“This Is Not The Way Criminal Law Is Supposed To Work.”

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in U.S. v. Goyal, No. 08-1436 (Dec. 10, 2010). This case involved an appeal by the former Chief Financial Officer of Network Associates, Inc. (now known as McAfee, Inc.). This unfortunate individual was indicted, tried and convicted of one count of securities fraud, seven counts of making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and seven counts of making materially false statements to the company’s auditors. The Ninth Circuit reversed on all counts.

All federal prosecutors involved in investigating and prosecuting securities law violations should read this opinion and Judge Kozinski’s concurrence in particular. Judge Kozinski cites a string of recent cases in which federal court’s have found that prosecutors have overreached...

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