The stock option backdating case against former KLA general counsel Lisa Berry features two radically different interpretations of a memo (.pdf)Berry wrote to her outside counsel, Larry Sonsini.

From the SEC’s perspective, the 1998 document demonstrates that Berry understood the accounting implications involved in backdating. But Berry’s lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe argue it shows Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati “either approved or did not object to the way KLA was pricing its options grants,” according to their motion to dismiss the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case. Thus Berry couldn’t know she was doing anything wrong, her lawyers claim.

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