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October 9, 2008

One area in which bad times are good for business

Last week I asked in this post, "When will the latest economic crisis become a criminal justice story?".  Today, the New York Law Journal is on this story with this new piece, headlined "Criminal Prosecutions Predicted to Surge Over Financial Crisis."  Here is how the effective piece begins:

With public anger reaching a boiling point over plunging stock prices and Wall Street "greed," white-collar defense attorneys are preparing for an inevitable surge in criminal prosecutions.

Stanley S. Arkin, for one, said he expects that the anger, hysteria and economic dislocation fueled by "imprudent credit policies" will "inspire" indictments that would not have been brought in a "calmer and more dispassionate time." There is "an underlying popular sensibility in this country that someone has to pay for all the jobs lost and the savings extinguished," said Arkin, a partner at Arkin Kaplan Rice.  "There's a lynching quality that arises in circumstances of extreme dislocation like this."

As I said before, this all suggests it may be an especially good time to "buy stock" in any law firm specializing in white-collar defense, and law students might want to sign-up ASAP for courses in White-Collar Crime and/or Federal Criminal Law and Sentencing. 

In addition, all corporate attorneys with old business clients now fearing different kinds of legal problems ought to quickly study up on federal sentencing realities.  As regular readers know well, the first executives to run to prosecutors and offer up information are likely the ones (and perhaps the only ones) who will escape severe consequences when indictments start rolling in.

October 9, 2008 at 08:02 AM | Permalink

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Comments

As the owner of a retail liquor store I too am looking forward to reasonably good times. People look at the $10 they've got and think
"This'll get me a couple beers at the bar, but I could get a six pack at the store." then they go "Hey Billy, you wanna go in for half a eighteen pack with me?"

The town I live in is too small to support a pawn shop, which is also pretty much recession proof, especially in a tight credit market.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Oct 9, 2008 9:10:04 AM

I've had a couple of recent posts, Doug, on the economic crisis and its intersection with criminal justice topics.

The problem with possible prosecutions is that it's precisely de-regulation - i.e., eliminating laws like Glass Steagal that prevented the previously illegal behavior that caused the crisis - that got us here in the first place. It's possible we'll see a few show-trials just to give the public a scapegoat, but I seriously doubt the trend will last long enough for any law students to make career decisions based on it. A superior career choice at this point might be studying bankruptcy law if you're predicting demand for lawyers based on economic trends.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Oct 9, 2008 9:34:16 AM

I agree with gritsforbreakfast. One of the the things I will be watching most closely is how Obama deals with bankruptcy law. There are lots of liberals unhappy with the package they got steamrolled on a few years ago and it will be interesting to see if they can roll back those changes.

Posted by: Daniel | Oct 9, 2008 12:50:49 PM

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