• Evidence,  Insider Trading

    Martoma and Harvard Law School (Again)

    We recently addressed the ongoing Mathew Martoma trial “Harvard Law School fraud” story: The Martoma Trial and Character Evidence in White-Collar Trials From Professor Susan Brenner, who blogs at Cyb3rCrim3, here’s a detailed analysis of the Court’s ruling not on the substantive issue — whether the government can discuss his HLS misdeeds at trial — but rather on Martoma’s motion to seal the discussion: The Law Student, Forgery and the Motion in Limine

  • Evidence,  Securities Fraud

    The Martoma Trial and Character Evidence in White-Collar Trials

    In the trial of former SAC hedge fund manager Mathew Martoma, the dispute over getting kicked out of Harvard Law School  is worth noting for what evidence we have juries consider at white-collar trials and what we don’t: In 1999, Mr. Martoma was expelled from Harvard for creating a false transcript when he applied for a clerkship with a federal judge, court papers unsealed on Thursday showed. Mr. Martoma used a computer program to change several grades from B’s to A’s, including one in criminal law, and then sent the forged transcript to 23 judges as part of the application process. Then, during a Harvard disciplinary hearing to determine whether…

  • Evidence,  FCPA,  Legal Education

    Breaking Bad, All the Time: White Collar Crime for Business Lawyers

      The Network of Trial Law Firms is an excellent CLE vehicle.  Here’s a Sharman White Collar Panel Video of a Network panel about white-collar issues for civil lawyers — me, Jackie Arango of Akerman Senterfit (Miami), Joel Neckers of Wheeler Trigg (Denver) and Gerry Leone of Noxon Peabody (Boston).  Here’s the blurb from the Network program: No one thinks of themselves, their employees or their company as “criminals.” On the other hand, Walter White was once just a chemistry teacher. The lines between what are business-crime problems and what are traditional corporate civil issues — compliance, due diligence, regulatory recordkeeping and permitting, whistleblowers, confidentiality, privilege and indemnification — have…

  • Evidence,  Ponzi

    Madoff’s Screw Sculpture, Bill Murray and Rule 403

    The fact that Madoff’s Screw Sculpture Is Excluded From Evidence at Trial (tipped off by @WaltPavlo) is amusing to a non-party, reminiscient as it is of Bill Murray’s character (Frank Cross, the Ebenezer Scrooge character) in the movie Scrooged (1988), a remake of “A Christmas Carol.”   Frank Cross: We’re gonna need champagne for 250 people, and send the stuff that you send to me. Don’t send the stuff that I send to other people. There are, however, some serious implications. The sculpture was recovered from Madoff’s office after his 2008 arrest for masterminding a Ponzi scheme that cost investors about $17 billion in lost principal. Five former Madoff employees…

  • Compliance,  Fifth Amendment,  International

    The Border, Searches and the Digital Devices of Executives and Employees

    Here’s a story (via @nytimes) about how the border is a back door for device searches. There is, of course, a “border exception” to the Fourth Amendment, a constitutional doctrine that came of age when national physical borders were also, usually, information-borders as well.  Although the discussion in the article takes place in the national-security context, it’s worth American companies giving more careful thought to how they address the way their executives and employees work and travel.  Employees usually love using their own devices and storing company data in ways that are readily accessible to and productive for them. At the border, though, all that corporate data is free game.…

  • 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.  

  • Evidence,  Technology,  Wiretapping

    Fifth Circuit: “[A] district court cannot authorize interception of cell phone calls when neither the phone nor the listening post is present within the court’s territorial jurisdiction.”

    You use your cell phone for work?  In a potentially important Title III opinion, the Fifth Circuit limits the territorial reach of cellphone interception in United States v. Richard North.  In part: “[A] district court cannot authorize interception of cell phone calls when neither the phone nor the listening post is present within the court’s territorial jurisdiction.”