Although The 10b-5 Daily has not been following all of the twists and turns of the Martha Stewart case, it has perked up when the topic is the securities class action against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and certain individual defendants in the S.D.N.Y. (see this post on the court’s decision to deny the motion to dismiss).
The New York Law Journal has an interesting article (via law.com – free registration required) on the U.S. Attorney’s attempt to block discovery in the case because “allowing the prompt depositions of 15 people in the civil securities fraud cases would give Stewart’s criminal defense lawyers an unfair preview of the obstruction of justice case, set to go to trial in January.” Judge Sprizzo rejected this request, citing the apparent weakness of the government’s case and the fact that the government had already, in his view, previewed its arguments in the press.
Quote of note: “A stay had already been granted for Stewart in the civil case, Seymour [head of the Criminal Division of the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office] said, and she was merely requesting a ‘limited’ stay on the depositions of about four and a half months. Sprizzo, who served five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District in the 1960s, said he had ‘seen a lot more serious obstruction cases.’ ‘This is not the strongest obstruction case I have ever seen,’ he said. ‘Just going by your own U.S. attorney’s comments on it. This is not John Gotti.'”