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Teaching Enron

By Milton C. Regan


What follows is a discussion of several transactions that the Examiner analyzed for the Enron bankruptcy court. These represent only a portion of the many transactions that the Examiner analyzed, but constitute a large number of the transactions with respect to which he focused on the conduct of attorneys. In most of these cases, the Examiner found that Enron\u27s lawyers potentially could be liable to the company under various causes of action. In some instances, the Examiner did not find potential liability. These transactions are included in my discussion, however, because they can be used to explore certain ethical issues that can arise in transactional practice. The Examiner sometimes provides enough detail that it is possible to construct a tentative description of how things may have unfolded as they did. In these instances, the deals have particular pedagogical value by providing an opportunity to identify and discuss why lawyers did not recognize potential warning signs. In other cases, the details are sparser. These transactions are most useful as the basis for posing questions based either on the actual events or hypothetical variations on them. Finally, some deals afford an opportunity both to suggest possible explanations for behavior as well as to generate questions for discussion

Topics: law – study and teaching, corporations, fraud, Business Organizations Law, Legal Education
Publisher: Scholarship @ GEORGETOWN LAW
Year: 2005
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