Buell testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 28

September 27, 2010Duke Law News

Professor Samuel W. Buell will testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Sept. 28. A former federal prosecutor and member of the Enron Task Force, Buell will address the fate of fraud prosecutions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Skilling.

The hearing, titled “Restoring Key Tools to Combat Fraud and Corruption after the Supreme Court’s Skilling Decision,” will begin at 10:00 a.m. E.T. and will be webcast.

In Skilling, the Supreme Court narrowed the application of the federal “honest services” statute to situations involving bribes and kickbacks, finding that it does not apply to cases of fraud involving breaches of fiduciary duty. Buell will testify that the ruling “risks leaving important forms of abusive deception outside the scope of federal criminal law.” He will suggest alternatives that Congress can consider to craft a fraud law “flexible enough to deal with serious, novel forms of intangible harm, but confined enough to allay fears about overbroad application in the hands of imprudent prosecutors.”

Buell writes and teaches in the fields of criminal law, securities regulation, fraud, and corporate crime. Prior to entering the legal academy he served for nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting complex federal criminal cases in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Houston. As a member of the Enron Task Force in the U.S. Department of Justice, Buell led the two-year investigation that produced the initial indictment against former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling.

Buell will be available for interviews following his testimony on Tuesday. To schedule an interview, contact Forrest Norman at (919) 613-8565.

Download testimony.
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