ACKMAN LAW OFFICE                                                      WRITER-AT-LARGE

 

LAW STORIES

 

 

Giuliani and the War on Taxis
Slate—December 19, 2007
When he is not billing himself as the 9/11 candidate, Rudolph Giuliani bills himself as a law and order candidate. But when he was mayor of New York, Giuliani often acted as if law was for other people. Before he's handed the reins to the war on terror, the mayor's willingness to impose harsh and even illegal rules should be well understood.

 

Free Dennis Kozlowski
Wall Street Journal—October 25, 2007

It's hard to rally much sympathy for L. Dennis Kozlowski. Apart from his criminal conviction, the ex-CEO of Tyco International is best remembered for buying a $6,000 shower curtain, throwing a $2 million birthday party for his (much younger) wife, and for having Tyco buy an $18 million apartment on Fifth Avenue, tacking on another $5 million to spruce the place up. Still, his conviction, which will be appealed today, is questionable at best. Despite millions for his defense, Dennis Kozlowski was railroaded.

 

Dispatches From a Mob Trial: Anatomy of a Mafia mole
Slate—March 17, 2006

"How's your health?" asked the prosecutor.
"So-so," Burton Kaplan replied. It was the most boastful thing he'd say in three days on the witness stand, where he blithely recounted his many crimes as a 40-year associate of the Lucchese family.  

 

The Price of Justice

The New York Times—February 12, 2006
OVER the past several decades, the scope and clout of the city's administrative law courts have swelled to the point where there are now at least 500 administrative law judges scattered among a dozen agencies.


Martha And The Mandelas
Forbes.com-- July 20, 2004
Stewart tells Larry King she's not the same as Nelson Mandela, except both are committed to justice.

 

Quattrone II: Bulls, Pigs And Oxygen Pirates
Forbes.com-- April 29, 2004
A prosecutor flails away at the banker as both sides rest. Plus: a visit from the Lord Mayor.


Martha Trial: 'A Conspiracy Of Dunces'
Forbes.com-- March 03, 2004
If two smart people were trying to deceive the government, wouldn't they get their story straight?

The Wrights Flights Made Them Famous.
Their Patent Battles Made Them Crazy.

American Lawyer -- Dec. 2003

On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright took off in a flying machine and landed 120 feet away. It was the first time in history a machine carrying a man had flown into the air by its own power, moved under control, and landed at a point as high as that from which it started. The event caused no shockwaves, because, for one thing, the brothers, though they issued a brief statement, did little to publicize their achievement. Second, the few people who did learn about the flight probably didn't believe it. At the time, the idea of heavier-than-air flight was thought to be the province of crackpots.

Unspeakable
Web Exclusive -- Dec. 12, 2003
Four out of five U.S. appellate court decisions are literally unspeakable. What this means is that the vast majority of opinions by federal appeals courts are deemed "unpublished" and cannot, for the most part, be cited in later cases.  They are the law for one case only, which may mean they hardly deserve to be called law at all.
 

Cover Up? Yes, But Not By Quattrone

Forbes.com -- Oct. 8, 2003
Quattrone is on trial, but it's CSFB that displayed a somewhat casual attitude about subpoenas.
 

The Trial Of Dennis The Menace

Forbes.com -- Sept. 29, 2003
The Tyco chief will argue that it ain't stealing when they give it to you--and the argument should work.


A Raw Deal
The Wall Street Journal - April 29, 2003
Frank Quattrone is in a curious pickle. The defrocked investment banker from Credit Suisse First Boston now stands as the lone criminal defendant in the government's widespread investigation of abuses in the IPO market. He has been charged with "obstruction of justice." But he hasn't been charged with any crime the investigation of which he allegedly obstructed, and neither has anybody else....

 

For Wall Street, Fines Are A Day's Pay
April 29, 2003
At the press conference yesterday announcing the settlement with the major Wall Street banks, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer compared his work to that of President Theodore Roosevelt, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission called the deal "historic." But there are reasons for skepticism....

 

0.2% for the Mouse!

The Wall Street Journal - January 17, 2003
When Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, the event was obscure enough that even people in the movie business were hardly aware....

 

In L.A., Smoker Gets $28 Billion, Er, Million
December 19, 2002
A judge in Los Angeles yesterday ordered the damages award to be paid by Philip Morris to a smoker to be reduced from $28 billion to $28 million. This is the kind of story where you really have to watch for typos. The difference between $28 billion and $28 million is just one letter, a single keystroke. But otherwise, it's a big deal....

 

Outclassed: Davis Polk for the Defense
The American Lawyer - February 2002
Sotheby's defendant had a defense team befitting his lofty status. But the prosecution had the facts -- and a deadly touch.

 

Enron's Lawyers: Eyes Wide Shut?
January 28, 2002
Enron hired Vinson & Elkins to investigate its partnerships. The lawyers said there were few worries.

 

Dan Ackman Law OFFICe                         Dan Ackman: Writer at Large