andrew schneider investigates

April 24, 2009

While the cat’s away, W.R. Grace lawyers fill the docket with yet more motions calling for the criminal trial to end.

Filed under: Asbestos,Government & corporate wrong-doing,Uncategorized,W.R. Grace — Andrew Schneider @ 08:15

Grace lawyers filed a 75-page motion Thursday outlining their reasons why Judge Donald Molloy should end the criminal trial against the company and its former executives now.

To save you all some reading, I’ll tell you how their story ends.

On the 74th page the lawyers wrote:

“CONCLUSION
The indictment must be dismissed with prejudice.”

The phrase “with prejudice” means the specific case the government brought against Grace cannot be brought again.

To bolster its motion, the defense said: The Government has acted “flagrantly, willfully, and in bad faith” throughout the long history of this prosecution . . . and has abdicated its “sworn duty . . . to assure that the defendant has a fair and impartial trial.”

The Grace team claims intentional and unending misconduct by the prosecution. These section headings in their motion offer a glimpse into what the company hopes the judge will buy off on.

  • The Government Directs Its Experts To Mislead The Jury And Seeks To Conceal Its Own Malfeasance.
  • The Government Deceives Its Own Witnesses And Obtains Misleading Testimony From Them.
  • The Government Systematically and Recklessly Deprived Defendants of their Right to a Fair Trial.
  • The Government Has Shown A Reckless Disregard For Defendants’ Rights.

“Dismissal is the only appropriate remedy,” the lawyers insisted.

The prosecution is expected to file its response to the request for a dismissal today. And Molloy promised he would read them all as he travels across the country.

– – – – – – – – – –

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the clerk’s office, Molloy left a ruling filled with bad news for the prosecution for its lawyers to chew on in his absence.

No one expected his decision on what the exhibits the government would be permitted to enter into evidence would be a ruling that Asst. U.S. Attorney Kris McLean and his gang were going to savor, but his honor outdid himself. Molloy ruled that the jury would be permitted to see only seven of the government’s 54 exhibits.

The 54 were just a fraction of the documents that prosecutors wanted to introduce, but they realized that they stood no chance of getting the rest past Molloy.

The judge, in his ruling, said the prosecution’s indictment “appears to have been drafted as a historical compendium of the defendants’ alleged wrongful acts, without regard as to whether those alleged acts relate in any way to a federal criminal offense.”

“Most of the exhibits suggest some knowledge of dangerousness on the part of the defendants, but there is already ample evidence in the record on that point,” Molloy wrote. “Moreover, some of the exhibits refer to health risks to Grace employees, including death due to lung cancer and other pulmonary impairments.”

Molloy said the government used the “notice of dangerousness as a pretext through which it can present irrelevant and prejudicial evidence of the serious health problems of company employees.”

A Montana lawyer and a law professor from the District of Columbia, who read Molloy’s justification for eviscerating the prosecution’s documents late Thursday, both said the judge is providing a solid base for an appeal if the case is dismissed and, if not, mountains of fodder for text books and law journal articles on what happened in his courtroom.

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2 Comments »

  1. Interesting comment in the extremely restricted Missoulian, missoulian.com, forum in regards to this latest ruling. The father of a former Libby student who had to play on the fields filled with vermiculite reveals his son now has black lung damage at 29 years old. Basically, all students and parents who walked and ran on the fields are now very likely to be condemned to early death after long struggles and suffering just to breathe. This parent’s plea falls on the deaf ears of the corporate lawyer/judge, Molloy. All that is left to do is bring down the final gavel by the dictator judge to deny any judgement by jury. This will go down in history as another of a long line of Montana corporate health disasters protected from justice by a corrupt judiciary.

    Comment by dodson — April 24, 2009 @ 11:51 | Reply

  2. You gotta wonder whether this case, like that of Sen. Ted Stevens in Alaska, was designed to fail by the Bush justice department.

    Comment by JByrd — April 25, 2009 @ 07:25 | Reply


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