March 21, 2006
Quattrone: Third Time is a Charm?
Posted by Christine Hurt

Three Now that Frank Quattrone's conviction has been reversed and a new trial ordered, it's time to ask whether we need a third trial here.  The first trial ended in a hung jury.  The second trial ends in a conviction, but the conviction is overturned and a new trial ordered to be heard by a different trial judge.  Will there be a third trial?  In the previous two trials, the judge allowed the prosecution to enter into evidence Quattrone's compensation at CSFB ($120M in 2000).  Perhaps the defense will be allowed to enter into evidence the amount of taxpayer money spent on prosecuting Quattrone not for a substantive crime but for obstruction of justice and witness tampering related to an email reminding employees of a document retention policy.  Surely a cost-benefit analysis is needed here.

And what is the deterrence goal met here should Quattrone ever have a prison sentence?  Don't spin IPO shares?  Don't engage in quid pro quo IPO allocations?  No.  Now, employees of corporations won't send around emails reminding others of the document retention policies.  They will go around to offices and remind others of document retention policies.  From one prosecution a thousand CLEs have bloomed on walking the line in document retention.

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