A federal judge, Lewis Kaplan, has issued a ruling ahead of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial, stating that he cannot lay blame for his alleged wrongdoings on FTX’s legal counsel during his opening statement. Judge Kaplan’s order highlights the potential for confusion or bias among the jury if Bankman-Fried were to emphasize the involvement of FTX’s lawyers in certain company decisions without providing specific details about their roles, tasks, knowledge, and his own awareness of their actions. Bankman-Fried’s trial is scheduled to commence on Tuesday.
Plan to attribute partial responsibility to FTX lawyers.
In August, legal representatives of Sam Bankman-Fried disclosed their intention to assert that he received legal counsel on various matters, including auto-delete policies and loans to FTX and Alameda. They contend that this advice led him to believe he was acting in good faith.
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys further indicated their plan to present evidence demonstrating the involvement of lawyers from Fenwick & West LLP and in-house counsel in reviewing and approving specific decisions, as per an August court filing.
In response, the Department of Justice argued that the defendant should be compelled to provide more specific details about his trial defense strategy. Alternatively, they requested the court to restrict certain lines of questioning, evidence, and arguments that are deemed irrelevant to the case.
Jury selection for Bankman-Fried’s trial is scheduled to commence on Tuesday and may extend into the remainder of the week.