Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rajat Gupta trial judge

One question that is being asked after the conviction of Rajat Gupta is: why did he not settle when the SEC brought an administrative action against him? He would have paid a fine and been barred from securities trading but would have kept his freedom. Maybe he thought he could hired the best legal brains to get him an acquittal? A recent article in ET makes clear that the odds were against him: only 1% of defendants in the US get acquitted; 89% settle with the prosecution. The trial has also cost Gupta serious money: $30 m so far (paid for by Goldman Sachs but refundable in the event of conviction).

The silver lining, as a story in ET suggests, is that Gupta may get a relatively light prison sentence, say, three years. Judge Rakoff is known to given lesser sentences in such cases than what the prosecutors have recommended. In one recent case, he handed out a four year prison term against the maximum of 10 years.

The Economist carries an interesting profile of the judge:

Outside the confines of the courtroom, he has demonstrated a work ethic at least as rigorous as the bankers and consultants parading through the witness box, seeming to break only to watch the New York Yankees (which he encouraged jurors to do as well). In response to a tricky legal issue raised on a Friday, he requested that briefs from the opposing counsels be brought to his chambers on Saturday, and he delivered an opinion when the court reopened on a Monday.......

....Perhaps because of his willingness to work long hours and grapple with areas of law that others have circumvented, Mr Rakoff has produced a remarkably large amount of work over the past five years—six times the number of opinions by another longtime judge in the same district, and more than double the number of several others....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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