Well, the security guards at the U.S District Courthouse had officially had enough of the media circus that assembles each morning outside the 17th floor courtroom at 8 o’clock, so media was relegated to an open stretch of hallway on the ground floor where we could be better monitored and escorted upstairs when the time was right.
The CNBC crew were already in line when I arrived; Forbes writer Anita Raghavan, arrived after just after me.
Here are the highlights:
- George Packer reverence: Sitting next to George Packer in court all morning. Very cool. We have the same notepad. I suspect I’ll frame the one paragraph of the story, obviously to come in a month or two, that was informed by those few hours I was sitting right next to him #reporterawe
- Raj’s notes after the first day of trial: Raj had written two notes on his notepad after the opening arguments: “Radio Silent” and “wife on payroll.”
- Trial Threads: Lawyers from, we think Shearman and Sterling, who are representing Galleon, are without a SHADOW of doubt, the best dressed people in the courtroom. I mean, it’s like something out of a Parisian catwalk… or street… Or Soho. In fact, the only person who puts them to shame, is Jim McCarthy, Raj’s defence’s PR guy, from Counterpoint Strategies. He is the sartorial star of the Raj show, and a vivid-coloured tie and kerchief wearing maestro. Raj’s tie was green yesterday, by the way.
- Speaking of ties: There is a man, tall and lanky like a beanpole — who looks like a caricature of himself — who is apparently a friend of Raj’s, and was present at the wiretaps hearings. He was wearing a black suit, white shirt and red tie, his face is all angles. He sat in the very back row of the courtroom, in the aisle between the two columns of benches, in a fold-out chair, arms crossed, with his lips slightly ajar as he watched the proceedings. And no-one knows who he is. Courtney and I, inspired by the trial, watched Runaway Jury the other night… I’m not ruling out that he’s a jury consultant in the vein of Gene Hackman.
- Raj and Dowd came into the court together for the first time: Usually they arrive separately, both surrounded by a crew.
- The weird mystery scratching noise that’s been plaguing the court-room was discovered: the courtroom above is being remodeled.
Day three of the Raj Rajaratnam trial got off to a swinging start with the first witnesses to testify in the case.
The trial is on hiatus today and begins again on Monday.