Risk Update

Conflicts at Trials — Allegations & Waivers — Judicial “Gut Reactions,” Fair Trials, and Invalid Waivers

Insys Exec Trial Fair Despite Alleged Weil Conflict, Judge Says” —

  • “A convicted former Insys Therapeutics Inc. executive ‘got a fair trial’ despite Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP representing him during his criminal trial while guiding the company through its bankruptcy, a federal judge said following a fiery Thursday afternoon hearing over the alleged conflict.”
  • “At one point during the hearing, one of Simon’s new attorneys, William Fick of Fick & Marx LLP, questioned why Weil Gotshal “billed $3 million to ride the coattails” of one of the lawyers for Insys founder John Kapoor.”
  • “‘My gut reaction here is, he got a fair trial in this courtroom,’ Judge Burroughs said at the end of a contentious, hourlong sparring match between Simon’s new legal team and federal prosecutors. “He got a fair trial, they all did,” the judge said. ‘I don’t love what Weil did here and I think it could have been handled other ways, but I am not sure whether it rises to the level of a new trial.'”

Waivable Conflict Not Validly Waived, Leads To Remand for New Trial” —

  • “In United States v. Arrington, 17-4092-cr (October 18, 2019) (Lynch, Lohier, Judge Brian M. Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, sitting by designation), the Second Circuit vacated Defendant-Appellant Roderick Arrington’s convictions for murder in aid of racketeering and related convictions, and remanded for a new trial, holding that he was not provided with adequate information prior to waiving his attorney’s actual conflict of interest.”
  • “While defendants should have their counsel of choice, and have the right to waive most conflicts of interest, the defendant needs to have sufficient information and independent advice to make a knowing and intelligent waiver of the right to conflict-free counsel. The Court of Appeals has long policed the boundaries of this issue and Arrington will give courts and counsel further guidance about how to approach these notoriously tricky Sixth Amendment questions.”