Nightmare No Longer, Government Backs Down
Once the government goes public with charges against a corporate executive, it rarely concedes. But that’s exactly what the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) did after a nearly two-year lawsuit with Zuckerman Spaeder over client Gregory Law, the former CFO of biologics company Osiris.
In announcing its civil lawsuit in November 2017, the government used dramatic language, stating Law and three other executives had “engaged in wide-ranging fraud to artificially inflate…revenue.” This made for good headlines, but in fact, the SEC had overlooked critical evidence – and, in doing so, caused Law to be publicly skewered for illegal activity he had no part of.
Zuckerman Spaeder took over Law’s defense in early 2018, after the SEC had brought charges, and, led by partner Aitan Goelman, designed a litigation strategy to prove that each of the allegations made against Law was untrue. Goelman consciously approached depositions with his eye on three potential audiences: the jury in any eventual trial, the judge in an expected motion for summary judgment, and the attorneys from the SEC Trial Bureau who were sitting in the deposition rooms.
This approach worked. After watching a stream of witnesses discredit their complaint’s allegations against Law, in September the SEC dismissed all charges against Law. Notably, the dismissal came without a settlement or agreement by Law. After a years-long nightmare, Law’s name has been cleared and he is free to resume his profession and career.