Thursday, March 22, 2007

Black and Nacchio Trials In Full Swing

The jury selection is complete, the opening statements made, so the trials of former CEOs Conrad Black (newspaper publisher Hollinger International) and Joseph Nacchio (telecom Qwest Communications) are now moving ahead with the first witnesses being called by the government.  Criminal trials, perhaps most particularly white collar crime cases, can be rather boring, unlike the impression given by programs like Law & Order, Boston Legal, and Shark that make them appear to be full of high drama.  There's nothing quite like a records custodian to make it dreadfully dull.  But there are moments that catch your attention.  In the Black trial, one of his attorney's, Edward Genson, described the Lord of Crossharbour in the opening as someone who "sounds snotty" and "has an arrogant attitude" -- not a ringing endorsement, but then you don't have to be lovable to be not guilty (see Reuters report here).  In the Nacchio trial, the live-blog written by Jeralyn Merritt for Denver magazine 5280 (here) discusses an objection by the prosecutors to the defense opening argument, causing the judge to note that he did not want constant hearings interrupting the case that would require him "to babysit the lawyers or encourage thumb-sucking."  No word on whether any blankies were taken away.  (ph)

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