Maxus v. Kidder Peabody
Insider trading case involving Ivan Boeskay and Martin Siegel using astute allusion to pop cultural icons [such as TV shows like ‘The Brady Bunch’ & ‘Hollywood Squares’] to implicitly comment on Sigel’s assertion of fifth amendment privilege in pre-trial deposition. In their closing argument, plaintiffs used a video that showed defendant Marty Siegel perched in a three-by-three grid reminiscent of the tic-tac-toe board featured in the old TV game show Hollywood Squares (as well as in the opening graphic for The Brady Brunch). When the nine Siegels are seen and heard simultaneously “taking the Fifth,” the effect is comical. The viewer laughs at the incongruous sight of a once illustrious Wall Street investment banker reduced to one of the has-been actors featured on Hollywood Squares. The humor is disarming, but it serves a serious purpose. Not only does it demonize the defendant, but it also implicitly chides Siegel for exercising his constitutional right. An impermissible move in criminal cases. Yet, the visual joke masks what’s really going on.
States v. Tobacco Industry
3-D animation depicting tobacco product designed for addiction through the deliberate introduction of ammonia to facilitate rapid delivery of nicotine to the brain. State attorneys general sued tobacco companies for misleading consumers about the addictive properties of their product. The companies denied cigarettes were addictive. But wait a minute! Who put those ammonia molecules in cigarettes if not the manufacturer? And the only reason ammonia is there is to quicken the delivery of nicotine to the addictive center of the brain. With an animation showing the inside of a cigarette, LVS needed only 30 seconds to clinch their client’s case.