Thursday, October 5, 2006

One Heck of a Deposition

Bruce Carton on the Securities Litigation Watch Blog has an interesting post (here) calculating the cost of a pending deposition of former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow in the civil securities fraud lawsuit against a number of banks that advised the company and financed its deals.  The deposition is expected to take two weeks (ten working days), and eighty (!!!) attorneys are expected to be involved.  According to Bruce, using $400 per hour as the average hourly billable rate, that works out to $3.2 million for the deposition alone.  A Houston Chronicle story (here) notes that U.S. District Judge Hoyt passed on a motion by the plaintiffs' attorneys to temporarily release Fastow each day from the federal lock-up in Houston so he can prepare for the deposition, saying that the lawyers should approach U.S. District Judge Harmon with that request because she is presiding over the civil case.  If Judge Harmon grants the request, Fastow may be spending some time in Houston in the care and custody of his lawyers while he preps for the deposition, and then gets the joy of spending two weeks being grilled by lawyers for the defendant banks.  I'm not sure if an FCI is better or worse, it's a tough call.  Regarding the $3.2 million estimate, you should also throw in the costs of daily transcripts and the various paralegals and support staff that have to attend to the very important needs of so many lawyers.  I wonder whether Fastow will get to keep his witness fee when he finally goes to whatever prison awaits him. (ph)


UPDATE: The Houston Chronicle reports (here) that District Judge Harmon granted the plaintiffs' request that Fastow be released during daylight hours to be deposed in the securities fraud suit.  He will be in the custody of U.S. Marshals during the time he is out of the federal detention facility in Houston, and his "liberty" ends on Halloween. (ph)

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Is there any way for a scholar without a huge research budget to get a print copy of the deposition?

Posted by: Mark Jacobs | Nov 10, 2006 7:19:00 AM

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