Even a zealous advocate might perceive that such an argument hints at hypocrisy

Oh, how I wish I could report the judge who said that was one of our own.¬† Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to do just that- but the story of the moment¬† is Rakoff’s back!

It’s a new year, but so far, the same old (sad) song continues to play for Bank of America in the courtroom of Manhattan federal district court Judge Jed Rakoff, who’s overseeing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s suit against the beleaguered bank. On Monday, Rakoff ruled that BofA cannot present expert testimony asserting that media reports should have alerted shareholders to the billions it planned to pay Merrill Lynch executives after the 2008 merger. Continue reading “Even a zealous advocate might perceive that such an argument hints at hypocrisy”

What Can Happen When One Honest Judge Takes on a Giant Corporation

Justin Maxon / The New York Times
Justin Maxon / The New York Times

Bam Bam readers know my feelings about this great man, Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a federal district court judge in Manhattan. Because Judge Rakoff’s bench is located at the epicenter of corporate greed on planet earth, he’s uniquely positioned to effect real change. It would be so easy to give in to Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and their pack of vampire lawyers who’ve damn near bankrupted the best government system humankind ever conceived.

The case in Judge Rakoff’s court is SEC v. Bank of America (BofA). A month ago, SEC and BofA concocted a phony settlement proposal and wheeled it out to Judge Rakoff. The SEC agreed to drop its case against BofA and its sub Merrill Lynch, which admitted no wronging, and close the investigation forever, if BofA paid the nano fine of $33 million. Judge Rakoff sniffed out the fraud, called them out, and refused to approve the so-called “settlement.” This sent the thieves and their lawyers into a tizzy. Rakoff wanted facts, names and dates concerning why BofA and Merrill concealed material facts on giant exec bonuses from shareholders, lied in certified proxy statements filed under SEC law, and purposefully understated Merrill Lynch’s financial condition by $20 billion. All this occurred in connection with BofA getting federal bail out funds, used by BofA to purchase Merrill last year. The BofA tab at present = $45 BILLION.

BofA and its New York power lawyers decided to dig in, invoke lawyer-client privilege, and lock the court out of critical documents. Congress jumped in and called for hearings, looking for a quickie PR boost with BofA shareholder/voters . (See previous Slabbed post on Edolphus Towns’ committee hearings).

Last Friday something tangible happened. The Board of Directors of BofA voted to abandon the lawyer-client privilege argument and cooperate in providing information. Continue reading “What Can Happen When One Honest Judge Takes on a Giant Corporation”

Judge Jed Rakoff Wakes Up Congress

Those of you who have followed the Judge Rakoff posts are keenly aware that Bank of America (“BOA”) is up shit creek. Not only did it lie in a certified proxy statement filed under SEC law, it looks a lot like BOA purposefully understated Merrill Lynch’s financial condition by $20 billion. All of this was done in connection with a request for federal bail out funds, used by BOA to purchase Merrill last year. None of this would probably matter if BOA wasn’t in court before Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

Judge Jed Rakoff, a great American judge, rejected a phony-assed settlement agreement BOA and the corrupt SEC tried to float by him last week, and told them he wanted names and dates of the fraudulent activities. BOA is scrambling to keep the information secret, claiming attorney-client privilege among other things. Bam Bam readers en garde! There is no privilege when an attorney assists someone in committing or planning to commit, fraud. See Rule of Evidence 502. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

Well now Jed Rakoff has thumped Congress out of its slumber, and shamed it into action.

A House panel called the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has told BOA that it cannot use attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer questions about the BOA-Merrill deal. Chairman Edolphus Towns wants BOA to reveal information that could affect Judge Rakoff’s case and the New York AG’s investigations into the BOA scandal. Continue reading “Judge Jed Rakoff Wakes Up Congress”