Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The KPMG defendants have cause for celebration as Judge Lewis Kaplan's 83 page Order is favorable. For now the Order is below. Analysis and highlights will be forthcoming.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution here, former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell will begin the appeal process following his conviction for tax evasion that yielded a sentence of 30 months. He has hired Mawuli M. Malcolm Davis as his new counsel. Campbell was found not guilty of bribery and RICO at his trial. (see here)
Monday, June 26, 2006
The American Bar Association (ABA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have not exactly been on the same side on all issues these days. And this seems odd as DOJ is made up of attorneys and the ABA is an attorney organization.
For one, the ABA opposed the DOJ policy on waivers of the attorney-client privilege (see here)
And now the DOJ is proceeding against the ABA asking a court for civil contempt on a consent decree previously signed. According to a DOJ press release here, it sounds like the parties have reached an agreement. The press release states in part:
"The Department of Justice filed a petition today asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to hold the American Bar Association (ABA) in civil contempt for violating multiple provisions of a 1996 antitrust consent decree. The consent decree prohibited the ABA from misusing the law school accreditation process. The Department also filed a proposed order and a stipulation in which the ABA acknowledges the violations alleged in the Department's petition and agrees to reimburse the United States $185,000 in fees and costs incurred in the Department's investigation. The proposed order is subject to court approval. . . . "
Looking at some of the items on the list, like "-Obtain annual certifications from certain ABA staff and volunteers that they agree to abide by the decree and are not aware of any violations," - it sounds like the ABA may be implementing a compliance program.
When the government conducts an investigation, there are often individuals who may have gone unnoticed that get caught in the investigation's net. The Houston Chronicle reports here about one of these individuals. Lawrence Lawyer received two years probation for filing false tax returns. He cooperated with the government.
But the NYTimes (AP) here presents an article that discusses whether some of Abramoff's clients were able to meet with either Karl Rove or other administration notables in return for funds paid to Norquist's group.
What is the price for access? And did the individuals all know about the money being paid? And who actually received the money, if money was paid? And was access obtained as a result of money passing hands. And is there anything illegal with this? - A host of questions so far.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority were indicted for environmental crimes and entered into a settlement with the government that calls for payment of Ten Million Dollars in Criminal and Civil Fines. The agreement also requires the authority to "spend $1.7 Billion Improving Wastewater Treatment." The Authority plead guilty to 15 counts of violating the Clean Water Act. The consent decree is subject to a 30 day comment period. The consent decree is 162 pages long and can be found here.
Will the jury in the trial of former Governor Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy (second trial) reach a verdict this week? They have now been out for seven days, and after taking this past weekend off, the question will be whether they can reach a jury verdict or whether it will be hung. (See Birmingham News here). For details on the case see here.