About Enron Scandal Essay

897 Words Jun 14th, 2013 4 Pages
Two weeks into the trial of Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling, the defense's strategy so far has been clear: Undermine the credibility of the government's witness and barrage the jury with a deluge of complicated and, sometimes, mind-numbing corporate conference calls in an effort to show the defendants were unaware of any corporate chicanery at the company. Skilling gets 24 years
Lessons from Enron: Just say 'sorry'
Meet the players
It's a strategy that defense teams have widely used in the recent corporate trials ranging from HealthSouth (Research) to WorldCom with mixed results.
But with Enron -- the granddaddy of all cases of corporate malfeasance -- Lay and Skilling's dynamic duo of defense
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But Enron's defense team is shrugging off "the ostrich defense" and opting for a riskier play. By subjecting the jury to hours of audio and video tapes of corporate conference calls, the defense hopes to paint Skilling and Lay as hands-on leaders that were truly optimistic about the prospects for their company.
Drowning jury in detail
In his cross-examination last week of the government's first witness Mark Koenig, the executive vice president of investor relations, Petrocelli played full-length tapes in which the executives were heard outlining a number of challenges at the company, but then declared that the company was in excellent shape.
While prosecutors played snippets of the same tapes implying that the company deliberately misled investors with their bullish comments, the defense countered that accusation by saying that the tapes, in their entirety, illustrate that Lay and Skilling were honest about challenges but truly believed in Enron's strength.
It's a good strategy, legal experts said, but not fool-proof. The Cochran Firm's Parkman said jurors can get irritated if they feel that the defense is wasting their time -- a complaint the prosecution has been quick to point out.
"It takes away from the momentum of the government's case," said Jo Anne Adlerstein, an attorney in the white collar defense group at Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner LLP. "If they're

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