Partner Keri Axel Quoted by Law360 on College Admission Scandal Trial Verdict

Government prosecutors won the first trial in the college admission scandal, but in a Law360 story Keri Axel said defense attorneys will have solid arguments on appeal, including a request by the defense to play a video of William “Rick” Singer, the admitted mastermind of the scheme, speaking to Starbucks employees, which the judge denied.

“You’re trying to get in the minds of both people,” Axel said, “The defense had a good argument that the Starbucks lecture was relevant to Singer’s state of mind.”

Prosecutors are reluctant to call Singer, the ringleader of the plot, as a witness in these cases because defense counsel will accuse Singer of being a proven liar whose credibility is in question.

In the Starbucks video, Singer is speaking to a group of employees about his “side door” plan for getting students accepted into highly competitive colleges via athletic programs. In the video, Singer discusses his method and discloses he wants to write a book about it. Defense counsel say this shows Singer was presenting his scheme as a legal way for wealthy people to donate to colleges while giving their children an extra boost in the admissions process.

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