In thinking about this case and the way that Korn/Ferry has worked in collusion with the US Justice system from the start, there are a series of questions that a true critical thinker should be asking, such as:

  • While working as an independent contractor to KFI, Mr. Nosal passed approximately 15 searches to individuals who had their own executive search firms and planned to join his company when it opened. These independent executive search consultants executed on the searches and gave Mr. Nosal a finder’s fee for referring the business. Do you really think that nearly a year after leaving the company, and with only two to three weeks to go prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Nosal would suggest to one of them that she ask a former KFI colleague to send her a list that the executive search consultant herself (not Mr. Nosal) had created a few years before leaving the company to reference on a project she (not Mr. Nosal) was executing on?
  • In the first several years following Mr. Nosal’s departure from KFI, the individuals who had taken information from KFI testified honestly in their depositions that they had acted independently and without his knowledge. Meanwhile, KFI filed approximately $20M – $24M lawsuits against each of these individuals and the government threatened prison terms against each of these individuals.  With the settlement terms that each of them ultimately signed with KFI and the government, which included an obligation to serve as KFI and government witnesses in the litigation against David Nosal, do you think this obligation smack of witness tampering?
  • Why would KFI quickly settle and bury under a non-disclosure agreement a 2017 lawsuit brought by a competitor for stealing trade secrets at the same time its long-standing litigation against its former top performer for far lesser allegations was pending appeal?
  • Is there an unfair advantage in a criminal case whereby a major corporation uses the influence of its outside counsel (who had just been hired from the Justice Department) to persuade the government to elevate to a criminal case what is typically resolved in civil court? Is it also an unfair advantage when that same corporation provides unlimited legal resources to the government via its law firm to aid in its prosecution of an individual? Do you think there is a lower bar for the government to take on a case in this type of situation?
  • Does a large corporation investigating former employees and supplying information to the government have the same obligation as the government to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense in criminal discovery? Is there a danger that only selective evidence is presented to the government and that the latter’s view of the case is therefore distorted?
  • David Nosal resigned from KFI in 2004 because he could not persuade the company’s senior leadership to address a broad range of ethical and governance issues within the company that concerned him. The most difficult element to negotiate in his separation agreement was a clause that prohibited him “from speaking publicly about the issues he had escalated to senior management prior to his resignation.” Do you think that through its legal crusade the company may have sought to preemptively discredit its former top employer?
  • With Mr. Nosal now hearing for the first time openly why he resigned from KFI, do you think that there’s any concern that the KFI leaders may have had that might have prompted them to try and cast a black cloud over Mr. Nosal?
  • Why did KFI insist on language that prevented Mr. Nosal from talking openly about why he resigned?
  • Why is there a pattern of KFI sealing agreements with individuals who have made accusations against KFI, but yet these disputes have never been made public?  Isn’t there a pattern of misbehavior that KFI continually is trying to cover up through these sealed agreements?
  • Why would KFI allow four of 15-20 individuals who they knew were ultimately going to join David Nosal to download records during Mr. Nosal’s separation agreement without stopping them?  Could there have been ulterior motives by the key leaders at KFI?
  • KFI has tried to dissuade publications such as Hunt-Scanlon from running positive articles on Mr. Nosal’s new firm by pulling their advertising in return.  Doesn’t this breach freedom of the press rights?
  • Isn’t it senior managements responsibility to make the Board of Directors aware of significant concerns by one of their senior leaders?  What is the Boards fiduciary responsibility to talk to the individual who has made significant allegations against senior leaders of a corporation?
  • Isn’t there a significant conflict of interest when someone from the U.S. Justice Department is recruited into the accusers primary law firm and then takes on the mandate to try and get the government to pursue an individual that previously worked at that same corporation?  Shouldn’t there be an investigation in to the perception of collusion and influence that Bunzel most likely had to and with the U.S. government and KFI?
  • Does KFI have an obligation to report not only the Nosal case but the Spencer Stuart lawsuit and other suits against KFI to the SEC?

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