Saturday, December 28, 2013

US District Judge William H. Pauley Rules NSA’s Mass Collection of Phone Data Legal

US District Judge William H. Pauley  NSA Mass Collection of Phone Data as Legal - International Business Times

From the NY Times
Federal Judge William Pauley on Friday ruled that a National Security Agency program that collects enormous troves of phone records is legal, making the latest contribution to an extraordinary debate among courts and a presidential review group about how to balance security and privacy in the era of big data.
In just 11 days, the two judges and the presidential panel reached the opposite of consensus on every significant question before them, including the intelligence value of the program, the privacy interests at stake and how the Constitution figures in the analysis.

story link 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/nsa-phone-surveillance-is-lawful-federal-judge-rules.html?emc=edit_na_20131227&_r=0
Judge William Pauley by Elizabeth Williams

Saturday, December 21, 2013

ABSCAM by Aggie Kenny and the movie "AMERICAN HUSTLE"

The film "American Hustle," chronicles a con operation that was  inspired by a real-life FBI sting operation known as Abscam — a conflation of Abdul and scam — in which agents posing as wealthy Arabs with suitcases full of cash tried to bribe public officials. When the dust settled, three New Jersey Democrats — U.S. Sen. Harrison Williams, U.S. Rep. Frank Thompson and Camden Mayor Angelo Errichetti, who was also a state senator — were convicted. 
Aggie Kenny covered several Abscam trials that took place in Brooklyn Federal Court. Numerous tapes were shown at  the trials. Jurors with headphones and the video equipment was an important part of the scene. Juries listened and saw numerous videos of meetings. This illustration below from 1981, is from the last of the 8 major trials in the Abscam sting operation, the case against Senator Harrison Williams. On the screen Harrison is shown accepting a bribe from one of the undercover agents.


Harrison was eventually convicted and below is an illustration of the reading of the verdict by Aggie Kenny

Illustration of jury foreman reading verdict in Senator Harrison Williams' trial by Aggie Kenny




More on the Abscam case from the New York Times
link 

Abscam was the most sweeping undercover investigation of political corruption ever undertaken by the Justice Department - a two-year, multimillion-dollar inquiry that involved scores of agents, secret meetings, phony sheiks, hidden cameras, bribes and a parade of Congressmen.
It sprawled over cities in four states, unfolding in hotel rooms, airport lounges, private houses and even aboard a yacht. It generated dramatic confrontations and scenes of comic relief. And it raised many legal and ethical questions - some still not resolved - over possible entrapment, self-incrimination and anonymous leaks to the press.
But, ultimately, it has led to the downfall of Congressmen and other public officials, as well as lawyers and a supporting cast of shadowy go-betweens whose boasts of influence, pledges of corruption and acceptance of cash bribes were captured on videotape for trial juries and national television audiences. 16 Persons Convicted
The conviction of Senator Harrison A. Williams Jr. of New Jersey on bribery and conspiracy charges Friday night ended the last of eight major trials spawned by the Abscam investigation. The trials have led to the conviction on corruption charges of 16 persons, including six members or former members of the House of Representatives.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MADOFF 5 YEARS AGO

Notes from Elizabeth Williams:
Five years ago, on a dark rainy evening I got a call from my photo editor at Bloomberg News.
He said can you run over to the Manhattan Federal Courthouse, and cover the arraignment of a defendant who was accused of a 20 billion dollar fraud. That took me back, and I asked him, did you just say billion??
Equally stunned, he said, "yes".
During that day I had drawn Marc Dreier who was accused of a 300 hundred million dollar fraud, but something in the billions, and that many billions was shocking.
After that day, Bernard Madoff became a nationally known criminal, who ran the longest and largest Ponzi scheme in history. Currently his right hand man, Frank DiPascali is on the stand in Manhattan Federal Court disclosing details on how the fraud and scheme was carried out.
AUSA Marc Litt outlining Madoff's fraud with his victims seated left  March 2009

Bernard Madoff with his attorney Ira Sorkin before he was cuffed and sent to prison.
By Elizabeth Willliams

Wall Street Journal> Madoff 5 years later

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Accused Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan Goes on Trial | Collecting News | Collecting | Wine Spectator

Accused Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan Goes on Trial | Collecting News | Collecting | Wine Spectator

