The Raj Trial Just Got Weird

tombstone grave rip

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The verdict on Raj could come any day now, and things just got weird.Right now, it’s looking like he’s guilty on at least the majority of the charges against him.

Why Raj will probably be convicted

The defence is trying to say that we’re in a “new media” age where all these rumours are reported on blogs (like Tech Crunch). The defence used an article on the tech blog to prove that the some piece of information that Raj traded on was public), what’s “out there” is not nonpublic, even if an info tip came from a reliable source inside the company.

The argument is essentially, “was Raj supposed to check to see if something was public before trading? Ridiculous!”

It’s unlikely that the jury will acquit him just based on that, but for what it’s worth, the prosecution doesn’t want the definition of insider trading to include two of the things that the defence wants in there, so they’re covering their bases just in case.

The weird

When Adam Brodsky presented the government’s case in front of the jury on April 20, he was animated. He stood directly in front of the jury, walked back and forth, and puncuated his thoughts by waving his hands around.

Many times, Brodsky mocked the defence of Raj.

“The defence would like you to believe that Raj traded on public knowledge written about eBay layoffs,” he told the jury (in reference to a tape recording of Raj on the phone with Anil Kumar. Kumar is telling Raj about the eBay layoffs. A TechCrunch article printed the rumour).

“But how did Raj respond on the call with Kumar? Brodsky asked, “Did he go, [in a funny, sort of dumb Raj voice one octave lower than the man’s real voice] ‘Oh, man I already knew that! That’s public information!”

“No. He said, ‘What are they gonna do?'”

And Brodsky continued to mock Raj and the defence while making his (long winded) case. (It’s lucky he has a nerdy, squeeky voice, or he could have sounded arrogant.)

Dowd, who has a reputation for being firey, might have attacked back. But he didn’t — he did the total opposite, to the point where it was weird.

Dowd took the podium to the side of the jury and barely ever addressed them face to face, opting to read from his script instead. And he was bored. Monotone.

In short, the essence of Dowd’s argument is this: “was Raj supposed to check to see if something was public before trading? Ridiculous!” The case he made is detailed here.

He has a number of good points, but his monotone, bored delivery was surprising.

Raj’s verdict is riding on a few specific details and of course, the jury. We expected him to go rogue. But he didn’t — he went morgue, and it was weird.