Novak and the National Law Journal

I guess this is me and the media week here at the blog. There is an excellent story in the National Law Journal this week on the Novak decision out of the Ninth Circuit, which I talked about here, in which the court allowed attachment of ERISA governed retirement benefits as part of criminal restitution. I am interviewed in the article, which, unfortunately, is only available online to subscribers, so I cannot provide a link here to the actual article, and my fear of the copyright laws dissuades me from uploading the whole article here for you to read.

I think, though, that the fair use exception to the copyright act allows me to quote myself from the article, in which I mention that the ruling in Novak is kind of draconian, and in particular that “it almost goes to the level of 19th century debtor’s prison issues: do we bankrupt the spouse of a white collar criminal?” Beyond that, I am quoted in the article on the decision’s ramifications for future cases, and I note that there are issues raised in the court’s decision that will need to be resolved in future cases. I also point out, as do others quoted in the article, that it is important, going forward, to try to separate out pension benefits from the restitution amounts when negotiating resolution of criminal charges.