November 4, 2011
Social Media and Securities Fraud
The Sixth Annual ABA National Institute on Securities Fraud is taking place in New Orleans, and a topic this morning was social media. Yes, social media is a compenent even of securities cases.
Philip Hilder is moderating a panel of Robert B. Hirschhorn, Eric Dezenhall, Carrie Johnson, and Kara Scannell. Robert Hirschhorn noted how we now have information savvy jurors. Eric Dezenhall noted that "if you put a freelance writer on the jury, you should expect them to blog." Carrie Johnson noted how facebook may be used by reporters, and she gave the example of how it was used for a story following events at Virginia Tech. The panel stressed the speed of communication today and how one can receive information quicker than previously, for example via Twitter.
(esp)(blogging from New Orleans)
November 2, 2011
DOJ Office Admits Error
The Department of Justice last week issued an exoneration. The falsely accused, however, was not a criminal defendant, but the DOJ itself. Specifically, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General publicly disavowed its criticism, discussed briefly here, that at a hotel conference the Department spent $16 for each breakfast muffin. Rather, the IG now admitted, the $16 cost included fruit, coffee, juice, taxes and gratuities, and (as suggested in the earlier blog) was part of a package deal with the hotel which included "free" use of meeting rooms.
The DOJ Office of the Inspector General should play an important role in reviewing the conduct of federal prosecutors, not the cost of refreshments. It would be a more useful use of its resources to investigate accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, such as those made by Kevin Ring and discussed here last week. The DOJ's own internal reviews are viewed by most defense lawyers and some judges as overly protective. Of course, such reviews should be done less carelessly than the IG report on the "muffin scandal."