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By the time you read this article, it will be too late. Too late because this piece surely will be engulfed in the flood of words about Martha Stewart’s legal woes with alleged insider trading. Like all celebrity crucibles, Martha Stewart’s scandal (StewScan) conforms to a predictable cycle of 1. shock — “Not Martha!”; 2. savor — “There is a God”; 3. sympathy — “Hasn’t she suffered enough?”; and finally 4. saturation — “Not another article on the Frosted Blond Goddess.” My article, I fear, will surface too late, well past the saturation point. On the other hand, it may bloom too early. After all, M hasn’t been charged with anything and never may face charges. We still have in this country a presumption of innocence — unless the attorney general extends the rules for “enemy combatants” to “etiquette queens.” I flirted with the notion of letting this half-baked morsel stew on the back burner, long enough to see what befalls M. But that would be wrong because there are victims to consider here. It is for those nameless victims that I refuse to lunge forward into the pack of wolves baying for M’s blue blood, or hang back with the vultures, waiting to pick clean her porcelain bones. Instead, I will strike now, while the stove is pre-heated, for the sake of the victims. And who are these piteous victims? Certainly not M herself. If she is vindicated, she can credit her tasteful team of color-coordinated counsel and fashion forward flaks. What about investors? Have they been plucked and plundered? If so, they must seek vindication from the SEC, DOJ, FBI, IRS and other alphabet soup agencies. If none of those agencies fit the bill, surely the administration can whip up another Cabinet-level concoction to sate those who hunger and thirst for justice. The real victim here is neither M nor the investors, but the Bureau of Prisons, the BOP. If the feds bull forward with the investigation and ultimately send M on an all-expense-paid vacation, courtesy of Club Fed, it is the BOP that must house, feed, clothe and entertain her. And the BOP has reached the inescapable conclusion that it has no place fit for M. It took the BOP many years and a small fortune to design and build SuperMax in Colorado to warehouse underground the most dangerous criminals in the land. Likewise, it will take more years and a larger fortune to design and construct a suitable facility for M — SuperChic. ELEMENTS OF DESIGN Sure, the BOP has experience running country club prisons, but the agency never has managed a culinary club prison. The BOP may know all about high crimes, but it’s clueless about haute cuisine. To give the government a shot at preparing a proper place for M, it must begin now. Delay is bad form. First, the BOP must divine upon a suitable site for SuperChic. Palm Springs or, better yet, Westchester County would be primo locales. Then it must purchase a tract large enough to accommodate not only living quarters but also a landing strip for private jets and a limo-friendly parking lot. And for goodness sake, don’t scrimp on the landscaping. Curb appeal is everything. Design of the building will be a challenge. First, the good news. The traditional prison color motif, gray on gray, will pass muster. Gray is the new black and, thus, will be in fashion for the foreseeable future (which is about eight months). Now, the bad news. The layout of the traditional prison is entirely unacceptable. The traditional T- or L-shaped design (or, worse still, a boxy building) is out. Those relics push traffic north-south or east-west but inhibit mingling. An eight-shaped unit will create a traffic flow more conducive to chitchat, imbuing guests with the sense of being in the loop. While we’re on the subject of entertainment, what does the well-dressed guest of SuperChic don? Certainly not an orange jumpsuit. Orange is most definitely not the new gray, which is the new black. The BOP should feel free to experiment with bold colors — a nice mauve or a subtle teal or, throwing caution to the wind, a rich burgundy. And the jumpsuit, puh-leeese. M has not burned 3 zillion calories power walking only to hide her smashing figure in a jumpsuit. A simple sundress will do. Cotton, not polyester, of course. Not too dressy and not too casual. To avoid wrinkling the material, a moratorium will be imposed on frisks and pat-downs. And while we’re on the subject of frisks and pat-downs, the safety of SuperChic’s guests is paramount. Before M sets her dainty foot inside the facility, it will be de rigueur to round up all the homemade shivs and replace them with matching cutlery. FYI, M suggests sturdy, everyday utensils of simple design, and she’s registered at Kmart. With food, I hardly know where to start. The mess will henceforth be christened the bistro. Cell service hours will be extended to accommodate brunches and midnight snacks. And when M orders finger sandwiches, don’t take that literally. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of trouble and expense for the BOP to undertake, especially since M may never visit her new digs. After all, presumed innocent, not charged with anything, pillar of the community and all that. True, M may never see the home away from home we design for her; but as M would be the first to point out, a good host is always prepared for unexpected guests. Besides, even if M never enjoys the BOP’s hospitality, in this age of corporate cupidity, managerial machinations and boardroom back-stabbing, there are countless candidates for SuperChic. Paul Coggins is a principal in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson, a national intellectual property, complex litigation and technology firm. He is a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. His e-mail address is [email protected].

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