The Deadman Night Rider

A forum for evening students of the SMU Dedman School of Law and other outlaws..

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We've got the hardware...

The Deadman wife ordered up a Dell. The designated law school laptop is on its way...

Khodorkovsky verdict reading still in progress - 9th day

This week, with the nuclear option being aborted, the Senate has decided to keep the filibuster available to block judicial nominations. In Russia, they go one step further - they let the judges filibuster!!

The verdict for Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, charged with everything from tax evasion to dirty fingernails, has entered its ninth day. Remember - they haven't even said yet what the decision is - they're just reading non-stop for anywhere from four to six hours a day straight. Some commentators think this is a calculated ploy to sap media interest in the case so that when they send him away it won't make such a big splash. Moscow also has the recent black-out to take up the public's attention, so they may get their wish.

Khodorkovsky, sitting in the little jail cage that is required for defendants on trial, has been working crosswords while the judges labor through it tag-team style.

UPDATE: The verdict came in - guilty on tax evasion. Sentence could be up to 7 years.

An editorial this week in the Harlingen Valley Star praises a bill in session now that would make physician expert witnesses from out of state subject to the authority of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners before they can take the witness stand or submit testimony in Texas.

The Board would then be able to sanction out-of-state doctors who provide intentionally false, deceptive, or misstated evidence or opinions in the same way they can discipline Texas-resident expert witnesses. One wonders why such a loophole has been allowed to exist, particularly in light of stories such as this from New Jersey. The law described here appears to try to shield doctors from liability or consequence from expert testimony.

Here is an interesting comment on a New York Times article on compliance lawyers' newfound cachet on Wall Street. (I'm linking to the blog comment since the article requires a log-in) This mirrors the sudden popularity of internal auditors in the accounting world, which used to be a backwater slot that now no company seems to be able to get enough of.

Aside from the eye-popping salaries quoted ($300K for a mid-level associate), the most interesting thing here is what Brad Wendel zooms in on: that companies might actually be paying attention to what these people are telling them. SOX has been catching alot of flak for jacking up the costs of compliance for companies, which many CEO's don't see as being value-added. Like any legislative fix, there are alot of requirements that don't really have any benefit - but these can be refined over time. It looks like the goal of the law - to have more than lip-service paid to internal controls and integrity in reporting - is being met.

In the end, that is of the utmost value to shareholders. Sure, all the companies care about is shielding themselves from potential losses and lawsuits, but the result is more credible information being provided in their financial reporting. And that is really all any investor has to rely on, other than gut-level instinct.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I turned off the Settings for Comments - you don't have to sign up now to post. Sorry!!

Yes, much more diverting than accounting...

The take-home lesson from this case is that you cannot sue your partner for unintended injuries sustained during consensual sex. This link came via the Volokh Conspiracy - which points out that the injured party's girlfriend possibly consented to the lawsuit with an eye toward collecting any damages from a homeowner's policy or some other insurance vehicle.

Why did I wait so long to go to law school??

Monday, May 16, 2005

Well, we're off! Sent in the seat deposit today, so this marks the official beginning of the Deadman Night Rider timeline...

Thursday, May 12, 2005


First posting - now online...