Until recently it had not occurred to us that legal skills and Viagra had anything in common but they do: the power to enhance. At first blush, legal skills have certain advantages: they are all natural and require no prescription. No need to stand nervously in line at the pharmacy. But before rushing off to bone up on your legal skills read the federal government’s warning: “Section 3B1.3 of the Sentencing Guidelines provides for a two-level enhancement “[i]f the defendant abused a position of public or private trust, or used a special skill, in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or concealment of the offense.” U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3. The commentary to Section 3B1.3 defines “special skill” as “a skill not possessed by members of the general public and usually requiring substantial education, training, or licensing. Examples would include pilots, lawyers, doctors, accountants . . . .” Id. Cmt. n. 4. Source: Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, United States v. Ferguson, et al., September 5th, 2008, p 46
Note: The source reference is to the “AIG – Gen Re criminal case” tried in Federal District Court in Hartford. The quoted portion concerns Robert Graham, a lawyer in Gen Re’s Counsel’s Office. Graham is a Connecticut lawyer whose license is, as of today, October 22, 2008, listed on the Connecticut Judicial Department’s website as being under administrative suspension.