The Court of Appeals in New York recently reversed securities fraud convictions in a federal criminal case. This case, which said that the defendants simply did not commit a crime, reminds me of how important it is for lawyers to keep fighting, even after a jury says the client is guilty.
The case in New York was a complicated set of prosecutions targeted at “floor supervisors” at stock exchanges. These supervisors matched up buyers with sellers. The prosecutors claimed that these supervisors would make a few pennies for themselves on the matches by purchasing the stock and quickly flipping it, then skimming the profits. The defense lawyers argued that it was absurd for such highly paid supervisors to go after what was in effect, chump change, and pointed out that a few mistakes does not mean the supervisors were trying to make a profit. The Court of Appeals agreed, based on a ruling in a similar case, that there was no proof that the supervisors acted deceptively.
The lawyers in those cases kept fighting, even after the jury found their clients guilty. I have a similar case, a matter I will post about in the future, as it is currently pending in front of the judge. It involves a case where a man was found guilty by the jury, but there simply is no evidence that he knew he was doing anything wrong! I was brought into the case after the trial, and have filed a request for both a new trial and that the judge throw the charges out altogether. We will see what happens!