• FBI,  Witnesses

    Handwriting On The Wall (And In The FBI’s Notes)

    As the father of a college-bound high school senior and an eventually college-bound high school sophomore, I pass along to them helpful articles.  Whether, in the ancient words of Archbishop Cramner in the Anglican liturgy, they actually “read, learn and inwardly digest” the articles I send them is an open question, but it gives me an uneasy assurance of the discharge of paternal duty. I passed along to my children a recent Wall Street Journal article that posed the question Can Handwriting Make You Smarter? The article concluded: Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers at Princeton University and the University of California…

  • Fifth Amendment,  Legal Education,  Obstruction of Justice,  Presumption of Innocence,  Witnesses

    The Five Best Ways for Your Client’s Employees to Get Indicted

    The nice folks at the Birmingham Bar Association (and white-collar criminal defense lawyer Steve Shaw in particular) invited me to deliver a lunchtime CLE on a white-collar subject of my choice.  The topic ended up being “The Five Best Ways for Your Client’s Employees to Get Indicted.” One could come up with more ways your client’s employees could get indicted, but life is short. Here is the handout: The Five Best Ways for Your Client’s Employees to Get Indicted. Download it.  It’s not legal advice, but it has some fairly useful material about bribery, obstruction and honest-services fraud in the Eleventh Circuit, as well as quotes from Men In Black (1997).  We spent…

  • Grand Jury,  Witnesses

    Representing Witnesses Before The Grand Jury

    For businesses and their officers, directors and employees, the grand jury is an increasingly visible complement to the threat of civil litigation and administrative sanction.  (We have discussed the grand jury’s role and power here and here). Under the auspices of the Alabama State Bar’s White-Collar Crime Committee, Lightfoot hosted a one-hour CLE video on Representing Witnesses Before The Grand Jury. Representing Witnesses Before the Grand Jury from LFW on Vimeo. This program offers practical advice for representing witnesses subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury or provide documents. Listen to insights into the decision to testify (or not), preparing your client to provide testimony, securing immunity and special considerations in representing…

  • 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…