Elizabeth Holmes trial updates

This morning was almost entirely wasted by the judge questioning jurors in private about how they would feel if their juror questionnaires were released to the press. A consortium of press entities has requested that they be made public. I say this time is wasted because the judge eventually (hours later) said that he would have to hear legal arguments and authorities on the question in a hearing, which in view of the crowded court docket, couldn’t take place until at least five weeks from now. He could have ruled that way immediately and saved those hours for trial testimony. The trial may be over by the time he rules on the issue. If not, the jurors could always be questioned about it at that time.

According to my sources the government is expected to rest in early November, but estimates are in constant flux because of non-evidentiary sideline issues like this delaying the trial. I’ll be surprised if the trial ends before January.

When they finally got to trial testimony, Wade Miquelon, a former Walgreens executive, was questioned further by AUSA Jeff Schenk about the representations made by Holmes and her co-defendant Balwani that led to a deal between those two companies. It was rather plodding stuff with most of the focus being on Theranos’s claims that the tests would be using fingerstick blood, not venous blood draws, and that testing would be done by the Theranos Edison, not third party machines. The questions were highly repetitive, showing document after document with such representations. The judge could have limited this as cumulative, but he hasn’t shown any ability to keep things moving.  In the early cross-examination the defense did little damage. They seemed to be helping the prosecution or just trying to bore the jury to death, but I didn’t stay through the questioning after lunch.

One tidbit that surprised me is that the main law enforcement presence, i.e. investigator, at least for this part of the trail, is an FDA agent, not an FBI agent. It makes sense in this case, of course, but it’s unusual in my experience. Another one is that the behemoth law firm Latham and Watkins had done the due diligence investigation of Theranos for Walgreens before the original deal was struck with the two companies. I’ll bet their malpractice insurer received a hefty claim. It’s amazing how many supposedly competent people were bamboozled by Holmes.

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