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Supreme Court to review accounting firm's conviction in Enron case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court announced Friday that it would hear an appeal brought by the Chicago-based accounting firm Arthur Andersen, previously convicted for obstruction of justice by destroying documents related to the fall of the Enron Corp. Andersen was convicted by a federal jury in June 2002 and was sentenced to a $500,000 fine and five years probation. The conviction was upheld in a US appeals court last year. Andersen's appeal raises several arguments to be addressed by the Supreme Court. The court will have to determine the precise definition of "corruptly persuades" in the context of jury instructions, and additionally decide whether the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation was an "official proceeding" as required by law. The court is expected to hear arguments in April and release a decision by June. Read the initial indictment against Andersen here. Reuters has more.

The Court Friday also granted certiorari in a case testing the powers of a patent-holding drug company to stop research by a rival pharmaceutical concern. AP has more. The Court's full order list from today is not yet available online.

4:25 PM ET - The Court's full order list with several other cert grants is now online here [PDF].

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