Sam Bankman-Fried cannot blame FTX’s lawyers for its collapse or operations in his opening statements, though he can still try and make a so-called “advice-of-counsel” defense later, the federal judge overseeing his case ruled Sunday.
Bankman-Fried’s defense team told the Department of Justice and the court earlier this year that he intended to argue that FTX counsel “were involved” in certain decisions that the company made. But this argument, without specifics, may confuse or prejudice a jury, Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in an order dated Sunday. While he blocked the defense team referring to external counsel in his opening statement, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys can try to raise the issue later if they notify the judge and DOJ first, without jurors in the room.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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