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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who’s on first?

Chad Bray, who covers the beat at 500 Pearl Street for Dow Jones Newswires, reports in the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has indicted former KMPG tax partner Robert Pfaff in connection with alleged fraudulent tax-shelter transactions in the U.S. and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Pfaff and two other individuals are scheduled to go on trial in September in what is left of the original, massive KPMG indictment. Judge Lewis Kaplan's dismissal of charges against 13 additional former KPMG executives from the original case is on appeal in the Second Circuit. The theory seems to be that the Second Circuit will reverse Judge Kaplan and reinstate charges against some or all of the original defendants, thus causing the original case to go back to the starting blocks – meaning that the new case involving Pfaff would be tried first.

While this is a possible lineup, other factors may influence who is on deck. Argument in the Circuit is scheduled for March 25. The Court may take its sweet time, and there may very well not be a decision by September. That would mean the current case would proceed first.

As for the new Pfaff indictment, we are not in the land of the “rocket docket.” Any defense lawyer worth his or her salt should manage to get a year's worth of adjournments. CR

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