• Grand Jury,  Search Warrants

    Search Warrants, Subpoenas, and Danish Existentialism

    The “what-to-do-when-the-FBI-shows up” spiel is, admittedly, a well-worn trope on the white-collar panel-discussion circuit, a talk accompanied by coffee in styrofoam cups (in the morning) or dry chicken-breasts on buffet steam-tables (in the evening).  Unless the audience is virginal in its dalliance with law enforcement, the shock effect of talking about search warrants is lost, and the delivery becomes boring, leading us to that nineteenth-century Danish existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard. Yet, the subject is a serious one for corporations and for individual businesspersons.  As we have noted before, law-enforcement techniques — including search warrants — that were once limited to organized crime, drug dealers or motorcycle gangs are now used with…

  • Public Corruption,  Special Counsel,  Witnesses

    Special Counsel, Special President, Special Interview

    To interview or not interview? A common question not just for the President of the United States but for any executive, business owner, professional or officeholder who might be approached by agents or prosecutors: We have earlier addressed the perils of interviews here . . . and here: All witnesses do well to bear in mind Proverbs 18:17: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

  • Evidence,  FBI,  Special Counsel,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    Special Counsel Subpoenas, FBI Agent Texts, GoGo Penguin Groove

    An unusual point arose here (at the end) regarding an FBI agent’s political text-messages and cross-examination: Jack Sharman – MSNBC – Meet the Press (Dec. 5, 2017) from LFW on Vimeo. Text Messages and FBI Agents The interview question focused on an agent in the Special Counsel’s office, Peter Strzok, and the fact that he was taken off the the investigation because of alleged anti-Trump, pro-Clinton text messages or other communications.  Congress has requested information from the Department of Justice about Agent Strzok, who was also apparently one of the agents who interviewed Hillary Clinton regarding the matter of her personal email server and who allegedly watered-down the FBI’s conclusions…

  • 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…

  • Obstruction of Justice

    Barry Bonds, Ramblin’ Man

    The federal appeals court in San Francisco recently reversed baseball player Barry Bonds’s conviction for obstruction of justice. The criminal charge and conviction arose out of testimony that Bonds gave to a grand jury investigating the illegal provision and use of steroids in major league baseball.  As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals summarized it: During a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, nonresponsive answer to a simple question.  Because there is insufficient evidence that Statement C was material, defendant’s conviction for obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1503 is not supported by the record. Whatever section 1503’s scope may be in other circumstances, defendant’s conviction here must…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Organized Crime

    St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the Cocktails That Go With It

    We avoid sentimentality, but the culture is awash in it on Valentine’s Day.  This “holiday” is not traditionally associated with business crime, but we will do our best.  The day is sometimes associated with alcohol, and this year happens to fall on a Friday.  We acquit ourselves well in this latter regard. Here’s a story about the February 14, 1929 slaughter from the Chicago Tribune:  the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous…