- Online Edition
- Print Edition
- Donahue Lecture Series
On November 17, 1603, at the conclusion of Sir Walter Raleigh’s now famous trial, a jury found Raleigh guilty of treason. Historical observers have recognized the unfairness of the entire proceeding, but it was the denial of Raleigh’s request to face his lone accuser that arguably brought the trial its notoriety. The prosecution based its case almost entirely upon the assertions of Raleigh’s alleged accomplice, Lord Cobham, who never testified at the trial. Raleigh argued that Cobham lied in order to clear his own name and pleaded with the court to allow him to face his accuser: “[t]he Proof of the Common Law is by witness and jury: let Cobham be here, let him speak it. Call my accuser before my face . . . .” The court refused his request and held that it would not consider the issue of confrontation in a case of treason against the King. Ultimately, the jury found Raleigh guilty and sentenced him to death.
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him . . . .” Through the years, the Supreme Court has noted that the Confrontation Clause serves several different purposes. Undoubtedly, its most important purpose is that which guarantees an accused the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses in a criminal proceeding. The Court affirmed this in Crawford v. Washington by holding that testimonial statements admitted under a hearsay exception violate the accused’s confrontation rights unless the declarant is unavailable and the accused had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. . . .
Within only the past three years, inventors Blake and Jason Krikorian launched the company Sling Media, marketed one of the world’s most critically acclaimed new gadgets, sold hundreds of thousands of these gadgets, and then flipped their company for $380 million. The Krikorians made themselves rich by enabling the populace to watch more television, on more channels, in more locations, in more situations, and on more devices than with any imagined combination of previously available technologies. They did so with Slingbox, a trapezoid-shaped contraption that captures a live television signal from a consumer’s home and then redirects, or “slings,” the signal over the internet to devices such as laptops and mobile phones, located in some other part of the world. With Slingbox, the end-user can channel-surf on his laptop or mobile phone, as if viewing the television in his living room. This consumer empowerment may result in a new generation of American business travelers who watch their hometown sports teams live from European hotels, college students who watch their parents’ satellite channels from faraway dorm rooms, and cubicled corporate workers who surreptitiously watch soap operas on company time. . . .
In 2006, Larry Millette believed that if he continued to work at International Business Machine’s (IBM) factory for another fifteen years, in addition to the sixteen years he worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, he would retire comfortably on the combined pension plans. After working twelve-hour shifts at the IBM factory for eleven years, Larry Millette only has $30,000 in his pension account. Instead of fulfilling his dream of retiring to spend time with his family and travel, Larry Millette is now planning to work until he is physically unable.
Most Americans believe that if they work for forty to forty-five years they are entitled to a luxurious retirement. The common belief in “the Great American Retirement Dream” is problematic because comfortable retirements are perceived as guaranteed, as opposed to earned through a lifetime of active saving and planning. Currently, most Americans are unprepared for retirement because of their failures to contribute to, and properly manage, their retirement accounts. . . .
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 makes it illegal for a person “to use or employ, in connection with the purchase or sale of any security . . . any manipulative or deceptive device . . . .” In 1994, the Supreme Court held that a secondary party is only civilly liable under section 10(b) if the party is a primary violator and not merely an aider and abettor. In Simpson v. AOL Time Warner, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an outside business associate can be liable as a primary violator under section 10(b) as interpreted in Central Bank. The Ninth Circuit concluded that an outside business associate can be liable as a primary violator if all the elements of section 10(b) are fulfilled. . . .