Assistant US Attorney Joseph Facciponte showing jury a large bottle of wine that was valued at 85K but was counterfeit.  Witness Truly Hardy from AMC auction house, surveying the other counterfeit bottles, is standing to to left of Facciponte. Some of the bottles of wine were purchased by Bill Koch, at six figure sums. 
Defendant Rudy Kurniawan is seated far right. 
Judge Richard Berman presiding in Manhattan Federal Court 
artwork by Elizabeth Williams



More info on wine counterfeiting 

Daily News story

As wine counterfeiting gets more sophisticated, the industry fights back  

Laser engraving, serial numbers and holograms are techniques winemakers are using as technology makes it easier to create fake bottles.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/wine-counterfeiting-sophisticated-industry-fights-back-article-1.1542562#ixzz2n7s5Vj9e



Friday, December 6, 2013

LAX Shooting Suspect Paul Ciancia first public appearance by Bill Robles

Bail denied for LAX shooting suspect in first public appearance since deadly rampage

Observations from Bill Robles:

The hearing took place at a detention center jail facility in Rancho Cucamonga, about an hour and forty five minute drive from my home.

I was amazed at how small, thin, and young Ciancia was. Looking at him, you would never guess that he had been shot, except for a little scar on his forehead and cheek. Regarding the thing around his neck, nobody seemed to know, but some guessed it might have been a breathing device.

The 11:00 AM hearing was in a very small conference-room with marshals, the judge, an NBC and AP reporter and me in attendance.

The hearing was very short, giving me just enough time
get this one drawing.

Bill Robles was also interviewed on the local NBC news station. Here is the link to the interview

Paul Ciancia first appearance by Bill Robles

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Madoff top lieutenant expected to testify Monday

In August 2009, two  months after Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, Frank DiPascali- his right hand man and CFO- plead guilty in Manhattan Federal Court. Judge Richard Sullivan accepted the plea, but ended up remanding Mr DiPascali even though he had agreed to help the prosecution.
DiPascali eventually got out of prison June 2010 and is now slated to testify on Monday at the trial of the 5 employees who are accused of assisting in the giant Ponzi scheme.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/11/29/dipascali-testify-against-former-madoff-employees/3759365/
DiPascali stating his guilty plea to Judge Richard Sullivan in August 2009
by Elizabeth Williams

After DiPascali guilty plea, Judge Sullivan ordered him remanded



Excerpt from the New York Times  TALKING BUSINESS

Published: August 14, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/business/15nocera.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Then, on Tuesday, Judge Sullivan refused to accept the bail arrangement negotiated between the United States attorney’s office and lawyers for Frank DiPascali. Mr. DiPascali, who spent most of his career as Bernard Madoff’s right-hand man in carrying out hisPonzi scheme, is now a critical government witness. The prosecutors wanted him to stay out of jail until his sentencing next May.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Mr. DiPascali confessed his crimes, and that is what made the headlines. But instead of being able to stay out of jail, on a $2.5 million bond partly secured by his sister’s house, Mr. DiPascali was carted off in handcuffs to the Metropolitan Corrections Center, the same tough lockup where Mr. Madoff was housed before he was sentenced earlier this summer.
This was a shock not just to Mr. DiPascali and his family, but to the prosecutors, who pleaded with Judge Sullivan to let him remain free so he could continue cooperating unfettered by strict jailhouse rules. Judge Sullivan refused, saying that Mr. DiPascali was a flight risk........

Monday, November 25, 2013

JACK RUBY 50 years ago..............

50 Years ago, two days after John F Kennedy was assassinated , a one time bar and strip club owner Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, in the basement of a Dallas police station. Ruby was put on trial for the murder approximately 3 months after he shot Oswald, with opening statements on March 5th, 1964. The trial of Jack Ruby is highlighted in the upcoming book: The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art to be published in early 2014. Artist Howard Brodie covered the trial for CBS News, from start to finish.

