The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

What is Fair Play Here?

I’m not a lawyer. I don’t even play one on TV. I thought about becoming one, but while I was in college my “pre-law” colleagues were, collectively, if not individually, the most insufferable group of people on campus, and the thought of spending three years with that crowd sent me in another direction.

Okay, now that I’ve slammed lawyers writ large, I’d like to ask the very same group, good sports and self-effacing types that they are, to help me with something.

How is it fair to Martha Stewart that Judge Miriam Cedarbaum ruled defense attorneys may not raise questions regarding the government’s failure to bring “insider trading” charges against Stewart, but the prosecution, beginning with its very opening statement, may suggest, at least it seems to me, that Stewart engaged in exactly that?

According to the Associated Press, lead prosecutor Karen Seymour in court today used the phrase “a secret tip” and added, “She was told a secret that no other investor had.”

There’s something I’m not getting here and I would like to know what it is. If you can explain it to me, please do so. (And let me know if I can publish your response, with or without your name and affiliation, or merely quote from it off the record, or not at all, thus using the material only “on background.”) Thanks.

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