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Despite 2 Mistrials, DOJ Won’t Say Chicken Case is Done

Law360

01 Apr 2022

Lisa Phelan spoke to Law360 about the U.S. Department of Justice dropping five of the 10 defendants from its case alleging that chicken industry executives orchestrated a scheme to fix prices after a second mistrial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Lisa said she has never seen a third criminal trial on the same claims at the DOJ Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section in her 30 years at the agency.

“Part of the reason is the principles of federal prosecution that apply to all federal prosecutors,” Lisa said, noting that the rules have been interpreted as requiring prosecutors to have a good-faith belief they have at least a 50% chance of winning if they go to trial.

She added: “The judge seems to be raising the issue, ‘How can you say you have such a good-faith belief, if twice you’ve had jurors unable to convict on this?”

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