Frederick S. Schiff, the former chief financial officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, won a significant pre-trial decision in a criminal securities fraud case brought by federal prosecutors in New Jersey. Skadden is representing Mr. Schiff. In the ruling dated March 19 — five days before the trial was to begin — Judge Faith S. Hochberg of the Federal District Court in Newark granted Mr. Schiff's motion to preclude the government from introducing evidence of a stock price drop. The decision also precludes the government from arguing that Mr. Schiff is liable on the basis of omissions in the securities filings made by the company. “The court will permit no further ‘legal theory morphs’ in this case,” Judge Hochberg wrote. The government has filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.