A friend in need is a friend indeed. Former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) lawyer Lauren Stevens may be asking for a little help from her friends.
Stevens, who was charged with obstructing a regulatory probe of GSK, has asked U.S. District Judge Roger Titus to order the Justice Department to name any uncharged individuals who may be called as witnesses at her upcoming trial, according to News Observer.
Stevens intends to tell jurors at her trial that she relied on "advice of counsel" when making allegedly false statements about sales tactics.
Attorneys at King & Spalding "stood shoulder to shoulder" with GSK when responding to a 2002 Food and Drug Administration inquiry into the company's marketing of the antidepressant Wellbutrin, said Stevens' attorney, Reid Weingarten, of Steptoe & Johnson.
However, Sara Bloom, assistant U.S. attorney in Boston told the judge that the U.S. has no obligation to reveal the identities of individuals who haven't been charged with a crime. "I think this is a request for our trial strategy," she said.
Judge Titus has not yet ruled on Steven's request.
At a recent speech, Attorney General Lanny Bauer refused to comment on pending cases:
"I cannot speak about pending cases, including the case against Ms. Stevens. I can say, though, that as corporate counsel, your actions have consequences, both good and bad. You are the gatekeepers for your organizations, which means that you are both the first line of defense against potential criminal liability and the ones best positioned to identify problem areas, and fix them." reports the Connecticut Law Tribune
"So, friends, I encourage you to own the task of deterring and preventing crime within your organizations and to lead them down the path of responsibility and compliance. You will always be better off for having done so," he concluded.
Stevens is facing 25 years in prison for one count of obstructing an official proceeding, one count of falsifying and concealing documents and four counts of making false statements.