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Earlier this decade, White & Case attorney Mark Gidley was with a team of attorneys representing the small generic drug company Upsher-Smith Laboratories in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
One of Upsher's witnesses, groomed and presented by an attorney other than Gidley but on his team, was an economics expert. The FTC attorney blasted the expert with a blistering attack of questions that left him in tatters and in dire need of witness rehabilitation, clearly hurting Upsher's case.
"The FTC attorney just ripped him to shreds," recalls Mark Robbins, a vice president for Upsher. "But Mark came in, and even though the guy wasn't Mark's witness, Mark stepped in and said, 'Everything will be fine,' and did a superb job of rehabilitating the guy."
Gidley's calming, therapeutic guidance helped save the witness's testimony, and eventually Upsher won the case. While Gidley can be steady and reassuring, he's also known for his quick thinking. "Because Mark is so quick, he can get questions through that other litigators can't, like leading questions," Robbins says. "His opponents don't have time to object because they don't know where he's going with the line of questions until it's too late. He's just so fast and smart."
Other clients point to the DC-based attorney's various other lawyering skills. "Mark is persistent and creative, and we value his expertise," says Alan Winsor, a senior vice president and general counsel for the Norwegian shipping company Stolt-Nielsen.
Stolt will need all of Gidley's persistence and creativity for a current case before the US Supreme Court that has the attention and support of much of the business world. The US Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations have filed amici curiae briefs with the Court on behalf of Stolt in its argument that the Department of Justice must keep the pledge it made in its signed amnesty agreement.
At issue is the heart of the successful DOJ amnesty program, which, in this post-Enron era, gives immunity to the first companies to blow the whistle on wrongdoing in their respective industries. The program is an effective tool in uncovering corruption.
Stolt, through Gidley and his team, claims that the government has violated its own amnesty program and that, if Stolt does not prevail, there could be a chilling effect on corporate whistle-blowing. The company feels that it's very important for Corporate America to see that when DOJ prosecutors make …