How does a general counsel stay out of jail if he’s been accused of helping company executives line their pockets with millions of shareholder dollars? If he’s Mark Kipnis, the former legal chief at Hollinger International Inc., he pleads lack of experience and shifts the blame to the company’s outside counsel. In a few weeks Kipnis will find out whether this defense strategy worked.

Kipnis, 59, is currently on trial in Chicago federal district court along with three other former Hollinger officials, including ex-CEO Conrad Black. Prosecutors say that Kipnis “facilitated” a series of deals that wrongfully routed millions of dollars to his codefendants (though none to himself). At press time Kipnis had yet to take the stand in the trial, which is expected to last through the end of June.

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