Jack Ruby and guards in Dallas Texas courtroom by Howard Brodie

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CHEVRON VS DONZINGER: Donzinger takes stand with Sting in attendance

From the WSJ:
Mr. Donziger took the stand in federal court in Manhattan to defend himself against racketeering charges brought by Chevron. Observers in the packed courtroom included rock star Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, an actress and producer whose visit to the affected region was documented in the 2009 film "Crude." Chevron has cited outtakes from that film as evidence of Mr. Donziger's alleged misdeeds.

 story link:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303755504579206560792652146


Steven Donzinger questioned by Gibson Dunn's Randy Mastro
as Sting and Amazonian tribal leader look on.
note click on the photo to see larger image 


In the morning the Amazonian Tribal Leader took the stand and was questioned by former AUSA Reed Brodsky who had recently prosecuted both Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta
Reed Brodsky questioning Javier Piaguaje Payaguage leader of the Siekopai Tribe




Chevron v. Donziger: The Goat on the Stick

By Michael D. Goldhaber
The Litigation Daily
November 18, 2013
During his brief stint representing attorney Steven Donziger, John Keker of Keker & Van Nest once predicted that Donziger would be "tethered to a stick like a goat" when he finally took the stand to face claims that he orchestrated a multibillion-dollar fraud against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador.

In a Manhattan federal courtroom on Monday afternoon, Chevron began its grilling.

Having virtually stripped Donziger of attorney-client privilege over four years of discovery, Chevron attorney Randy Mastro brought enough lighter fluid to set the courthouse ablaze. The pit master's assistants at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher can roast Donziger with his diary entries, film outtakes, financial records, legal correspondence—and 19 full days of deposition testimony. "We meet again Mr. Donziger," began Mastro ominously.

Chevron refused to engage with Donziger on the merits or conduct of the underlying Ecuadorian environmental litigation that sparked the New York fraud case. For while this material dominates Donziger's direct witness statement, Chevron has filed a motion to strike it.

Instead, Chevron spent most of Donziger's first hour on the stand establishing his outsize role in the Ecuadorian pollution case. As his starting point, Mastro took on Donziger's insistence that he "served on the case at the pleasure of the plaintiffs and their representative [Pablo Fajardo]. I work for them; they do not work for me."

Drawing from a dizzying range of sources, Mastro showed that Donziger or his colleagues have referred to him as the cabeza or commander-in-chief, while Donziger once called Fajardo his "young field lawyer in Lago Agrio." Donziger's contract gave him "overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the Litigation and [its] day-to-day management." As Donziger once put it, "I am at the epicenter of the media, political, and legal activity surrounding the case both in Ecuador and the U.S." Despite claiming to effectively work for Fajardo, Chevron established that Donziger made more than six times Fajardo's salary, and that that Donziger's allotted contingency fee is over three times larger.

"You must have a very generous boss Mr. Donziger," said Mastro sarcastically.

Specifically, Mastro established that Donziger is entitled to 31.5 percent of the 20 percent of the Ecuadorian judgment allocated to fees. That came to roughly $1.2 billion when the judgment stood at $19 billion. Now that Ecuador's highest court has lopped off the penal component and halved the verdict to $9.5 billion, Donziger stands to earn about $600 million.

Among those watching Donziger's grilling on Monday were the rock musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, who has sponsored a water project to improve the health of residents in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Sting said in an interview with The American Lawyer: "This is a noisy distraction from the real life and death issue, which is the contamination that compromises their and their children's health. That has nothing to do with the minutia we've heard in court today. The money spent on this very expensive exercise could be better spent on some remedy for the situation in Ecuador."

Chevron spokesperson Morgan Crinklaw responded: "It is unfortunate that Steven Donziger continues to mislead well-intentioned people. Overwhelming evidence presented in this trial proves that Donziger and his collaborators fabricated evidence, bribed judges and committed fraud."

The remainder of the day was devoted to Chevron's cross-examination of one of Donziger's co-defendants, Javier Piaguaje, who was a plaintiff in the Amazon environmental case. Most notably, Piaguaje was unaware that as a plaintiff he had ceded all of his rights in the judgment to the Amazon Defense Front, despite having been a member of the "Assembly of los Affectados," and despite having certified as much in an interrogatory response. Piaguaje was also unaware that Fajardo has been allotted 2 percent of any recovery. And, he admitted that he could attribute the pollution at the Tarapoa oil well near his childhood home to Chevron predecessor Texaco only on the basis of rumor. (According to the book Amazon Crude, that well was drilled by Clyde Petroleum).

Donziger's testimony will continue on Tuesday.




