30 Sept 2009 Cases

United States v. Ruehle

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In this historic and nationally publicized case, William Ruehle, formerly CFO of Broadcom Inc., was indicted for securities fraud in connection with alleged options backdating. Henry Nicholas, Broadcom’s former CEO, was indicted for the same offense. Compass Lexecon was retained by the defense in both cases. The cases were severed and Ruehle’s was the first case scheduled for trial. Professor Daniel R. Fischel, Compass Lexecon’s President, was designated as a defense witness to testify about a variety of subjects including materiality based on Compass Lexecon’s extensive analysis of the economics of alleged options backdating at Broadcom and other firms. But after a series of withering cross-examinations of cooperating government witnesses, exculpatory testimony by defense witnesses whom the court had immunized over government objection, and stunning revelations of prosecutorial misconduct exposed by defense counsel, the Court entered a judgment of acquittal in favor of Ruehle before the case went to the jury and also dismissed the indictment against Nicholas. We worked with Richard Marmaro, Matthew Umhofer, Jack DiCanio, Matthew Sloan, and Ryan Weinstein of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP who successfully represented Ruehle. We also worked with Nicholas’ defense team led by Brendan Sullivan and others at Williams & Connolly LLP. David Ross, Jessica Mandel, and others in Compass Lexecon’s Chicago office worked along with Professor Fischel on these cases.

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