The criminal prosecution for stock option backdating against former general counsel Kent Roberts went to the jury Tuesday. Roberts did not call a single witness in his defense, according to The Recorder. Rather, his attorney, Stephen Neal of Cooley Godward, simply read aloud to the jury a stipulation related to . Neal told the jury it was Roberts’ last protection from “a system that hasn’t worked the way it was supposed to work.” The jury is scheduled to begin deliberations Wednesday.
Roberts’ strategy is reminiscent of Martha Stewart’s decision in her criminal trial in 2004, when she similarly bet that the government has failed to prove its case against her. Stewart chose not testify and put on only one defense witness. Her defense lasted about 15 minutes, or as the Daily News put it in an article back in 2004, “the same amount of time the diva recommends letting a German Chocolate Inside-Out Cake cool after baking.” The results of that case are well known, so it remains to be seen whether Roberts will have better luck with this high-stakes tactic.