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Calif. youth admits Miss Teen USA 'sextortion' plot

A computer science student hacked webcams and took nude photos of Cassidy Wolf and a dozen other women worldwide. Jared James Abrahams, a 19-year-old Southern California computer student, is facing federal prison for hacking the webcam of Miss Teen USA,  Cassidy Wolf. 

Bill Robles attended Abrahams' court appearance and was surprised to see how young the defendant looked. His family were  present in the courtroom to support him. 

story link:




Jared James Abrahams seated in handcuffs during hearing  in Santa Ana Federal Court  by Bill Robles


The FBI raided Abrahams' home in June and arrested him in September.
Wolf tweeted, "Happy to know that this nightmare is coming to an end."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chevron v. Donziger: Judge Nicolas Zambrano



Gibson Dunn's Randy Mastro questions Judge Nicolas Zambrano of Ecuador, who wrote the 19 billion dollar judgement against Chevron. Zambrano wore a red hat
(with snake eyes) a scarf, overcoat and thick gloves.
He also sipped hot tea while he testified via an interpreter.



Judge Nicolas Zambrano of Ecuador, being questioned by defense attorney Julio Gomez 
by Elizabeth Williams
Gibson Dunn's Randy Mastro vowed earlier to give "a big New York welcome" to Judge Nicolas Zambrano of Ecuador, who denies that Steven Donziger or his Ecuadorian team ghostwrote the $19 billion tort judgment issued in his name against Chevron. On Tuesday Mastro delivered on his promise

Mastro surprised Zambrano with a pop quiz about the Ecuadorian judgment, which Zambrano avers that he wrote unassisted. Zambrano was unable to answer a single question correctly. (Readers who wish to take the quiz themselves may check the correct answers at bottom.)

What did the judgment's author identify as "the most powerful carcinogenic agent" detected in oil pollution samples from the Ecuadorian Amazon?* Zambrano started fumbling with the papers in front of him. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan admonished: "Sir, do not look through the judgment!" Then Zambrano asked if he could take the test by multiple choice. Mastro reasked the first question, and Zambrano replied "I don't recall."

What did the judgment's author call the "statistical data of the highest importance to delivering this ruling"?** Zambrano again began fumbling with his papers. "He's leafing through the document!" cried Mastro. "Put the document down!" bellowed the judge. Mastro reasked the question, and Zambrano guessed the wrong report.

What theory of causation did the judgment's author adopt?*** "Do not look at the judgment, sir!" Mastro yelled. Zambrano replied, "I don't recall."

What does the abbreviation "TPH," which the judgment's author used 38 times, stand for?**** At deposition Zambrano replied, "It pertains to hydrocarbons but I don't recall exactly." At trial Zambrano claimed to know the answer. "Do you want to tell us?" asked Mastro. "No," replied Zambrano.

Later, Mastro explored how certain TPH percentages had been calculated in the judgment. "Do you even know what an Excel spreadsheet is?" asked Mastro. "No," replied Zambrano. How then had the TPH percentages been calculated? Zambrano initially said he didn't recall. When pressed by the judge for his best recollection, he said that he took them from expert reports.

Zambrano's problems as a witness did not stop with the quiz. He testified that he did not know whether his 18-year-old assistant knew any French or English, but that she found on the Internet the French, American, English and Australian decisions that he relied on in his judgment.

Zambrano offered no documentary evidence outside the judgment to prove his authorship, saying that he had destroyed his notes. He said that he did not know how the judgment included a string of more than 100 words from a plaintiffs' draft memo that did not appear in the court record.

Zambrano offered no explanation for how nine of his Chevron orders and more than 100 of his other orders in other cases appeared in draft form on the computer of Judge Alberto Guerra, who claims to have worked as Zambrano's paid ghostwriter. He offered no explanation for a bank deposit slip showing a payment from Zambrano, or for notations in Guerra's diaries of several payments consistent with Guerra's avowed salary as Zambrano's ghostwriter.

Over the course of the day, there were too many apparent inconsistencies between Zambrano's trial and deposition testimony to immediately count. Perhaps most damaging was his trial testimony that he did not read the full court record in the Ecuador case. At deposition four days earlier he had sworn: "In order to rule on it I had to read it, and that's what I did."

