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.,0,1568360.story

Saturday, September 14, 2013


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

Friday, September 6, 2013


In the mid-80's Panamanian General Manuel Noriega cooperated with the DEA and the covert American drug enforcement operation, called Operation Negocios. It was carried out for several years and relied in part on information supplied by the Panama Defense Forces, which General Noriega then commanded. 

After the Iran-Contra Affair,( the Iran Contra trial is highlighted in the upcoming book, the US became increasingly suspicious of Noriega amid indications that he was selling his services to other intelligence bodies, not to mention drug-trafficking organizations.

In 1988, the US indicted Noriega on charges of drug trafficking. The United States invaded Panama it ended with Noriega surrendering to U. S. forces on January 3, 1990.  Below is an illustration of Noriega by Aggie Kenny soon after his capture in Miami Federal Court. Kenny noticed Noriega smiling during the post arrest hearing, something that was out of the ordinary.Kenny said " It was a key detail, almost a smirk. Quite surprising to see that in court, usually defendants are so sober". 

Manuel Noriega in court after arrest in Miami Federal Court in January 1990

His trial began 22 years ago in Miami Federal Court on September 6th,1991 and jury selection took a week. The trial ran until April 10th, 1992;  Noriega was convicted on 8 of 10 charges. Below is a portrait of Noriega by Kenny. 

Manuel Noriega by Aggie Kenny

This was a landmark trial which marked the first time that a former head of a foreign government had ever faced criminal charges in an American court of law. However just this year, the former president of Guatemala, Alphonso Portillo was indicted and brought to the US to face money laundering charges.
Indictment PDF