This week, billionaire hedge fund owner Raj Rajaratnam was convicted of insider trading. He faces nearly 20 years in prison. Now, attention turns to Rajaratnam's decision to use his limitless financial resources to hire a pricey counterfeit Johnnie Cochran-esque lawyer.
With his money, Rajaratnam could have hired a medium to resurrect Johnnie Cochran. He could have hired the entire O.J. defense team. Instead, he hired a lawyer named John Dowd, who I'm sure is very knowledgeable and expensive, but was perhaps not the best "strategic thinker." Among the issues that the WSJ says are now being second-guessed about Dowd's $40 million defense: his decision to put lots of working-class people on the jury; his decision not to let Rajaratnam take the stand in his own defense; and his weak-ass lyrical skills.
Summing up his defense of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, attorney John Dowd tried to channel the late Johnnie Cochran, telling jurors: "If it's public, you must acquit."
The rhyme didn't work; the defense didn't either.
"If I have $40 million, I don't care what is written," responded Dowd, after conferring with a well-compensated panel of Nobel laureates for several weeks.