A Whale of a Legal Tale: How “Fishy” Business Behavior Might Be Obstruction of Justice

A Whale of a Legal Tale: How “Fishy” Business Behavior Might Be Obstruction of Justice

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  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

Obstruction of justice is a timely and important topic. But exactly what conduct qualifies as the crime of obstructing justice? The question is more complicated than it might seem, as there are a plethora of federal offenses that can fall under the broad category of obstruction of justice.

It is important for businesspeople to realize that obstruction of justice can include behavior that many might not consider such a serious offense, as a commercial fisherman in Florida found out the hard way.

That fisherman got caught in the legal net of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the federal law passed by Congress after the collapse of Enron Corp. One of its sections included a new, tougher crime of obstruction of justice, and federal prosecutors used that statute ...

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