January 31, 2006
Enron Update: Opening Statements
Posted by Christine Hurt

With the jury seated yesterday, opening statements in the Enron trial are happening right now as I type.  (As Tom Kirkendall writes, the jury was seated in one day "to the surprise of no one who has ever tried a case before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake.")  Last Fall, guest blogger David Zaring asked if opening statements follow the formula of "This trial is about X," then what should the X be?  My response:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a story about numbers and a story about trust. My client, Ken Lay, has spent his life thinking about numbers. He believed in numbers. And he trusted the men that showed him the numbers."

According to the WSJ, prosecutors began opening arguments this morning by saying that this trial "is about lies, not numbers." Nice pre-emptive strike.

Also note Nathan Koppel's character sketch of Judge Sim Lake in today's WSJ.  Nathan (law school classmate of mine) did his time at Fulbright & Jaworksi, Judge Lake's old stomping grounds as well, so he has some inside scoop.

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