While I was waiting for take-out food yesterday, I heard a talking head on what appeared to be a news show announce that the Michael Jackson trial was “without question the trial of the decade so far, and therefore of the century.” I can actually think of some other contenders for that title. For example:
The trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, billionaire chairman of Yukos, which marked the transition in Russia from a kleptocratic market system to a quasi-fascist regime run by spies.
The trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, accused of 66 counts of war crimes during a conflict that lasted eight years and directly involved the US as well as many other countries; those charges include genocide and crimes against humanity.
Multiple trials before the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, leading so far to verdicts in the cases of one Prime Minister, four Ministers, one Prefect, and five Bourgmestres (among others)–all alleged to have committed genocide in 1994.
Bush v. Gore, 531 US 98 (2000), which gave us the president we have today.
The United States v. Philip Morris, Inc. et al., originally a $280 billion lawsuit against the whole tobacco industry, reduced last week to a $10 billion suit after the Justice Department suddenly lowered its requested penalty by about 92%.
Arthur Andersen, LLP v US, the Enron-related criminal case that destroyed the major accounting firm, only to be overturned by the Supreme Court last week.
Any other suggestions for the top ten?