Breakingviews: Bankers can't always hide behind bad legal advice

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Breakingviews: Bankers can’t always hide behind bad legal advice

Breakingviews: Bankers can’t always hide behind bad legal advice

Bloomberg-

Bankers can’t always hide behind bad legal advice. A former Deutsche Bank broker convicted in a tax-shelter scheme won’t get a new trial because of blunders by his counsel. And yet ex-Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis is blaming lawyers for seemingly insufficient disclosure before shareholders voted on the 2008 merger with Merrill Lynch. It’s enough to give attorneys whiplash.

The Deutsche case is a lawyer’s worst nightmare. A quick Google search by defense counsel discovered that a juror at David Parse’s trial may not have been the housewife she professed to be. But the attorneys refused to believe she had lied during jury selection. Only after the verdict did they ascertain for sure that she was a suspended lawyer deeply prejudiced against their client.

But rather than grant Parse a new trial, the judge excoriated his attorneys for hiding their suspicions until after his conviction. The court ruled that Parse had waived the constitutional right to an impartial jury and would therefore take the fall for the mistakes of his lawyers.

[BLOOMBERG]

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