In a statement, Donziger spokesman Chris Gowen complained that Mastro relied "on poor translation and semantics and never once allow[ed] the witness the opportunity to explain his testimony—a basic component of proper impeachment." Zambrano will be far more credible Wednesday, Gowen added, when he is allowed to answer more than yes or no. Donziger had better hope so, as Gowen has repeatedly said that the trial hinges on which Ecuadorian ex-judge is more credible—Alberto Guerra or Nicolas Zambrano.

Near day's end Mastro posed one more pop quiz question: Do you know what the English word "workover" means?***** At the judge's suggestion, Mastro wrote the word in large letters on a blank sheet of paper, and waved it at the gallery like a magician showing a card to the audience before his next trick. Zambrano said he didn't know. Finally Mastro asked: "Do you know how an English word that you couldn't even identify in court today and appears in [a proprietary document from the plaintiffs] ended up appearing in English in the judgment?" Zambrano answered no.

Congratulations to readers who scored at least 1 out of 5 on the quiz! Chevron argues that you are likelier than Zambrano to have written the $19 billion judgment issued by the Provincial Court of Sucumbios on Feb. 14, 2011.

*The correct answer is benzene.
**The correct answer is the San Sebastian cancer study.
*** The correct answer is "the theory of sufficient causation."
**** The correct answer is Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, or the Spanish equivalent.
***** The correct answer is "maintenance work done on an existing oil well."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chevron v Donzinger Trial: Twenty years of litigation. A $19 billion judgment. Sixty law firms and......

American Lawyer Reporter Michael Goldhaber
Overview of the case
"Chevron v. Donziger: A Dickensian Cheat Sheet"
Twenty years of litigation. A $19 billion judgment. Sixty law firms and 2000 legal professionals — and that's just on one side. Chevron in Ecuador can plausibly claim to be the messiest case since Jarndyce sued Jarndyce. "This scarecrow of a suit," as Dickens said in Bleak House, "has become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means." Fortunately, The American Lawyer has been clearing the thicket of Chevron's Amazon case from the start.

Michael Goldhaber's book on the case will be published this summer. More info to follow.

From the Wall Street Journal on Alberto Guerra testimony

A former Ecuadorean judge testified Wednesday that he was paid $1,000 a month to ghostwrite rulings and “expedite” proceedings in an environmental lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador that ultimately resulted in a $19 billion judgment against the oil giant.


Wall Street Journal Story
Chevron v Donzinger
story link
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/10/23/key-chevron-witness-testifies-in-racketeering-trial/?KEYWORDS=chevron+trial
Former Ecuadorian Judge Alberto Guerra on the stand during the Chevron vs Donzinger trial
Steven Donzinger seated far right,

Guerra testifies via an interpreter, ( woman standing on left)
Manhattan Federal Court, Judge Lewis Kaplan presiding
artwork by Elizabeth Williams

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Madoff Five" trial

The trial of the "Madoff 5": Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, George Perez and Jerome O'Hara, began on October 8th, with jury selection lasting about a week. Opening statements followed then several witnesses including an FBI agent took the stand. Today Matthew Cohen a managing director of Alix Partners testified. Cohen is  a consultant who helped unravel the fraud after its discovery. 
Cohen  testified that Perez told him that  Madoff  in 2006 asked him   to alter core computer programs to permit changes to past account statements for his investment advisory unit.
More from Bloomberg story by Erik Larson
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-22/ex-madoff-employee-altered-code-for-money-jury-told.html

Matthew Cohen from Alix Partners on the stand
with diagram of Madoff's office  layout in the Lipstick Building on the computer screen

Defendants left to right, Joann Crupi, Daniel Bonventre, Jerome O'Hara( front row),
Annette Bongiorno, George Perez( front row)


The Five Things You Need to Know About the Madoff Trial 
Five former Madoff underlings — two account supervisors, two computer programmers, and a former operations director — are accused of working with Mr. Madoff and others to deceive investors and keep the Ponzi scheme afloat. The defendants — George Perez, Jerome O’Hara, JoAnn Crupi, Annette Bongiorno and Daniel Bonventre — say they were duped like everyone else and were mere pawns. All five have pleaded not guilty.

Monday, October 21, 2013

James Earl Ray Hearing Oct 21, 1974 questions over guilty plea remain

On Oct 21, 1974 in Memphis Tenn, James Earl Ray was granted a hearing to withdraw his guilty plea made on March 10, 1969. The New York Times article  below outlines the story. 
CBS Reporter Ed Rabel seated during James Earl Ray hearing in Memphis Tenn. James Earl Ray is seated far right.
By Aggie Kenny


The mystery around the guilt or innocence of Ray continues.

