On May 31, 2005, the United States Supreme Court
issued its decision in Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, a case concerning disputed jury
instructions as to the meaning of a "corrupt persuasion" conviction under 18 U.S.C. section 1512(b).
The case was appealed from the Fifth Circuit, which had held that jury instructions issued by the
District Court accurately conveyed the meaning of the statutory terms "corruptly persuades" and
"official proceeding" and that the jury did not need to find any consciousness of wrongdoing. The
Supreme Court reversed, holding that the term at issue could apply only to persons conscious of
wrongdoing and that there must be a nexus between the action and the particular proceeding.