Annulment of the conviction of Arthur Andersen,
a unanimous and extremely rare decision by the justices of the supreme court of the United States.
May 31, 2005
Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696 (2005) was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court unanimously (9 votes in favor and 0 against, a rare unanimity for the justices of the US Supreme Court), overturned the conviction of the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, for obstruction of justice on investigations related to fraudulent activities and the bankruptcy of the energy giant Enron, based on the fact that instructions were improperly given to the jury.
In the opinion of the Supreme Court, the instructions by the prosecution to the jury were too vague to allow it to establish proof of obstruction of justice on the part of Arthur Andersen. The Supreme Court ruled that the instructions to the jury had been framed in a way that Andersen could have been found guilty without proof that the company knew that it had broken the law or that there had been a link between the Enron bankruptcy and an illegal destruction of accounting documents by the accounting firm.
More information on the decision of the Supreme Court (Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States): Wilkipedia .