• Internal Investigations,  Parallel Proceedings,  Title IX

    Title IX: Fair Campus, Foul Weather

    With Education Secretary Betsey Devos much in the news  over possible changes to the Dear Colleague letter promulgated by the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, this note by me and my Lightfoot colleagues  Brandon Essig and Clint Speegle in University Business is timely: High-profile lawsuits, OCR investigations and new congressional legislative interest have all conspired to mean that colleges and universities ignore the Dear Colleague situation to their peril. Unlike the disciplinary process for a cheating scandal, the resolution of a sexual assault case is a classic “parallel-proceedings” scenario. At any moment there may be an administrative proceeding (by the university), as well as a criminal investigation (by external law enforcement)…

  • Cooperation Agreements,  Deferred Prosecution Agreements,  Internal Investigations

    The Yates Memo and Three Dog Night

    Deputy Attorney General Yates Unless you have been on a monastic retreat or hidden as carefully as Hillary Clinton’s email server, you have by now likely read reports and analyses of the “Yates Memorandum,” a policy document issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates entitled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” (Here is the document:  Yates-Memo-Prosecution-of-Individuals.pdf ). In this essay, I focus on one particular aspect that may be crucial for companies, their boards of directors, their audit committees and law department: The timing of potential disclosures to the Government and the degree to which outside counsel needs to have comfort that what he or she is relating to the Government…

  • Internal Investigations,  Parallel Proceedings,  Universities

    Title IX, University Discipline, Sexual Assault and Parallel Proceedings

    A short — 140 seconds — note on the thickets of Title IX, sexual assault, university discipline and parallel procedures: University Discipline, Sexual Assault and Parallel Proceedings from LFW on Vimeo. Here’s a longer written piece: Dear Colleagues All: University Discipline, Sexual Assault and The Department of Education And, should anyone doubt the human costs involved in the mishandling of such investigations, one only need to recall disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong and the Duke lacrosse case, as highlighted by Ed Bradley and 60 Minutes:

  • Internal Investigations,  Privilege

    Get Out of Jail Free? Not Without The Attorney-Client Privilege

    We have talked about attorney-client privilege, internal investigations and the GM ignition recall: Privilege, Corporate Silence and Saul Goodman,  How To Avoid Being GM’ed: The Wrongs and Rights of Clients and Lawyers and It’s Okay To Smell A Rat: Internal Investigations, Attorney-Client Privilege and the KBR Decision. There was even a quote in Forbes.com: Of Snitches and Privileges. And if you can’t get enough, now a short (16 minute) presentation to the Network of Trial Law Firms meeting in October: How To Avoid Being GM’d from LFW on Vimeo.    

  • Internal Investigations,  International

    Internal Investigations, the KBR Decision and International Investigations

    In a recent post, we touched on the importance of the D.C. Circuit’s decision in KBR concerning privilege and internal investigations: Post-recession, we are living through an era of regulators’ grimaces and prosecutors’ giddiness. Editorialists and bloggers want business scalps, especially scalps of individuals (as opposed to simple monetary fines for corporations), and most especially scalps of those in banking and finance.  In the wake of the GM report and other stories about lawyers, the role of business lawyers is as suspect in the public mind as it has been for decades.  It’s as though everybody smells a rat. On the other hand, faced with ever-increasing and increasingly complex regulation, companies’ need…

  • Internal Investigations,  Privilege

    It’s Okay To Smell A Rat: Internal Investigations, Attorney-Client Privilege and the KBR Decision

    Post-recession, we are living through an era of regulators’ grimaces and prosecutors’ giddiness. Editorialists and bloggers want business scalps, especially scalps of individuals (as opposed to simple monetary fines for corporations), and most especially scalps of those in banking and finance.  In the wake of the GM report and other stories about lawyers, the role of business lawyers is as suspect in the public mind as it has been for decades.  It’s as though everybody smells a rat. On the other hand, faced with ever-increasing and increasingly complex regulation, companies’ need to conduct self-reviews and internal investigations is unavoidable. Indeed, in many industries, the governing set of rules require companies to…