Making the Case for Going to Trial

The Department of Justice reports that in 2011 over 97% of defendants in federal criminal cases pleaded guilty rather than face a jury. There are many reasons for this, primarily the legitimate fear that going to trial and losing in the age of the federal sentencing guidelines can, and frequently does, result in unreasonably high […]

Calling Fouls As We See Them

Imagine a demonstrative map of the state of California with “San Francisco” appearing at the bottom, “Los Angeles” appearing somewhere in the middle, and an outline of the state of Nevada with a dollar sign where Las Vegas is located to the east. Next, picture a prosecutor arguing, “if you can figure out this is […]

Inspector General Slaps SEC’s Wrists in Madoff Matter

Please find a link below to the executive summary of the Inspector General’s report on the SEC’s alleged failure to discover the Madoff Ponzi scheme earlier than it did. The report discusses but quickly dismisses the romantic relationship between SEC Assistant Director Eric Swanson and Bernard Madoff’s niece, Shana Madoff, as a factor in the […]

Developer Convicted of Fraud Despite Lender’s Supportive Trial Testimony

Christmas was not so good for James Sandlin. On December 22, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed his bank fraud conviction in what seems to me a highly unusual case. U.S. v. Sandlin, No. 08-41277 (5th Cir.) (Op. filed December 22, 2009). Sandlin was a developer who applied for a loan […]