Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iceland's Ex-Prime Minister Indicted

Have you heard the news today? According to The Huffington Post, Geir Haarde, Iceland's former prime minister, has been indicted for his alleged role in the world's financial crisis, which brought Iceland's economy to a screeching halt a couple of years ago. According to news reports, this is the first world leader ever to be charged in this manner. Of course, Haarde is entitled to his day in court and reportedly vows to be vindicated in this alleged "political persecution."
Can you imagine what would happen if other nations followed suit and began prosecuting corrupt or inept politicians in this manner? I doubt that there would be enough jails to lock 'em all up! Don't you agree!?

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"

As a former federal prosecutor, and currently, as a criminal defense lawyer, and quite simply, as a movie fan, I am really looking forward to the premiere today of the "Wall Street" sequel!
Who can forget the famous, provocative line spoken by Michael Douglas' character in the first movie: "Greed is good!" In the sequel, he adds that, now, "greed is legal!" Of course, since the first movie, we have all seen a lot of greed on the real Wall Street, haven't we? And sometimes, it seems that greed must be "legal," because there haven't been a lot of prosecutions since the 2008 Wall Street debacle. Maybe some U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors will see the movie, and get fired up to do their jobs!
Have any of you seen the old movie? Have you seen the sequel yet? Am I the only one excited about it!? What is your opinion of either movie?
What are some other good movies about white collar crime which you have seen?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Goolsby "War Story:" My First Grand Jury Case

If I practice law until I am 100 years old, I will never forget my first grand jury case. Here's why! Years ago, I was an Assistant D.A. in south Georgia. My boss, the D.A. had quickly taught me the drill about how to handle the presentation of grand jury cases. It went like this: the prosecutor takes the witness, usually a sheriff's investigator, into the grand jury room, swears the witness in, and then quickly gets the witness to tell the grand jury about the case. If there are no questions, then the prosecutor and investigator step outside the grand jury room while the grand jurors deliberate and vote either to "true bill" or "no bill" the case. I had watched my boss methodically indict scores of cases in this manner. Now, it was my turn to handle my own stack of grand jury cases.
I quickly realized that my first case was going to be just a little bit different. Inexplicably, no investigator was assigned to handle it. Instead, there was only a kind, blind, elderly man who had made a complaint that he was the victim of a residential burglary. I wondered how much proof existed, as I escorted the gentleman inside the grand jury room to the witness stand.
The blind gentleman proceeded to tell the grand jury about how his neighbor's son had entered his home one night and taken his property. Then, the old man added that, if we didn't believe him, we could ask his "friend," who had allegedly seen everything. This piqued my interest. I asked the man to tell us more about his eyewitness. I hoped that we could somehow salvage the case, and help this man, if another eyewitness existed.
Then, the bottom fell out of the case. The old man responded that his eyewitness was two inches tall and that he lived in the old man's mattress! "Go ask him," the old man exclaimed. "He saw everything!"
I never accepted the kind old man's invitation. But now you know why I will never forget my first grand jury case and my first "no bill!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Healthcare Fraud: The Bogus Mammogram Scam

As a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, naturally, when I talk about pending criminal cases around the country, I probably should first emphasize that each defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence, unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After all, that is what our Constitution provides! And besides, we all know that we cannot believe everything we read in the newspapers, don't we!?
But laying all caveats aside, have you heard about the new criminal case in Perry, Georgia in which a former hospital employee is accused of submitting false mammogram test results? In other words, according to news reports, in over 1289 cases, women were falsely told that doctors had read their mammogram scans; whereas, they actually had never seen them! Sadly, according to reports, false test results were allegedly submitted by the defendant for ten women who were later re-tested and learned they actually had breast cancer. Isn't this a horrible crime!?
Don't you agree that white collar crime, or "crime in the suites," can be even more costly than "crime in the streets!?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Goolsby "War Story:" The Case of the Robber's Revenge

As a former state and federal prosecutor, I prosecuted literally tens of thousands of criminal cases, many of which were utterly forgettable. However, I will never forget some of the unique cases and defendants who I helped send to prison. Most criminals don't take it personally. Most know that the prosecutor is simply doing his or her job. But James Dodson was an exception. Here are some of the reasons why I will never forget this unique armed robber. He took it personally and here is what he did!
Almost immediately after his conviction, Dodson sued the investigators who had investigated the criminal case against him. Dodson claimed that they had stolen his personal property and suborned perjury.
Dodson then sued his own criminal defense lawyer.
Next, Dodson sued me, (his prosecutor), and the court reporter, together. He falsely claimed that I had somehow conspired with the court reporter to doctor the trial transcript to make him look guilty!
But Dodson wasn't through! He saved his best idea for revenge for the trial judge who had sentenced him to serve 20 years in prison. Dodson somehow obtained a postal change of address form, filled it out in the judge's name, and had the judge's mail re-routed to a bogus address in Colorado! It took the poor judge a couple of weeks before he realized what had happened and corrected the misdeed!
In the final analysis, the lawsuits which Dodson had filed, against me and the others, were all dismissed. And Dodson served his sentence. I learned from this case that, while most don't take it personally, some criminals simply have no sense of humor and cannot take a joke! And that is why I will never forget James Dodson and the case of the robber's revenge!