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The Enron Case: A Verdict for the Attorneys

Yesterday afternoon,  Legal Blog Watch  delivered the late-breaking news on the Enron Verdict. Today,  Howard Bashman offers a vast collection of articles analyzing the verdict.   Everyone's got a spin on the verdict, asking (like Daniel Gross in Slate) whether corporate America will really learn from Enron to an opinion from Bench Conference that Enron shows why defendants should not testify on their behalf.   What's not been covered, however, is whether Enron was a victory for Daniel Petrocelli and Michael Ramsey, who represented Skilling and Lay.

Though  Skilling  lost,  Petrocelli won big.  For Petrocelli and his firm, Enron was a gamble in the sense that it represented an attempt for Petrocelli and his firm, O'Melveny & Myers to transition from big civil work to big criminal work.  Consequently, the firm was willing to take a soaking on fees.  And looks like it's paid off, as shown by this endorsement from one juror, reported in this BusinessWeek article:

"Jurors said they believed attorney Petrocelli did a good job defending Skilling, despite the loss. 'I'd hire him,' said one. 'If you had the money,' another added."

As for Ramsey, results are more mixed.  Some experts questioned the Lay defense team's decision to plow ahead even in the face of Ramsey's leave of absence midtrial due to medical conditions.  But at least one juror quoted in this article didn't think it would have made a difference, explaining:

"Ramsey is a great lawyer. But I'm not sure that the Lord himself could have turned these facts around. A Mack truck coming at you at 100 miles an hour is a hard thing to stop."

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 26, 2006 at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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