it had again used the same mob-fighting toolkit to investigate and bring criminal…

  • Music

    Music for White-Collar Crime

    The “White Collar Wire” playlist on Spotify has been updated: New entrants since the last update include Arnold Schoenberg, Howard Shore, Dire Straits, Gary Clark, Jr., and The Cold Stares.