Thursday, May 20, 2010
The opening panel of this conference was United States Sentencing Guidelines Developments and a View from the District Court Bench. Moderating this panel was Professor Frank Bowman. Judges Frederic Block (ED NY), Steven Merryday (MD Fl) and Robert Pratt (SD Iowa) offered their perspectives. Judge Pratt had some important advice for defense counsel - sentencing is fact intense and you need to bring out the facts. You need to make a record. My favorite line was when he said that there are a "number of opportunities to make the law more human."
The panel - Sentencing Issues in Securities Cases - had Henry "Hank" Asbill as the moderator. It's all about "loss" is the way it started. Listening to the speakers ( Mark Harris - Proskauser Rose, LLP; Michael Horowitz, Calwalder, Wickersam & Taft; Peter Spivack - Hogan & Hartson) it is clear that an expert is needed to assist in measuring loss. But as noted by one of the speakers, "[i]f you go down the expert road these are very complicated issues." Hank Asbill asked "[w]ere the guidelines based upon assumptions in the market?"