The first day of Galleon Founder Raj Rajaratnam's insider trading trial was largely uneventful. Not much more occurred than attorneys working over potential jurors, searching for biases, and the list of potential witnesses coming to light. Perhaps most notable during the day's events in federal court were these two exchanges:
(1) After Judge [Richard J.] Holwell read the list of potential witnesses and asked whether anyone knew someone on the list, a woman in the jury pool asked what the middle initial of a John O'Connor was. "It’s a common name," she said. While the lawyers scrambled to find the middle initial, the judge asked what her possible connection was. "He’s just my ex-husband," she said, as the courtroom erupted in laughter.
(2) Juror No. 13, in response to the judge's question about whether anyone in the [witness] pool worked for, or had a friend or relative, at a bank or a hedge fund, said that she had a friend who "owns a hedge fund." Judge Holwell asked her the person's name. "David Tepper," she said, causing a stir among the dozen or so reporters in the courtroom. [Tepper is a billionaire hedge fund manager who runs Appaloosa Management, one of the country’s largest and most successful hedge funds.] "We spend holidays together." She said that this would not affect her ability to serve on the jury [and, as of the end of the day, was still in the jury pool].
(Related: Career Guide to Insider Trading, Chapter 19: Taking the Stand)