• Cocktails

    Summer Crime, “Young Lawyers,” Martinis

    Summer’s heat is fully upon us.  Let us take a moment for crime fiction and cocktails. For recent crime-fiction releases, take a look at Midmonth Book Notes  from The Poisoned Pen bookstore. Also, here is a useful “review of reviewers” from The Rap Sheet blog.  And, for the visually-oriented, The Rap Sheet has a YouTube channel.  One clip I found there was for a show called “The Young Lawyers,” which ran from 1969 to 1971 and which I vaguely recall.  As described by IMDb: David Barrett [a young-looking Lee J. Cobb] heads an organization in Boston that supports poor and indigent clients with the aid of young lawyers, Aaron Silverman is the young…

  • Cocktails

    Needful of a Negroni Cocktail?

    I have been drinking Negroni cocktails recently.  The Negroni presents three virtues: it contains gin, it is bitter and it is simple to make (equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth).  Its simplicity makes it superior for quiet mixing at home or when one is faced with modestly-adept bartenders, as noted by Kevin Sintumuang in the Wall Street Journal: “That’s it?” Yep. Boozy, bitter, bold and built right in the glass, the Negroni has become a steadfast sidekick for me when I need a proper cocktail at a not-so-proper bar, from dive to airport. And when I’m mixing at home, there’s no other drink that produces so much satisfaction with…

  • 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…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Fifth Amendment

    Where Did You Go, Batman? Martin Shkreli, Congress, the Fifth Amendment and You

    It does not help that the most recent symbol of the Fifth Amendment is The Joker:   There has been plenty of news coverage about Martin Shkreli, “pharma bro” and alleged securities fraudster, and his appearance before Congress.  (Examples are here, here and here).   The proceeding itself was snarky, entertaining and time-wasting: Congressional testimony is political theater, no more and no less, but some observations are in order for us non-Joker citizens, as well. As a refresher, it never hurts to take a look at what the Constitution actually says: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment…

  • Cooperation Agreements,  Deferred Prosecution Agreements,  Internal Investigations

    The Yates Memo and Three Dog Night

    Deputy Attorney General Yates Unless you have been on a monastic retreat or hidden as carefully as Hillary Clinton’s email server, you have by now likely read reports and analyses of the “Yates Memorandum,” a policy document issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates entitled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” (Here is the document:  Yates-Memo-Prosecution-of-Individuals.pdf ). In this essay, I focus on one particular aspect that may be crucial for companies, their boards of directors, their audit committees and law department: The timing of potential disclosures to the Government and the degree to which outside counsel needs to have comfort that what he or she is relating to the Government…

  • Prison

    The Myth of Club Fed

    For those who refer in cavalier fashion to white-collar convicts and “Club Fed,” consider this New York Times article on Raj Gupta’s federal prison experience: Onetime Allies on Wall Street Have Uneasy Prison Reunion After Insider Trading Trials.  In particular: In their heyday, Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat K. Gupta were business partners who lent each other a helping hand. The two men were very different. Mr. Rajaratnam was a high-rolling hedge fund manager who loved to take risks, while Mr. Gupta was a consultant educated at Harvard Business School who worked all his life at one firm, McKinsey & Company. Years after their closely watched insider trading trials and two of…

  • Cocktails

    The Drinking Reader, Our Cocktails Magazine, Tom Jones and Other Weekend Matters

    White Collar Wire supports cocktails. As part of that effort, I have a magazine on Flipboard called (helpfully) “Cocktails.”  Follow here, read on and use good ice. Two items we focus on — books and cocktails — come together in How to Build a Solid Drinking Library, by New York Times writer (and bartender) Rosie Schaap: Are there places I like as much as great bars? Yes: great bookshops. And if I had to pick a favorite in the latter category, it’s Dog Ears Book Barn in the little town of Hoosick, N.Y. Conveniently, it’s just a little ways down Route 7 from the Man of Kent, one of America’s best…

  • 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…

  • Corporate counsel,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    “Isn’t pretty much everyone you represent a criminal? Why use tax money for that?” | An Interview With Federal Public Defender Kevin Butler

    We took a few minutes and sat down with Kevin Butler, the Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of Alabama.   Before he was appointed in 2012, the district was one of only four federal judicial districts, out of 94 nationwide, that lacked some form of public defender office to represent indigent criminal defendants. If you are in the corporate world, I can hear you right now.  You’re reminding yourself that you are an honest businessperson.  If you are a lawyer — internal or external — you are reminding yourself that you do not represent defendants in the guns, drugs or child-porn sectors of the economy.  Better to go read…

  • Cooperation Agreements,  Parallel Proceedings

    For Corporate Counsel || Stalking Horses, Pitchfork Crowds, Narrow Neckties, Mr. Rogers’s Slippers and Indicted Employees: 6 Steps To Dodge Being Deweyed

    You may (or may not) recall the Boy Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, friendly, brave, clean and reverent.” Your corporate employees, officers and colleagues may exhibit all, some or none of those characteristics.  Even if one masters all the peculiars of the Boy Scout Law, however, strict adherence is no shield against indictment in the situation where one moves from “witness” to “target” for reasons outside the control of the “Scout.” So: herewith 6 lessons to heed if you wish to avoid ending up like a young man named Zachary Warren.   It is unusual for the government to indict leaders of…

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