Former GlaxoSmithKline in house counsel re-indicted

Apr 19, 2011   

On March 23, 2011, U.S. District Judge Roger Titus dismissed the indictment of former in house counsel Lauren Stevens due to concerns that the prosecutors erroneously advised the grand jury regarding the advice of counsel defense. We originally blogged about this prosecution here and here.

Under certain circumstances, it is a defense to a charge of willful criminal conduct that the defendant relied on the advice of a lawyer in committing the offense. This reliance on the advice of counsel negates the defendants specific intent to violate the law. When Judge Titus raised the concern that the prosecutors may have improperly advised the grand jury regarding the defense, Judge Titus dismissed the indictment without prejudice, and allowed the government to re-indict Stevens.

The Government re-indicted Stevens shortly thereafter. On April 14, 2011, a different grand jury re-indicted Stevens on six counts that she allegedly obstructed justice, made false statements to the FDA and concealed and falsified documents in regard to a federal investigation, essentially the same charges with which she was originally indicted. Trial is scheduled for April 26, 2011.