• Leadership

    A Meditation On Father’s Day

                            At age 57, I am now five 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 have 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…

  • Agencies,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Video Guidance, Agency Guidance and White-Collar Trials

    The Lord noted that the poor will always be with us, but He may as well have been speaking of federal agency guidance documents that are sometimes used against members of the regulatory community. Here is a short video about the DOJ’s recently-promulgated “Brand Memo” and regulatory guidance documents: For a few more details about the Brand Memo, see our earlier post:    

  • Agencies,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Brand’s Memo and Dan’s Desk

    Last month, then-Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand issued a memorandum to Department of Justice civil lawyers concerning the circumstances under which they may and may not use federal agencies’ “guidance documents” in civil lawsuits brought by the government.  Ms. Brand has since left the department to take a position in the private sector, but her memorandum lives on and may have significant effect for American regulated businesses not only for civil litigation – its stated goal – but also for corporate criminal indictments and trials. What Does The Memo Say? The Brand Memo, which is brief, follows up on a November 16, 2017 policy memo issued by Attorney General Jeff…

  • Evidence,  Special Counsel

    More Mueller, and A Question About Hearsay

    On “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” to discuss the Rick Gates plea: Jack Sharman – MSNBC – The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (Feb. 19, 2018) from LFW on Vimeo. Thankfully, they gave me a head’s up about the hearsay question. We have discussed various aspects of the Special Counsel Investigation here.  

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    New Year’s Day: Reflection, Not Resolution

    Reflection without discipline can be self-indulgent, especially as the year draws to a close and a new one opens before us. So, let us impose discipline; avoid white-collar crime (there will be plenty in 2018); and focus on music, booze and books. First, music is especially appropriate at this season, whether for reflection or not.  Here is the Miles Black Quintet, Jazz For The New Year: As jazz critic for the Wall Street Journal (and JazzWax blogger) Marc Myers notes: Sixty-three years ago, on New Year’s Day in 1955, pianist Teddy Wilson, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Jo Jones went into a studio for Norgran Records and recorded The Creative…

  • Cocktails,  Literature,  Theology

    Christmas: Cocktails and Crime, Choirs and Cool

    A few notes, as Christmas is upon us. First, what to drink? I don’t care for Bloody Marys; they’re too acid.  The best Christmas drinks for morning or lunch are milk punch and the French 75. Here is a Garden & Gun article about (and recipe for) milk punch: And, just this past Thanksgiving, I shared notes about the French 75: Second, what to read? This blog dwells on crime fiction, so consider these “best of 2017” lists from the New York Times — — and from The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and The Rap Sheet. Third, what to listen to? I first read about jazz pianist David Ian…

  • Evidence,  FBI,  Special Counsel,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Special Counsel Subpoenas, FBI Agent Texts, GoGo Penguin Groove

    An unusual point arose here (at the end) regarding an FBI agent’s political text-messages and cross-examination: Jack Sharman – MSNBC – Meet the Press (Dec. 5, 2017) from LFW on Vimeo. Text Messages and FBI Agents The interview question focused on an agent in the Special Counsel’s office, Peter Strzok, and the fact that he was taken off the the investigation because of alleged anti-Trump, pro-Clinton text messages or other communications.  Congress has requested information from the Department of Justice about Agent Strzok, who was also apparently one of the agents who interviewed Hillary Clinton regarding the matter of her personal email server and who allegedly watered-down the FBI’s conclusions…

  • Grand Jury

    Dante’s Guide: Preparing the Grand Jury Witness

    Finally, one gets to quote Dante while talking about grand jury witnesses: In the year 1300, at age 35, the narrator of Dante’s Inferno famously finds himself in trouble: Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.  How shall I say what wood that was!  I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Its very memory gives a shape to fear. The grand jury witness finds himself or herself in a position not unlike that of the Italian poet at the beginning of his trek through the Divine Comedy.  The federal grand jury…

  • Cocktails,  Poetry

    Thanksgiving Cocktails, Truman Capote, Puritan Poetry

    A few notes for your Thanksgiving: a holiday examination, Mumm champagne, an old-fashioned cocktail from Garden & Gun, the French 75 (its history and variants), Puritan poetry (no Puritans = no Thanksgiving), Truman Capote and Loudon Wainwright III. First, while still sober, take this test from Liquor.com: From the formidable Emily Arden Wells  at Gastronomista, a Cocktail Friendsgiving with G.H. Mumm Champagne.   Although I usually repair to gin drinks, this recipe for an old-fashioned from Garden & Gun is the real thing: If, like me, you do not care for Bloody Marys, a French 75 — essentially, a cocktail made with gin (or sometimes cognac), simple syrup, fresh lemon…