Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Stephen Hall, a former associate at Portland, Ore.’s Stoel Rives, and former Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison partner Gary Fergus testified before Congress on Wednesday about the now infamous “smoking gun” memo that outlined Enron Corp.’s shady energy trading practices. Addressed to Enron Assistant General Counsel Richard Sanders, Hall’s Dec. 6, 2000, memo details manipulative, most likely illegal practices that carried nicknames like “Death Star” and “Get Shorty.” A second, nearly identical memo was drafted Dec. 8. Sanders testified Wednesday that he quickly ordered the practices stopped, even though he “was not confident that [Hall's memo] completely or accurately described many aspects of the trading practices.” Indeed, it appears that Sanders or someone else at Enron wanted a second opinion — a more benevolent second opinion. For that service, the company turned to San Francisco-based Brobeck partner Fergus. Fergus, who has since left Brobeck, delivered an undated, draft memo to Sanders that offers a far different perspective from Stoel Rives (Read excerptsfrom both). Where Stoel Rives bluntly describes Enron traders using “the oldest trick in the books” and creating “the appearance of congestion through the deliberate overstatement of loads,” Brobeck sees “an incredibly complex and dynamic market” where “weather, supply shortages” and unspecified market conditions seemed to have more impact on prices than suspect trading practices. The Brobeck memo, which begins by acknowledging the “various investigations and litigation actually and potentially facing [Enron Power Marketing Inc.],” describes the Stoel Rives documents as the “preliminary memoranda” and opines that their conclusions “cannot be supported by the facts and evidence which are now known.” Fergus testified Wednesday that the memo was never completed because other events overtook the litigation before he could resolve various factual conflicts. Read excerpts of the memos: Hired Guns

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.