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HomeEventsLessons from the Theranos Trials: Navigating Ethical Decisions in the Board Room

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Lessons from the Theranos Trials: Navigating Ethical Decisions in the Board Room

Thursday, February 23, 2023, 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM
Morrison & Foerster Office
12531 High Bluff Dr #100
San Diego, CA  92130
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
CDF Events
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Payment In Full In Advance Only
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4:00 pm – 5:00 pm  Program  (Doors Open for Registration/Check-In from 3:30pm)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm  Networking / Cocktails & Appetizers


Alongside a corporate board member from Topgolf Callaway Brands, join Morrison Foerster trial lawyers and industry-leading white collar crime practitioners for a conversation exploring lessons learned for boards of directors following the trial of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani. The Theranos trials have served as case studies on ethics and corporate governance, including the importance of having a qualified board of directors knowledgeable in the business, developing a robust compliance function, and identifying potential conflicts of interest when attorneys simultaneously serve as legal advisors and board members of a company. Utilizing their backgrounds as former prosecutors, former in-house compliance counsel, and current board members, the panelists will review the asserted defenses, examine the recent jury verdicts, and discuss ethics and governance considerations for boards of directors and their critical role and responsibility in compliance oversight. This program also will focus on the pivotal role that gender and ethics played in Holmes’ trial, including an emphasis on Holmes’ charm, charisma, and role as one of the only women to have “succeeded” in Silicon Valley and how her gender may have affected issues of corporate governance and compliance.


In addition, Holmes’ attorneys alleged in court filings that Holmes suffered from an “abusive intimate-partner relationship” with Balwani, in which he subjected her to psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse for “over a decade” that, in turn, led to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety—making it impossible to form the intent to defraud investors and patients.