Friday, May 05, 2006

Rules are meant to be broken

[guest post, from a lawyer's perspective...]

So you’re representing a high-profile client in a felony case. Not for murder, rape or robbery (per se). But for fraud. And just for fun, you dream up just about the worst possible thing he could say on the stand during direct (or redirect) examination. It goes something like this:
… his folksy charm disappeared under arduous questioning by the prosecution, which battered him with repeated queries about numerous warnings on dodgy accounting that went ignored and his sale of $70 million of Enron stock during the company's final year. Prosecutor John Hueston rapped Lay in his final round of questioning on Tuesday, charging him with shrugging off any responsibility for Enron's demise.

"You have a long list of people to blame for Enron's collapse, and it gets longer the longer you testify," Hueston said. [He] also returned to questions about an investment Lay made in a photo company that derived most of its business from Enron. Lay acknowledged the investment may have been a breach of Enron's ethics code but said his loyalties to Enron never wavered.

"Rules are important, but you should not be a slave to rules either," Lay replied.…
Only it’s not a dream. It’s the transcript from the Enron trial proceedings. Something tells me that Mr. Lay may soon be headed to the pen, where the phrase “battered with repeated queries” may take on a new meaning.

Film at 11.


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