• Ethics,  Lawyers

    How To Avoid Being GM’ed: The Wrongs and Rights of Clients and Lawyers

    The GM internal-investigation report  about ignition-switch problems raises a host of issues, one of which is its unusually sharp criticism of GM internal lawyers.  Criticism of lawyers is nothing new, of course.  Lawyer-jokes always blame lawyers; lawyers’ spouses frequently blame lawyers; clients sometimes blame lawyers. But public reports drafted by lawyers infrequently blame lawyers, so this one merits attention, most especially by internal lawyers in large organizations; by the outside counsel who serve them; and by the businesspeople who are the true clients.   What are the key takeaways? The Normal, Uneasy.   Skim the report.  (Just skim it — it’s too long to read cover to cover without heroin.  If…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    Cocktails and Crime: Martini Quiz, Vermouth Ratios, Posner v. Holmes, New Gins and Crime Conventioneers

    As is customary on Friday, a few White Collar Wire notes on cocktails and crime fiction. June 19 was “World Martini Day.”  Seriously.  The London Telegraph posted a martini quiz.  How deep is your see-through knowledge?  Here is the first question: Q.1 The martini, a mix of gin and vermouth with a lemon twist or olive, is one of our most famous cocktails, but its history is cloudy. Which one of these is not a legend about its origin? It is a descendent of an earlier drink called the Martinez, which was invented in the Californian town of the same name in the 19th century It was a created in a…

  • Public Corruption

    Public Corruption, Alabama, the Hurry-Up Offense and Lynyrd Skynyrd

    According to the  FCPA Blog, Alabama is supposedly the 6th most-corrupt state in the Union.  Mississippi takes top honors.  Oregon claims to be the least corrupt.  (Perhaps the Ducks’ hurry-up offense leaves no time for kickbacks).  Here is the full study. By “corruption,” the authors focus on public corruption as prosecuted by DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.     Public Integrity’s track record in Alabama has been mixed, though, most recently in the “bingo” acquittals. For some white-collar defendants, it may be Sweet Home, Alabama after all, but there can be immense pain, expense and destruction along the way.

  • Brady/Giglio,  Cooperation Agreements,  Witnesses

    The Agatha Christie School of Cooperating Witnesses

    From Lawrence S. Goldman and our friends at White Collar Crime Prof blog, a summary of a Second Circuit decision  addressing (1) the extent to which prosecutors can “bolster” cooperating witnesses’ testimony by relying on their cooperation agreements and (2) whether or not the tardy production of Brady and Jencks material matters.   (Answer: it doesn’t).  In particular: The opinion also excuses, but does not condone, the improper failure of the government to turn over handwritten notes by a testifying agent which were discovered in the later examination of another agent and belatedly revealed to the defense.  The notes should have been revealed earlier, says the Court, not only since they included…