Nacchio gets two weeks to respond
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, May 2, 2008
Updated 12:30 p.m., May 1, 2008
An appellate court panel has ordered Joe Nacchio’s defense team
to respond in 14 days to a government petition seeking the
reinstatement of his 2007 conviction.
The request came a day after federal prosecutors asked the full
10th Circuit Court of Appeals to review a three-judge panel’s
decision to overturn former Qwest CEO Nacchio’s insider-trading
Today’s development could be a good sign for the government.
“If courts are considering granting the petition (to review the
case), it will request a response (from the defense),” Marcy
Glenn, chairwoman of the appellate practice group at Holland &
Hart in Denver, said Thursday.
But Glenn also said that in a case of this prominence, the court
might request a response regardless. And the speed of the
request shouldn’t be a surprise because the appellate court has
been handling the Nacchio case in an expedited fashion all
The three-judge panel voted 2-1 in March to toss out Nacchio’s
conviction and order a new trial. The panel’s majority
said U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham had improperly
prevented a defense witness from providing an economic analysis
of Nacchio’s stock sales.
In the petition this week, prosecutors argued the panel had
departed from precedent by restricting a district judge’s
discretion to exclude “unsupported expert opinions and
unnecessary economic commentary.”
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals hears only a handful of cases
a year, and only if a question involves one of “exceptional
importance” or to “maintain uniformity” of previous court
Nacchio was convicted last year on 19 counts of insider trading
in connection with selling $52 million of stock in April and May
2001. He was sentenced to six years in prison but has
remained free on $2 million bail during his appeal.