Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Too funny Pharma Bro's lawyer's lawyers try to weasel him out of jail

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjourn al/sites/newyorklawjourna wolfman01/08/18
wolfman (Jan 8, 2018 - 5:28 pm)

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/sites/newyorklawjournal/2018/01/08/greebel-defense-looks-to-poll-jurors-over-alleged-threat/?et=editorial&bu=New%20York%20Law%20Journal&cn=20180108&src=EMC-Email&pt=Breaking%20News

Greebel Defense Looks to Poll Jurors Over Alleged 'Threat'
After a jury convicted former Big Law partner Evan Greebel for fraud involving Martin Shkreli, one of the jurors said others threatened to have him removed for asking to see more evidence.

By Christine Simmons | January 08, 2018

Evan Greebel. Courtesy photo.
After a juror raised concerns about deliberations in the case against now-convicted attorney Evan Greebel, a onetime adviser to ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, defense lawyers for Greebel are urging the rest of the jury to come forward with more information.

“We encourage any jurors who observed or heard of any potential misconduct or had concerns regarding the process to come forward,” said Reed Brodsky, a defense lawyer for Greebel and a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, in a statement Monday.

“We intend to contact jurors to ask them if they’ll speak with us,” Brodsky added.

Just two days before New Year’s Day, Greebel was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud while advising Shkreli, who was found guilty of securities fraud in an earlier, separate trial last year.

Shortly after the Dec. 29, 2017, verdict, one of the jurors in Greebel’s trial called the chambers of U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York, who presided over the trial, about alleged pressure he received from other jurors.

The juror, who spoke to one of the judge’s law clerks, said he wished to let the judge know that “during deliberations he had wanted to look at more evidence, but was told that if he did not vote, other jurors would tell the court and have him removed,” Matsumoto told defense lawyers and prosecutors in a Friday hearing, according to a transcript.

“For this reason, he felt pushed into voting,” she said about the call with the clerk. She did not name the juror.

At the hearing, the judge referred to high standards to investigate allegations of juror misconduct during deliberations, noting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has repeatedly “emphasized that courts should be hesitant to haul jurors in after they have reached a verdict in order to probe for potential instances of bias, misconduct or extraneous influences.”

Assistant U.S Attorney Alixandra Smith objected to any inquiry of the juror, noting “this is exactly the sort of fishing expedition that the law prohibits.” She added, “It’s not even clear there’s any allegation of any misconduct here.”

Defense attorney Joshua Dubin, co-counsel with Gibson Dunn, said, “To call this a fishing expedition is, frankly, preposterous. We want the facts and I think that the court wants them and I think we’re entitled to them.” He added that the jury “misbehaved,” noting one juror who posted on social media and some jurors who read media reports.

“It is shocking to us and it is concerning to us that he [the juror who spoke with the law clerk] says I felt like I wanted to go through more evidence, and I was told I’d be removed. We think that that’s a threat,” Dubin said, adding “It will be for the court to decide.”

Matsumoto said it was inappropriate to allege the jurors broke federal law.

But she said, despite the strong mandate of controlling case law against inquiry of a juror, “limited inquiry would be appropriate here.”

Before conducting an in camera exchange with the juror, she told the parties she would ask whether physical violence or any threat of violence was made to compel a vote; whether the jury considered any outside influence or extraneous prejudicial information; whether any threatened or actual force or violence prevented a juror from contacting the court with a note during deliberations; and whether any juror made statements indicating that he or she was motivated to convict Greebel based on his race, sex or religion.

After the in camera questioning of the juror on Friday—which prosecutors and defense attorneys observed in the jury room—Matsumoto kept under seal the exchange. She made no public comments or rulings about the questioning.

Prosecutors said Shkreli, former CEO of biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc., and Greebel, former outside counsel to the company, conspired to defraud Retrophin by using its assets to pay off Shkreli’s debts to hedge fund investors. Greebel was formerly a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman and later on, Kaye Scholer.

Shkreli is due to be sentenced Feb. 21. No date is set for sentencing for Greebel, who faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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