TruTV article:.

link from August 1978 Prescott Gazette


Ed Rabel reporter pictured above worked with Aggie Kenny during the hearing. Rabel  is now a 3rd party candidate for the US Senate in the state of West Virginia. He also has also published a book about his amazing life which includes his career as a journalist for both CBS and NBC News.

Newsman Rabel has new book  - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

'Captain Phillips' Movie Opens/ Epilogue Somali Pirate Arraignment and Sentencing


On October 11th the movie Captain Phillps opens in theaters. The movie is opening to rave reviews.
The story is about the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama tanker and kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips;
 it is disturbing, shocking and amazing.
Below are events that are the epilogue to the story portrayed in the movie.

On April 21, 2009 the Somali pirate Abduhl Wal-i-Musi of Captain Phillips fame, was brought to Manhattan Federal Court under heavy security. The day before when  he was perp walked, he was all smiles, one of the local papers headlined a photo of him, titled it "Jolly Roger".
LINK:
Lone surviving pirate in Federal court on Tuesday

However the next day once inside the courtroom, Muse broke down and cried.





During the arraignment the judge had trouble determining the age of the defendant and tried to reach out to his family in Africa, because it was unclear if he was to be charged as an adult. Upon mentioning his family, the Somali broke down.
That scene lasted just a few minutes, made the front page of the New York Post.
Eventually it was determined that he was 18 years old and was considered an adult, and faced a possible life sentence.
LINK:
Somali Pirate Arraignment story


Somali Pirate Muse Arraignment by Elizabeth Williams

Months later-after he plead guilty- Abduhl Wal-i-Musi was sentenced 
in front of Chief Judge Loretta Preska. 
Prior to the hearing the 3rd mate Colin Wright was outside the courtroom and was clearly still very upset about what had occurred during the hijacking, and spoke during the hearing of being so helpless, with no way to protect themselves. 
From Bloomberg story:
Wright.....testified during today’s hearing that the incident permanently changed him and asked the judge to sentence Muse to the maximum penalty possible.
“It was a very, very scary experience,” said Wright, who detailed being shot at during the hijacking and listening to bullets ring off the bulkhead next to him.

During the sentencing hearing the judge gave a detailed report on the horrors and torture that occurred while Captain Phillips was kidnapped and held hostage for 4 days. It was a graphic and shocking.  During her account of the events, she wept, which is unusual for a judge.
Judge Loretta Preska

Abduhl Wal-i-Musi sentencing February 16, 2011 by Elizabeth Williams

Somali Pirate sentencing story link 

Muse was finally  sentenced to 33 years in prison and Captain Richard Phillips wrote a book that eventually became a movie; he is considered by many to be a modern day hero.

Michael Daly NY Daily News
LINK:
After Maersk heroism, maybe Merchant Marine Memorial will be more than footnote

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Raymond Donovan Trial Opens, October 5th 1986


Donovan Jury,  March 1987 by Elizabeth Williams

27 Years ago From the New York Times:
October 5, 1986
Spectators in State Supreme Court in the Bronx last week heard a prosecutor at center stage describe Raymond J. Donovan, the former Secretary of Labor, as a participant in a larcenous scheme based on ''greed - plain and simple.'' Stage right, they heard defense counsel describe the case as a ''phantom'' and the 56-year-old defendant as a man who was orphaned in his teens, gave up studying for the priesthood to support five younger brothers and sisters, made good in the construction business and went on to do good by anonymously financing 60 minority students in a private high school.
Donovan wide shot by Aggie Kenny
Raymond Donovan far right, Ted Wells seated far left. Judge John Collins presiding
In the end Raymond Donovan was acquitted,
http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/26/nyregion/donovan-cleared-of-fraud-charges-by-jury-in-bronx.html
Donovan's famous quote
"Which office do I go to to get my reputation back " is well remembered,
The trial went on for many months had all sorts of snags, and twists.
Juror #4 went nuts during deliberations causing a possible mistrial.
Donovan juror story
The defendants ranged from Raymond Donovan, former Secretary of Labor under President Reagan to William Masselli a suspected associate of the Genovese Crime Family.
It was one of the longest criminal prosecutions in the Bronx and several  famous attorneys defending the case, Ted Wells and Raymond Brown have become super-stars in the legal field.


