July 24, 2010

Affidavits 101: Cautions from the Conrad Black Matter

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 8:37 am

To gain permission to return to Canada, Conrad Black must satisfy the judge that he has given sufficient particulars of his financial position to allow her to conclude that, if she were to allow him to leave the US, he would return for further hearings.

He will evidently have to swear those particulars – and given the potential consequences, no one on the Black side is interested in mistakes. Errors or shortcomings will risk perceptions of misrepresentation. The The National Post underlines drafters’ anxieties: consequences not only risk more reputational damages for their client but could also include the prospect of a return to jail:

In Lord Black’s camp, the dreaded affidavit is viewed as a potential “trap” that U.S. prosecutors can — and will — use to revoke his hard-won bail. And because it’s a sworn legal document, accuracy is paramount, as is full disclosure.

U.S. prosecutors will no doubt closely scrutinize the document to find reason to revoke his bail and send the Montreal-born businessman back to prison, let alone allow him to leave the country. They already tried it once unsuccessfully in 2006, claiming that Lord Black had lied in a sworn affidavit about his finances.

A word to the wise.

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