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Christopher Hall authors article about defending businesses in NACDL journal

Commercial Litigation, Corporate Governance, White Collar and Government Enforcement
Financial Services, Health Care, Life Sciences, Government Contracts

The Most Effective Opening Statement Ever Given?

Christopher R. Hall, chair of the White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice, wrote this story that explains why the defense opening argument in a case against a medical device company and its employees, who were accused of manipulating doctors and misbranding products, was effective enough to lead to a settlement before the first prosecution witness examination was complete.

The story is a point-by-point analysis of the defense opening in United States of America v. Stryker Biotech et al. Chris explains that the defense team – led by a cadre of former federal prosecutors -- challenged the allegations by showing they did not meet the standards of the Department of Justice’s own Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations. 

The result: federal prosecutors dismissed all 13 felony counts against Stryker and all counts against individual employees in exchange for the company pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor misbranding and paying a $15 million fine. Convictions could have resulted in up to a nine-figure fine, exclusion from federal health programs and jail time for employees, among many other repercussions.

This defense strategy, Chris explains, can be applied in many other types of prosecutions of businesses, or even to pitch for a declination before indictment.