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The Swiss Acquittal
Posted by Roy Harris | CFO.com | US
June 7, 2007 1:36 PM ET

So many things we're indebted to Switzerland for: like Swiss watches, Swiss cheese, Swiss chocolate, Swiss steak, and Swiss Army knives. With a Zurich district court's acquittal of the 19 former Swissair executives and consultants today, though, it sounds like a whole new legal standard may well have been set. Call it the Swiss acquittal.

If I get this straight, the judge not only declared the accused not guilty of everything they were charged with basically, mismanagement that led to the 2001 bankruptcy of the once-proud national airline but he awarded them a total of $2.5 million.

I don't know if that's a first. But I do know that when I beat a $100 speeding ticket one time, I got not a nickel out of it for my troubles. Of course, that was in East Boston, not Ost Basel.

And imagine the consequences. With the way that some legal minds work, can't you pictures defense attorneys now filing a new kind of motion next time they think they have an airtight defense: not just to change venue, but to change it to Switzerland.

I'm part Swiss myself, and tend to give my ancestral homeland the benefit of the doubt. But this sounds like a Swiss miss to me.

And by the way, whatever happened to Swiss neutrality?

Comments (2)


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It isn't a Swiss miss at all. Isn't it another form of assigning responsibility akin to making the losing side pay attorney's costs for the winner? That simple step alone would make the relentless filers of stupid (I was looking for a better word, but nothing fits the problem as well) litigation that floods the courts in our legal system think twice about wasting the courts' time. It might make trial lawyers and their so-called clients think twice about tilting windmills for half-baked claims. The system needs fixing, folks.
Posted by John Burns | June 08, 2007 11:39am

With the track record of the airline industry, it is difficult to blame any executive team solely for going broke... most of them have, over the years.
Posted by Paul Meisel | June 11, 2007 10:41am

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