DOJ Files Request to Block Andersen's Retrial

The Department of Justice (DOJ) responded yesterday to an appeal filed by Andersen's attorneys on June 25, 2002. The DOJ's response was to file a request that U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon reject the arguments from Andersen's lawyers regarding why the jury's verdict should be set aside and reject their requests that the firm should be acquitted or granted a retrial.

Andersen's appeal was made on the grounds that the interests of justice were not served. As proof, they cited the facts that the jurors rejected the prosecution's arguments about obstruction of justice due to shredded documents and instead convicted the firm because an internal memo was edited on advice of in-house legal counsel – an act that is not illegal.

Essentially, the DOJ simply replied that Andersen is guilty regardless of how jurors reached their decision in mid-June. They also said Andersen's efforts to gain a retrial were "deficient" and an attempt to flout legal precedent because the appeal is based on "hearsay testimony" from the jurors, which is prohibited by the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Even if the testimony is allowed, the government said, such information is "spotty at best" due to disagreements among the jurors as to what transpired.

Judge Harmon has not yet ruled on the appeal. Andersen attorney Rusty Hardin said he could not comment because he had not yet seen the prosecution's filing.

-Rosemary Schlank

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