Interesting note regarding the illustrations, 
in the Kenny wide shot, the small figure in the back row, right, with green shirt and pony tail, is Elizabeth Williams, drawing the jury picture that is above.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jury: AEG not liable in Jackson's death | Entertainment - WLKY Home

Jury: AEG not liable in Jackson's death | Entertainment - WLKY Home
From the LA Times
The jury foreman, Gregg Barden, said the five-month trial was exhausting and that the three days of deliberations were “extremely stressful.”
“We reached a verdict we understand that not everybody is going to agree with,” he said. “There are really no winners in this. Somebody had to die for us to be here....it was really a tragic situation.”
Katherine Jackson  drawn during verdict by Bill Robles


Friday, September 27, 2013

AEG closing arguments: Michael Jackson wrongful death trial

Bill Robles covered the closing arguments of the AEG lawyer during the Jackson wrongful death lawsuit trial. The trial  lasted five months and now the jury is left to decide who was at fault in the death of Michael Jackson.
A jury will weigh whether AEG negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave Michael 
Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on the eve of what was to be the singer's comeback tour. 
AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam during his closing argument by Bill Robles


From the LA Times
The attorney for AEG Live told jurors Wednesday the concert promoter never hired the doctor who was treating Michael Jackson as he prepared for a comeback tour, never had a contract with him and had no idea the doctor was giving the singer the powerful anesthetic that killed him.
"Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for Michael Jackson’s overdose, in his bedroom, at night, behind locked doors,” Marvin Putnam said during his closing argument in the five-month wrongful death case.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-michael-jackson-20130925,0,1568360.story


Saturday, September 14, 2013

5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE BANKRUPTCY OF LEHMAN BROTHERS

5 Years Post-Lehman, Where Do the I-Banks Stand? (^DJI, ^GSPC, GS, MS)

From the Wall Street Journal:
Link: Wall Street Journal story on Lehman Bros collapse
The Lehman Brothers failure five years ago kicked off a period of economic tumult whose repercussions are still felt today.For a reminder of just how crazy that moment was, let’s step into the wayback machine with some of the key legal players from the biggest bankruptcy filing of all time.Center stage: an army of restructuring lawyers who over the course of one week pivoted from trying to set up a Hail Mary merger to preparing for the bank’s demise
Five years ago, on Monday September 15th, 2008 Lehman Brothers filed for court protection. “This was the biggest unplanned bankruptcy in bankruptcy history,” said Judge James Peck of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, who oversaw Lehman’s Chapter 11 case.
In 2010 Bloomberg News covered the lawsuit filed by Lehman against Barclays. Harvey Miller was called to the stand. Miller oversaw the bankruptcy of Lehman and was visibly upset on the stand, while testifying about those traumatic days. During his testimony he described the pandemonium that took place in the days during the fall of Lehman Brothers. The Lehman collapse almost lead to a destruction of the world economy and did lead to the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
Recent quote by Miller, who reflected on the Lehman bankruptcy that took place 5 years ago.
“The bankruptcy case of Lehman was unprecedented,” says Harvey Miller, Lehman’s bankruptcy counsel. “It was the largest Chapter 11 case ever filed by billions of dollars. It was traumatic and extremely difficult.”
Harvey Miller on stand  during the Barclays Lehman lawsuit
describing the scene as Lehman Bros collapsed on September 15, 2008
US Bankruptcy Court, Lower Manhattan  April 28,2010


Rober Gaffey, representing Lehman's estate, questions Harvey Miller
during the Lehman Barclays hearing in US Bankruptcy Court, Lower Manhattan
David Boies representing Barclays, seated right
Below is a news story link about the subsequent lawsuit filed by Lehman against Barclays which relates to the court art above. 

Telegraph news story :
.......some were claiming the deal had gone sour. Lehman's estate alleged that BarCap ( Barclays) had got the broker-dealer operations on the cheap.  Between the legal argument and the obfuscation that is common in banking trials, Judge Peck will decide whether BarCap really did get "too good a deal" or whether Lehman is trying to rewrite the course of history.
Lehman v Barclays lawsuit story