• Cocktails

    Gastronomista: “cocktails, punch bowls and boozy babes”

    The law can be dreary, so at White Collar Wire we follow cocktails, as well.  For weekend viewing and sipping, we point you to Gastronomista, which treats both food and cocktails: Gastronomista is an art and design blog focused on the culture of food and drink, andwas founded in October of 2009 as a way to keep track of delicious treasures, tipples, and trips around the world.It is run by Miss Emma Emerson, who is an architect by day, writer and avid drinker by night. Gastronomista is a place where you might find architectural chicken coops, tea parties, decanters, bespoke knives, or donut art. Emmaseeks inspiration everywhere she goes, and finds…

  • Legal Education

    Why White-Collar Defense Ain’t Ukraine: The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Edmund Burke

    White Collar Wire is now listed on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) website under  White Collar On The Web.    The White Collar Crime Policy Department  of NACDL does excellent work: NACDL’s White Collar Crime Policy Department is on the front lines right now combating new and unnecessary criminal legislation and pushing for meaningful criminal justice reform. Our advocacy focuses primarily on the problems of overcriminalization, vicarious corporate criminal liability, and disproportionate and insufficiently flexible sentencing, among others. In support of this effort, NACDL serves as a leader in a politically diverse coalition of bar, non-profit and business groups who advocate for a sound and just criminal justice…

  • Compliance,  Crime Fiction,  Theology

    Criminals In Ties: Contract Law and Reservoir Dogs

    The interplay between law — especially criminal law — and theology is more subterranean and nuanced than many give it credit for.  The same is true of civil law, as here:  Contract Law and Reservoir Dogs A contract is an exchange of promises: “I promise to do x if you promise to do y.”  Each party must undertake an obligation—called “consideration”—for the contract to be binding.  A simple unilateral promise with no consideration (“I will give you my car on Monday”) is not usually binding.  These law-rules about obligations in our daily lives provide a contrast to the covenant that the Lord makes with David and to the way that…

  • Cooperation Agreements,  Insider Trading,  Sentencing

    The Winter Olympics of Cooperation: The Bridge On The River Kwai, White-Collar Self-Image and Federal Sentencing

    “Cooperation” is a complex concept for individuals and businesses caught up in white-collar criminal cases, compliance reviews and breakdowns of business ethics.  As with the more obscure or corrupt Winter Olympic events, there are ways to demystify the complexity, but it is not easy. In David Lean’s 1957 film The Bridge On The River Kwai, we see cross-currents of duty, vainglory, cooperation, resistance, collaboration and death.  (We also hear some great whistling, but that is another matter).  All of these ideas and emotions come into play when a colleague, an employee or a corporate officer or director is faced with the question: “Do I [or we] cooperate with [the Government, the…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Organized Crime

    St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the Cocktails That Go With It

    We avoid sentimentality, but the culture is awash in it on Valentine’s Day.  This “holiday” is not traditionally associated with business crime, but we will do our best.  The day is sometimes associated with alcohol, and this year happens to fall on a Friday.  We acquit ourselves well in this latter regard. Here’s a story about the February 14, 1929 slaughter from the Chicago Tribune:  the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous…

  • Ethics,  Law Practice Management

    The Super Bowl, Jamie Casino and the Rights and Wrongs of White-Collar Defense

    As a football game, the Super Bowl was dreadful, at least in terms of entertainment value.  As a cultural petri dish, its television advertisements (and the reactions to the advertisements) were invaluable.  And the most mind-blowing bacillus in the dish, by consensus, had to be the commercial by Savannah plaintiffs’ lawyer Jamie Casino.  In the midst of the spot’s pageantry, if that is the word, most seemed to have missed a significant issue that Mr. Casino, inadvertently, raises for businesses and those white-collar or compliance lawyers who help them.   First, let’s take Mr. Casino at his word: he is a plaintiffs’ personal-injury lawyer with a predeliction for over-the-top advertisements, the…

  • Drugs,  Sentencing

    Conservatives and Mandatory Minimum Federal Sentences

    From Professor Berman’s “Sentencing Law and Policy Blog,” why conservatives should support the effort to reform mandatory minimums in non-violent federal sentences: the Heritage Foundation and mandatory minimum sentences: A conservative friend alerted me to this notable entry from the blog of The Heritage Foundation authored by Evan Bernick and headlined “Time to Reconsider Mandatory Minimum Sentences.”   Here are excerpts:  The Smarter Sentencing Act is narrowly tailored to address one of the most pressing problems with mandatory minimums — arbitrary, severe punishments for nonviolent offenses— while leaving for another day the question of whether mandatory minimums should apply to violent crimes…. Mandatory minimums were intended to address widely acknowledged…