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March 21, 2008

How do sophisticated lawyers negotiate sentencing terms?

The WSJ Law Blog here and here provides effective coverage and links concerning famed lawyer Mel Weiss's decision to enter a deal to agree to plead guilty in a case alleging improper kickbacks.  The plea deal can be accessed here, and it is an interesting read. 

I was particularly interested in paragraph 15, which sets forth the agreed upon sentencing terms.  And for some reason the parties came up with a range of 18 to 33 months imprisonment.  I think they got these terms from the top and botton of a range of guideline ranges, but it is fun to just speculate about how the big-time lawyers on both sides approached this part of the plea negotiations.

March 21, 2008 at 04:03 PM | Permalink


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Good work by defense counsel.

The defendant could have been facing at least 9 million in fraud that would have guidelined out in excess of 5 years. In addition, the trial judge could jack the sentence because lawyers should know better.

Instead, they negotiated (read bought for 9 million dollars cash) an 11 (c)(1)(C)agreement that caps the sentence at 30 months and eliminates the possiblity of an "upward departure."

That is one possibility.

Posted by: ky | Mar 22, 2008 5:00:59 PM

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