Conrad Black, Dorsey & Whitney, Merck, Morning Docket, Options Backdating, Vioxx, White-Collar Crime

Morning Docket: 8.31.06

conrad black.jpg* In the legal and regulatory crackdown on business corruption and white-collar crime, “lawyers serving fraud-ridden companies have emerged relatively unscathed,” reports the Washington Post. Chalk it up to professional courtesy. [Washington Post]
* Lord Conrad Black (at right), former media mogul, has had his worldwide assets frozen by a Canadian court. But don’t feel too sorry for him — he still gets an allowance of $20,000 a month. (Is that U.S. dollars, or Canadian?) [BBC News; Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* Judge Eldon E. Fallon (E.D. La.) upheld the jury verdict finding Merck liable in a recent Vioxx case, but ruled that a new trial must be held on damages because the $50 million compensatory damage award — not a punitive damages award — was “grossly excessive.” Seems like the right decision to us. After all, the guy survived (and isn’t a pro basketball player). [Associated Press via DealBreaker]
* Two former Brocade Communications executives, charged in the options backdating scandal, have pleaded not guilty. [Bloomberg News]
* A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Dorsey & Whitney breached fiduciary duties of client loyalty — and ordered the firm to cough up almost $900,000 in fees.
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune]

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