United States: Fox Rothschild Achieves Voluntary Dismissal by Feds In Major Criminal ESI Case
Last Updated: December 31 2014

As reported on Fox Rothschild's White Collar Defense & Compliance Blog, and elsewhere in the media (i.e. Ed Silverman's piece for the Wall Street Journal and J.K. Wall's piece for the Indianapolis Business Journal), Fox Rothschild has obtained the complete dismissal of criminal charges in a major ESI case pending in the Southern District of Indiana, United States v. Cao and Li, Case No. 1:13-cr-150-WTL.  Charges were dismissed by United States District Court Judge William T. Lawrence in response to federal prosecutors' own motion to dismiss the case.

The firm's client and his co-defendant stood accused of misappropriating purportedly proprietary and confidential data belonging to their former employer, Indianapolis based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co., and sharing it with a foreign competitor.  From the outset, both defendants steadfastly maintained their innocence.  On December 5, 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Indiana abandoned its prior position that the alleged conduct of the defendants amounted to traitorous activity (see J.K. Wall's initial coverage of the government's case against the defendants for the Indianapolis Business Journal, quoting remarks by the government at an October 2013 bail hearing where the defendants were remanded to custody pending trial), and voluntarily dismissed the indictment that it secured against the two defendant scientists.  The move came fourteen months after the defendants were arrested at their Indiana homes and initially held without bail, then shipped to a halfway house on "lockdown" status, and ultimately relegated to home confinement pending trial.  Both men are now free.

The case involved the painstaking collection, review, and analysis of digital evidence, showcasing the firm's capacity to handle sophisticated and highly technical ESI cases.  Alain Leibman, Esq. and Matthew Adams, Esq. handled the matter for the firm, and were assisted by members of the firm's e-Discovery and Technology litigation support team in managing the voluminous amounts of ESI evidence that were produced to the defense both by the government and Lilly.

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