When it comes to the rules governing any kind of corporate vote, complication and opacity are usually in the company in question’s interest. And, on that front, one has to hand it to the folks at BakerHostetler, who ingeniously crafted a set so convoluted that even they couldn’t figure them out.
[Daniel] Small’s attorney Seth Levine told jurors that rules about which of Platinum’s bondholder affiliates could vote were so complicated that even the “high powered lawyers” at BakerHostetler and other firms who consulted on it did not see a problem at the time.
And, really, would you expect anything else of a law firm hired by or on behalf of Platinum Partners, the ethically-challenged defunct hedge fund that paid bribes (stuffed in leather bags) for mandates it didn’t want and which has already given us more courtroom entertainment and plot twists than several seasons of “Law & Order”? In this latest episode, former Platinum Portfolio manager Small argues he didn’t “rig” a bondholder vote that proved richly remunerative to his employer so much as make completely understandable “mistakes” in light of the clear-as-mud voting rules established by Baker.
Unfortunately for Small, his bosses have already been convicted of the same, and worse for him in a saga known for judges going rogue, higher powers have already made clear that if the jury decides what Small did is a crime, it’s got to stay a crime.
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