Here We Go Again

November 18, 2015 by

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“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin, 1755. “On Monday, in unusually raw language, John Brennan, the C.I.A. director, denounced what he called ‘hand-wringing’ over intrusive government spying.” N.Y. Times, November 17, 2015. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded surveillance of both foreigners and United States citizens. We gave up liberty and privacy to secure safety. Recently, after the Snowden revelations about the scope of liberty and privacy that was sacrificed in the name of security, some in […] More...
 

Following the Money Sometimes Misses the Point

September 24, 2015 by

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My partners, David Rudolf and Chris Fialko, recently settled a civil rights suit that resulted in an impressive financial outcome for their client.  But beneath the flashy lights of money is a story that is rarely discussed in the aftermath of settlement:  the heartache, the uncertainty and ultimately, the massive relief at the end of a long and painful journey. We are almost numb to this narrative:  our civil rights plaintiff served 11 years in prison for a crime – murder – that he did not commit.  Incarcerated after several codefendants were coerced into falsely confessing to the crime and […] More...
 

What’s The Impact Of The Yates Memo In The Real World?

September 24, 2015 by

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Heralded in a DOJ press release as the key to increased prosecutions of high-level corporate executives who have otherwise allegedly “insulated” themselves from criminal responsibility for corporate acts (presumably because they are, by definition, not involved in or even aware of criminal conduct by lower level employees), at least one aspect of the new DOJ policy on corporate “cooperation” has real-life consequences for how corporations respond to federal investigations in the future. The Yates Memo, promulgated by DOJ on September 9, 2015, provides in paragraph 1 of its “six key steps” that “to be eligible for any credit for cooperation, […] More...
 

Cat-and-Mouse Games Close to My Heart

December 28, 2012 by

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Since any statute of limitations has clearly expired, sharing the following information does not concern me: the scene is South Boston in the mid-fifties. Almost daily, my then-eight-year-old mom stopped in at Jennie’s local grocery store with my nana – but not for milk or eggs or bread. While my nana slipped into a back room with Jennie to lay a wager, my mom importantly took Jennie’s place at the check-out register, armed with instructions to let the ladies in the back know if anybody came into the store looking for Jennie. My mom was aiding and abetting a numbers […] More...
 

Reeling in Prior Bad Act Evidence

December 18, 2012 by

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The recent passing of Larry Hagman, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the conniving, unfaithful J.R. Ewing on the nighttime soap opera “Dallas,” Larry Hagman dead at 81 on USAToday.com caused me to once again think about the difference between the Ru le 404(b) I learned in law school and the Rule 404(b) I frequently encounter in the real world. I associate J.R. and Rule 404(b) because one recurring story line in the show depicted J.R. being caught philandering by Sue Ellen, his long-suffering wife, near the end of a season and earnestly promising to be forever faithful. [For […] More...