As an energy regulatory attorney who knew of Enron when it was just another IPP (independent power producer) pushing for deregulation, I’ve followed the company’s rise and fall, up through this last chapter, the Lay and Skilling Enron trials. My favorite source of news and commentary is from the Houston Chronicle’s Enron Legal Commentary Blog. It’s a truly amazing resource, not just for those with an interest in the trial, but also, presumably for the lawyers involved in the case. Think about it – imagine you are handling a trial and every day when you came back from court, you’d have feedback on your performance, your witnesses and the judge’s rulings as well as advice and tips from top legal analysts – all for free! From what I can tell, that’s pretty much what the Enron Legal Commentary Blog is providing for the lawyers in the case. For example, consider this post on why people plead guilty when they’re not. Skilling’s and Lay’s defense attorneys could wrap that argument up in their closing to refute the credibility of every government witness who cut a deal to testify against their former superiors.
Of course, the irony is that neither the government prosecutors nor Ramsey and Petrocelli (who represent Lay and Skilling) need the advice; they’re all hand-picked, experienced and well compensated for their work. Now, if you could get some legal bloggers to sit in on the run of the mill criminal trials with younger, greener attorneys that go through the court system every day – maybe that would help change some of the outcomes.