ENRON and ARTHUR ANDERSEN ETHICS AND LAW
One of the largest ethical and legal business cases in a very long time has involved Enron. An excellent book on Enron entitled ?The Smartest Guys in the Room? is a great book to read, if you get a chance. You may also want to view the documentary by the same name. On May 31, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed accounting firm Arthur Andersen?s one count conviction. On June 24, 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court decided Skilling v. United States, about Enron and specifically Jeffrey Skilling?s conviction. You are required to read portions of these decision and write an approximately five page paper (or longer) concerning the major legal and ethical issues in the case. Please include updates, or what has happened since the Supreme Court decided the Skilling case, concerning the length of his sentence. You should use additional sources beyond the Supreme Court case for the update. Please turn in your paper through TurnItIn on Blackboard so make sure you do not copy as paste because it will show
The Arthur Andersen and Skilling Supreme Court cases can be found at numerous legitimate sites. The actual Skilling Supreme Court case can be found at the Supreme Court?s official website, supremecourt.gov. Go to ?Opinions,? then ?2009 term opinions,? then the Skilling case. (Even though the decision was in June of 2010, it is under the term starting the first Monday in October of 2009. These cases can also be accessed free through FIU?s library, in the legal database Lexis-Nexis, under ?legal? materials. Search under Court cases for this Supreme Court case. They can also be found, free, at findlaw.com, under ?cases and codes,? under ?Supreme Court cases,? by entering the party?s name.? In Arthur Andersen, a relatively short Supreme Court case, the late Chief Justice Rehnquist gives a good brief overview of Enron and obstruction of justice. In Skilling, please read the beginning/introduction of the case, through the summary of the legal holding. Please read Justice Ginsburg?s majority decision. The first part (I) gives a good background of Enron. Part II gives a background of the legal issues before the Court. Part III discusses the honest services statute. Please also read Justice Sotomayor?s opinion.
You should use additional credible and reputable resources, and please cite and put in a bibliography all resources used. Please do not cite to Wikipedia.
In the five page paper, you won?t have the space to give a detailed analysis. Please summarize what happened at Enron and the major legal issues before the Court in each case, including what they decided on the major issues and why. There is one major issue in Arthur Andersen, obstruction of justice, and two major issues in Skilling.
The paper must also include an ethical analysis. Use chapter 7 of the text as a starting point for the ethics discussion, for the ethical tests and theories. Chapter 7 will be used throughout the course. Please include an analysis on the major ethical issues you see. There are numerous ethical issues, and you won?t be able to discuss them all. What issues do you see as a future accountant?
The paper is to be approximately five pages in length, or longer, but concise business writing is valued. It will be assessed on both content and written communication skills. This will be discussed in class on September 21. It is worth 10% of your grade, so please spend some time on this project, and start it early.