Thursday, March 17, 2011

Government's Response in Brown - Just a Clerical Error

Discussed here is the alleged Brady violations in the James A. Brown case, a former Merrill Lynch executive who was convicted of perjury and obstruction and is contesting these charges on several grounds. Then posted here was a brief filed in the Brown case that argued concerning a possible conflict because Lanny Breuer's name appeared on the brief and he was conflicted out of the case.  The government now responds basically saying that this is just a clerical error.

Government's Brief - Download Filed Version of Government's Opposition to Brown's Motion to Strike


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I don't doubt that this was in fact a clerical error, and that Mr. Breuer had nothing to do with the brief. Maybe I'm not suspicious enough, but I am willing to believe it.

What this points up, though, is how ridiculous and misleading it is for DOJ's appellate section to put the names of various big dogs on all of their briefs. I believe it is designed to make the briefs seem just that much more impressive, even though (as this incident confirms) there is no reason to believe that anyone other than the line lawyer and maybe one level of supervisor has read the darn thing.

And then relatedly there is the pretense that the SG's office is actually deeply involved with all the Briefs in Opposition in the Supreme Court ...

Posted by: SH | Mar 17, 2011 11:08:12 AM

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