Tilted: The Trial of Conrad Black

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Tilted The Trial of Conrad Black

Now that it was settled for the jury that Conrad Black had robbed the Hollinger bank in sartorial splendour, it was Edward Genson's. He began by challenging the idea presented by the prosecution that none of the buyers of Hollinger International assets wanted a non-competition agreement with Black. Eddie Greenspan listened apprehensively as his co-counsel continued his opening comments. As a thorough lawyer accustomed to meticulous preparation, Greenspan had repeatedly asked to see Genson's script for the opening.

Each of his requests had been rebuffed.

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Incredibly, he had no more idea of what precise words would be coming out of Genson's mouth than did his adversaries seated at the prosecution table facing the jurors. Greenspan's worst fears were realized as Genson moved quickly on the offensive by stating that there was no theft from the company by Conrad Black. On the contrary, it was the company, Hollinger International, that had been stolen from him. It was a stinging rebuke to Cramer's opening, but Greenspan worried that Genson had placed an unnecessary and impossible burden on the defence.

In the spirit of Conrad Black as victim, the defence was on course to portray the individuals charged with the responsibility for corporate governance at Hollinger International as the true thieves in the night.

Tilted: The Trial of Conrad Black

Genson touched on a theme in his opening that needed to be addressed directly. A glare of wealth or even a blaring inferno might have been more apt descriptions of Conrad Black's true economic health during the currency of the charges, but Genson's point was sound. It was ironic that a defendant's status among the super-rich had marked him as a displaced person before the jury. Whereas indigence might deprive a defendant of the resources to tussle in a courtroom on an even playing field, the trappings of wealth could translate to a badge of impoverished character.

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The best of the four opening statements by the defence was reserved for the last. Ron Safer provided the jury with a stirring imitation of a closing address as he sandblasted the central government theory. The audit committee of Hollinger International, chaired by the former governor of Illinois, James Thompson, not only was aware of the non-competition agreements, but also, Safer noted, "approved them again and again and again.


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Safer's opening sealed a unified front presented by all of the co-defendants. There were no early signs of finger-pointing or cracks in the defence.


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David Radler emerged as a dominant target. The implication was clear to the jury: As a typical example, the Financial Times carried the following banner to its Black trial coverage: The jury was engaged and listening.

Book on Black trial hinges on verdict

The jurors were ready to focus their spotlights on the evidence. I was approached by Genson in the hallway at the break.

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I admitted that indeed I had used the description in an interview with the local ABC station. I have never been called a curmudgeon before," he chided me, clearly crestfallen. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Chicago—Toronto lawyer Steve Skurka is betting there will be an appetite for fresh details about the Conrad Black trial long after the verdict comes in on the press baron. A criminal lawyer who has regularly attended the fraud trial, Skurka said has hired a literary agent to gauge interest in a book about the case.

Publishing industry officials are split over whether a book on the Black trial would be a commercial success.

Conrad Black - Wikipedia

Toronto literary agent Bruce Westwood, who represented Black for his recent biography of former U. Westwood noted the stock market scandal that engulfed mining company Bre-X Minerals Ltd. He is a widely regarded and frequently quoted legal analyst and his blog, "The Crime Sheet," has been cited by major publications. The trial was "tilted" from The Trial of Conrad Black. Closing arguments and Judges Instructions. The Trial of Conrad Black desLibris: