- the lack of sophisticated federal prosecutors outside of the island of Manhattan;
- by implication, the lack of other investigative resources, i.e., investigators and investigative lawyers who know what they are looking at -- the same problem plaguing the Securities and Exchange Commission, by the way; and
- those darned high-priced white-collar defense lawyers.
[For earlier Eric Dixon commentary on prosecutorial ambition and the dangers it poses to your freedom, click here for earlier commentary on the acquittal of two low-level Bear Stearns executives and a recent story on the use of RICO in prosecutions (in which I link to my earlier coverage of Ben Kuehne, Ted Stevens and David Stockman).]
Young, twenty-something -- and dangerously naive -- prosecutors and government lawyers looking to make a name for themselves often look for the biggest scalp -- i.e., the greatest name -- to take in order to build a resume that will land them in a (hopefully) lucrative law firm partnership. But the reality is that these lawyers are ultimately judged by their won-lost record.
That's why prosecutors bring the easiest cases.
And sometimes the easiest cases are against the smaller -- or smallest -- fish. Sometimes these are the ones who are the least able to fight back and defend themselves; sometimes they might even be totally innocent. And sometimes that just doesn't matter.
Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer. Mr. Dixon can be reached for further comment at edixon@NYBusinessCounsel.com.