A year ago, the New York Court of Appeals gave a big, shiny gift to accounting firms facing fraud claims. Both the Delaware Chancery Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had asked New York’s high court to clarify its application of the common-law doctrine of in pari delicto, which basically holds that wrongdoers can’t demand compensation from their partners-in-crime. Trustees for two companies shattered by internal fraud had sued their auditors, claiming that the auditors failed to detect, and maybe even helped cover up, the wrongdoing by corporate insiders. But the Court of Appeals, in its October 2010 ruling in Kirschner v. KPMG, said that if the corporation benefited in any way from the insider’s fraud, in pari delicto shields the auditors.