Symposium on white collar crime sentencing set for Oct. 24

This year's Wayne Law Review Symposium will bring together judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, academic experts and a former criminal Friday, Oct. 24, to discuss the topic "Sentencing White Collar Defendants: How Much Is Enough?"

The free symposium will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer St. The event is open to the public. Parking will be available for $7 (credit and debit cards only) in Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from the law school. The day will include a continental breakfast, lunch and an evening cocktail and networking reception. Register at law.wayne.edu/lawreview2014 by Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The event is made possible through the support of the Cohn Family Endowed Fund.

The symposium will look in depth at the issue of how much punishment is enough for white collar criminals. Sentences meted out to convicted defendants are increasing in length, rivalling those given for crimes of violence or large-scale drug dealing. Bernie Madoff received a 150-year sentence for operating a Ponzi scheme that cost investors billions, while R. Alan Stanford was sentenced to 110 years for defrauding investors out of their life savings totaling more than $7 billion. Raj Rajartnam, convicted of trading on inside information, received an 11-year sentence, while Matthew Kluger, a lawyer who revealed confidential information about client deals for years, was sentenced to 12 years.

Recent public corruption cases have seen sentences from 13 years for former Congressman William Jefferson to 28 years for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Do long prison terms for these defendants and their ilk serve the typical goals of criminal punishment: rehabilitation, retribution and deterrence? How should a court weight the appropriate sentence for a defendant who poses little continuing threat to society, yet committed a crime that can have far-reaching consequences? The experts at the symposium will consider these questions and more from all perspectives.

Opening remarks will be at 9 a.m. by Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson; Paul Stewart, editor-in-chief of Wayne Law Review; and U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn, Eastern District of Michigan.

Ellen S. Podgor, the Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor and professor of law at Stetson University College of Law, will moderate a judicial panel discussion at 9:30 a.m. Panelists will be:

-U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff, Southern District of New York.

-U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Southern District of Texas, who is the former chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

-U.S. District Court Judge Nancy G. Edmunds (Wayne Law class of 1976), Eastern District of Michigan.

Peter J. Henning, professor of law at Wayne Law and a former federal prosecutor, will moderate an academics panel discussion at 11 a.m. Panelists will be:

-Sara Sun Beale, Charles L.B. Lowndes Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law.

-Miriam Baer, associate professor of law at Brooklyn Law School.

-Mark Osler, professor of law at St. Thomas University Law School.

-Lucian E. Dervan, associate professor of law and director of faculty development at Southern Illinois School of Law.

David F. DuMouchel (Wayne Law class of 1975), partner with Butzel Long in Detroit, will moderate a practitioner panel discussion at 1:45 p.m. Panelists will be:

-U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, Eastern District of Michigan.

-David Debold, partner with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher in Washington, D.C.

-David Schertler, partner with Schertler & Onorato in Washington, D.C.

-Walter Pavlo, co-author of Stolen Without a Gun and a Forbes contributor.

Closing remarks will be given by Symposium Editor Brittney Kohn at 3:45 p.m.

The Wayne Law Review is a scholarly journal edited and produced by Wayne Law students. It contains articles, book reviews, transcripts, notes and comments by prominent academics, attorneys and students on timely legal topics. Each year, one of the issues highlights a topic of interest discussed at the annual symposium.

Published: Thu, Sep 25, 2014