Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

While we await what will surely be the last public act of the post-trial period (before sentencing, that is), I offer the following from The Independent as the best summary of the Nixon-Black axis of psychological analogy. Reviewing the bio, Cal McCrystal writes:

“Nixon was not overburdened with scruples, and, even in these pages, alternates between hard boozing and tantrums, and between being ‘perfectly clear’ (his own overused cliché) and being sincerely cynical (in fact as well as in form). But he was far too buttoned-up, even from boyhood, to let whatever principles he had hang out. Despite Conrad Black’s research and opinion, it may be a touch premature to proclaim tout savoir, c’est tout pardonner. Scruples cause one to consider the propriety (or legality) of one’s actions. Those of the author—or the alleged absence of them—have come under judgement by a Chicago jury whose recent verdicts, that he was guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice, have coincided with the publication of this book. In describing the case against him (the result of which he is expected to appeal), as ‘an outrage’, Black displayed a conviction comparable to Richard Nixon’s magnificent televised protest: ‘My fellow Americans, I am not a crook!’ Gainsaying, one must accept, is a constant runnel of history.”

And, from the Department of Repercussions, we have the The Wall Street Journal law blog and BusinessWeek weighing in on the chilling effect of Kipnis’ conviction on corporate counsel everywhere:

“’I think this jury essentially criminalized Mark Kipnis’ negligence for failing to ask questions of his client, and I think it sends a very frightening message to corporate counsel,’ says Hugh Totten, a litigation partner at Perkins Coie in Chicago who observed much of the trial in order to provide commentary to the media.

Wow—imagine criminalizing negligence. I sure hope that trend doesn’t take hold in other professions like, say, airline pilots or doctors. Heaven knows what might happen.

In-House Attorneys, Watch Your Step [BusinessWeek]Back in Black: Focus on Frey and Kipnis [Wall St. Journal]Richard Milhouse Nixon: The invincible quest, by Conrad Black [Independent]