• Costs, Budgets and Fees,  Lawyers

    And here, like Walker Percy, he interviews himself.

    No one has ever asked me the lawyer-related questions I would like to be asked.  At age fifty-three, time is passing.  So, inspired by novelist Walker Percy, who wrote an essay entitled Questions They Never Asked Me, I decided to do a self-interview. If you’re unwilling or unable to click through the link, here is the gist of it:   You have a social-media presence. Can someone hire a lawyer off the Internet? No. Hiring a lawyer is an impossible judgment to make from a blog or webpage. There are a lot of good lawyers. They may be able to help you, but you can’t tell because their websites and bios look and…

  • Costs, Budgets and Fees,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Take The Deal or Go To Trial? Exactly.

    The awful pressure to plead guilty, brought on by the significantly enhanced sentences that the Government often seeks where a defendant asserts his right to a trial, is highlighted in the media in drug cases, as here: Prosecutors Draw Fire for Sentences Called Harsh. For white-collar defendants — businesspeople who may be otherwise wholly unacquainted with the criminal justice system — the combination of mandatory minimums, ardent prosecutors and a public consciousness that prefers to blame for their woes abstractions (“Wall Street” or “the accountants” or “bankers”) rather than individual choices means that going to trial is almost impossible.  Plus, the costs can be prohibitive. Indeed, when a federal judge…

  • Costs, Budgets and Fees,  Evidence,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Civil Lessons From Criminal Trials (on YouTube)

    Criminal Trials.  Civil Lessons. This recent talk on Civil Lessons From Criminal Trials  is primarily directed to internal counsel; what they should think about when hiring outside counsel; and how they should review that lawyer’s plan to defend and resolve the case.  It may be of some interest, though, to outside counsel looking for a different perspective on handling his or her civil case. Here is the (very short) written Handout.  

  • Compliance,  Costs, Budgets and Fees,  FCPA

    Less Law Department Budget, More Growth, Unknown Compliance: What’s The Corporate Ethos?

    In an era of flat or barely budging general-counsel or risk-management budgets, the question of  Balancing Budgets and Growth, especially for a multinational company, can be brutal.  Creating a compliance structure that looks cool on paper (or digitally) is one thing; testing actual performance is another.  As in most areas that test human willfulness and weakness against human laws, only the overriding culture and ethos will save the day (or cause the day to fail).

  • Cocktails,  Costs, Budgets and Fees,  Crime Fiction,  Grand Jury,  Insider Trading,  Securities Fraud,  Sentencing,  Theology,  Trials, Judges and Jurors,  Twitter

    Why read White Collar Wire?

    This is a blog about business crime. We post stories about news, cases, judicial opinions, practical tips and scholarly work regarding white-collar criminal and civil enforcement, grand jury investigations and regulatory compliance. We want to be useful to businesspeople, internal counsel, defense lawyers in private practice, prosecutors and law-school teachers. Sometimes, we write about crime fiction, cocktails and theology. As anyone who’s ever been involved in the defense or prosecution of a white-collar case can testify, all three come in handy. Don’t read us because you’re a criminal. Read us because, some time or other, someone may think you are. Follow me onTwitter — @WhiteCollarWire — or email me at…