Bulger’s immunity defense: what appearance of justice requires

Public confidence in the justice system suffered a major blow when the late-1990s trial of Stephen Flemmi revealed the federal government’s cozy relationship with Whitey Bulger and the Winter Hill gang. Federal Judge Denise Casper, the new judge recently assigned to Bulger’s trial, now has a golden opportunity to help restore that confidence. Casper’s upcoming first major ruling will be pivotal. She has to decide whether to reconsider a decision by her predecessor, Judge Richard Stearns, that Bulger and his lawyers will not be allowed to present Bulger’s asserted immunity defense to the jury unless they first convince the judge that the federal government actually granted Bulger effective immunity. In my most recent column for Mass Lawyers Weekly, I argue that Casper must take a second at this ruling.

The column after the jump...

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KPMG and Scott London: Long-Forgotten Devil's Deal Means Feds Are Unlikely to Bring Corporate Charges

On March 20 former KPMG partner Scott London admitted to passing confidential inside information to his friend Bryan Shaw, who reportedly traded on that information, making over a million dollars. In my most recent “Injustice Department” column for Forbes.com, co-authored with my research assistants Juliana DeVries and Zachary Bloom, I explain how appalling violations of trust are nothing new to the KPMG leadership, considering their long-forgotten devil’s deal with the U.S. Department of Justice back in 2004, whereby the firm “cooperated” with the government and threw its employees and clients under the bus. A culture of betrayal is made almost inevitable by the prosecutorial  tactics of the DOJ, which turn colleague against colleague and company against employee on the basis of not-always-truthful testimony.

You canfind the column here, on my "Injustice Department" blog.

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Climbing the Ladder to Steven A. Cohen

I was struck recently by a page-one story in the Wall Street Journal about the latest arrest in the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation of alleged insider trading at SAC Capital, a prominent hedge fund. So far six people have pleaded guilty or been convicted, and four have agreed to “cooperate.” It is the meaning of “cooperation” that is at the heart of my opinion piece.


You will find my column in today’s paper on the “Opinion” page, or on the Wall Street Journal’s website.
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"Harvard Email Snooping: Overreaching Administrators at Work"

As those of you who read my various writing know, our nation’s campuses are far from hubs of free inquiry. Today’s campus culture more accurately resembles a corporation, or, viewed a bit more cynically, a mini-police state. In my most recent piece for Minding the Campus, co-authored with my research assistants, Juliana DeVries and Zachary Bloom, we explain how the Harvard email search scandal is only the latest demonstration of administrators and lawyers’ power over faculty and staff. This latest invasion of academic prerogatives by the overlords should be a wake-up call to spur a rebellion against the unholy trends destroying liberal arts institutions all over the country.


You can read the piece at the following link:

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Boston Phoenix RIP

                As many of you likely have heard, The Boston Phoenix (last year re-named simply The Phoenix) has ceased publication, a victim of the harsh economic times for print journalism. The remaining skeleton staff presiding over the sad burial rites has edited and published the final issue of the paper, available only in an on-line version that can be read at http://thephoenix.com.


                I have written my final column that will be of particular interest to those of you who have been reading this rather remarkable “alternative weekly” for years. But it should also be of interest to those who have not had the pleasure of such a long-term reading experience. Here is my piece:



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