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Judge Charles Breyer on Monday delayed ruling on a defense motion to dismiss the backdating prosecution of ex-Brocade Communications CEO Gregory Reyes. On Friday, Breyer had grilled prosecutor Timothy Crudo on the question of intent, and ordered him to submit a brief explaining how the evidence addressed that issue. On Monday morning, he filed 18 pages on the issue, and Breyer said it would be at least several days before he rules. With that issue on hold, Reyes lawyer Richard Marmaro � a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom � focused on the extent to which Reyes relied on the expertise and work of his top subordinates to deal with the financial ramifications of stock options. On cross-examination, his opposition, Crudo, instead stressed the no-tion that a CEO bears ultimate responsibility for a company’s financial reporting. Marmaro’s two witnesses were two of the founders of Brocade, Seth Neiman and Paul Bonderson. Bonderson, an engineer who became Brocade employee No. 1, praised Reyes’ leadership skills � “He was a great CEO,” he said � but more importantly for the defense, he said repeatedly that the company’s options practices were largely developed by ex-CFO Michael Byrd. Bonderson spoke highly of the former finance chief (“Mike Byrd was the greatest CFO I had ever seen,” he said), but also said that Byrd was the mastermind of two troublesome options programs that are at the heart of the gov-ernment’s case.

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