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Showing posts from March, 2017

Judges Matter

Decisions, decisions, decisions. From the time someone finds out they have been indicted or will be indicted there are new decisions to me made every day. Which lawyer should I hire? How will I deal with the stress? What do I tell my friends and family? Should I take a plea deal? Should I change careers? There are no shortage of decisions that need to be made during this time and each one can have lasting ramifications. Similarly, there are decisions made by others that can have an effect as well. Those decisions are generally made by the prosecutors and will include issues such as whether to indict or not, which charges to seek, and what kind of deal they wish to offer.

Ultimately, however there is one variable that is left completely to chance and yet may have the the greatest impact on not only how to proceed with a case but on the outcome of the case as well. It will even influence a decision as to whether to take a plea. That variable is.....the judge. I am not going to pretend t…

The Plight of the White (Collar that is)

Anyone who has gone through the "system" comes out with a radically different understanding from what he believed when he went in. When I refer to "The System", I refer to someone who has actually spent in actual prison. While there are plenty of ideas floating around as to how we should fix the system, no one can speak with any expertise without having actually gone through  the system. Politicians can advocate all they want, but the reality is they are reacting to appease various competing interests and are not acting in a proactive manner  that focuses not only on the amount of time incarcerated but even on what happens after prison.

I am not going to go into the inherent flaws in our system of incarceration as I have already gone through many of them in a previous entry ( http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2016/12/does-prison-serve-purpose-and-for-whom.html ). What I am going to assert now is that the system of incarceration in our country is disproportionately dis…

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE

Talk to any current or former defendant and they will affirm that the pace at which the criminal justice system moves is completely different from what their impression were before he became embroiled in the system. Most people get their knowledge from TV programs, if which there are no shortage. Be it Law and Order, LA Law, The Practice or any of the other legal series that have been popular over the past 30 years or so, people have become conditioned to believe that the legal process moves at an efficient pace. Indeed, in the span of an hour and entire case is usually solved!

White collar defendants by in large come from the private sector. True, there are a fair amount from the public sector, but they are not the majority. Therefore, most defendants are used to working in an environment where efficiency is applauded. Suddenly being thrown in to the criminal justice system, which operates ate a radically different pace than what he is used to can be extremely frustrating for a defen…

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The social ramifications of becoming either formally or informally a white collar defendant can be wide ranging. Unlike violent offenders, white collar defendants will very often be members of various boards, donate heavily to charity, do volunteer work and even help their friends. They will very often, with good intentions only, bring on friends as business associates or as partners. They feature prominently in social circles and are often quite visible, especially when they are leaders of industry. Keeping in mind that white collar defendant often do not even realize they are ever doing anything that violates the law, their motives are almost always altruistic and come from a genuine desire to help others.
There is a story told of a wealthy man who served on the board of directors of a prominent organization. For many years his opinions were sought after and the board always heeded his advice. Whenever he spoke, other member were silent and listened attentively. Unfortunately, late …