• Grand Jury

    Dante’s Guide: Preparing the Grand Jury Witness

    Finally, one gets to quote Dante while talking about grand jury witnesses: In the year 1300, at age 35, the narrator of Dante’s Inferno famously finds himself in trouble: Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.  How shall I say what wood that was!  I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Its very memory gives a shape to fear. The grand jury witness finds himself or herself in a position not unlike that of the Italian poet at the beginning of his trek through the Divine Comedy.  The federal grand jury…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Impeachment

    Congressional Investigations, Criminal Cases and The Knights Who Say “Ni!”

    We are heading into what appears to be a summer of investigations along the Potomac, some of them in the House and Senate.  What are some of the things we might reasonably expect to see as investigations congressional and criminal cross paths?  And what does Monty Python have to do with it? Previously, I shared a few lessons about congressional investigations. First, the short-version video: Jack Sharman – Learning in Congress from Legal Filmworks Unlimited on Vimeo. Second, a longer how-to approach for lawyers and clients in a congressional investigation: In particular: We are in the summer months.  We have written before about  summer hearings: As a former oversight-and-investigations lawyer for…

  • Crime Fiction,  Deferred Prosecution Agreements,  Grand Jury,  Lawyers,  Poetry,  SEC,  Style and Grammar

    The Freedom of Little Joe Cartwright: Tax Crime, Edgar Allan Poe, Noir Film and Lacrosse

    Notes for the week. Prosecuting Individuals Federal criminal tax lawyer Jack Townsend blogs at Federal Tax Crimes.  Here is his note on Prosecuting Corporate Employees, particularly in the tax context: I have previously blogged on Professor Brandon Garrett (UVA Law) who have carved out an academic niche on how the Government deals with corporate crime, particularly large corporate crime (the too big to jail group). See e.g., Judge Jed Rakoff Reviews Brandon Garrett’s Book on Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 2/10/15), here. At the risk of oversimplifying his arguments, I summarize them in part relevant to this blog entry: When the Government goes…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Due Process,  Grand Jury,  Presumption of Innocence

    A Meditation On Independence Day

    We all like the Fourth of July; most of us want it to mean something beyond cookouts and fireworks.  When my children were little, I would read aloud to them the entire Declaration of Independence, an oration they found both alarming and distracting. The nation’s Independence Day celebration has changed over time, as has its people (alarmed or distracted) and their culture. We have an Independence Day in film and in song, works of art that speak to a patriotism grounded in a corporate concept (national independence) and in a citizen concept (individual independence). Here in the early portion of the 21st-century, it is the domestic liberty of individuals, rather…

  • Grand Jury

    Of Grand Juries and Ham Sandwiches

    It is true: having long ago become unmoored from its origins as a shield between Crown and subject, a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor desires.  The grand jury’s status as a prosecutor’s tool animates this post from our friends at White Collar Crime Prof Blog: Kaley Opinion, Based on Legal Fiction, Is Harmful to Defendants and Lawyers In particular: In Kaley v. United States (12-464, decided February 25, 2014), the Supreme Court by a 6-3 vote extended the rulings of United States v. Monsanto, 491 U.S. 600 (1989) and Caplin & Drysdale v. United States, 491 U.S. 617 (1989) by determining that a grand jury…

  • 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…