• Cocktails,  FCPA

    Foreign Corruption, Pilot Program, Aviation Cocktail

    The Republic is now a year out from DOJ’s announcement that its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “pilot program”  was to be made permanent.  Some would say that the anniversary calls for alcohol either in joy or in sorrow.  Perhaps an old cocktail, recently revived?  One consistent with the “pilot” theme?  Let’s try the Aviation: Drink in hand, you can sit down and read  FCPA Compliance 1 Year After DOJ Revised Policy by my Lightfoot colleagues Brandon Essig, Tenley Armstrong, and Jeff Doss (and me): Because of the risks, the dollars and the players, the FCPA connotes sophistication to the point of mystery and complexity to the point of opacity. We propose that…

  • FCPA

    Vantage Drilling, General Lee and the Culture of Compliance

    Gin is a noble spirit; without vermouth, perhaps a lonely one.  Similarly, having a compliance program, yet failing to follow it in the presence of some red flags is both lonely and expensive, as we see in the internal accounting controls FCPA case that Vantage Drilling recently settled with the SEC.  Is this a problem with culture?  And what is “culture,” anyway, in terms of FCPA compliance? Except perhaps for “paradigm” and “silo,” the word “culture” is one of the most abused in the vocabulary of compliance, ethics and consultants.  (I once heard a consultant say that he needed “a high hover over the silos.”  I thought it an ironic mash-up…

  • Evidence,  FCPA,  Legal Education

    Breaking Bad, All the Time: White Collar Crime for Business Lawyers

      The Network of Trial Law Firms is an excellent CLE vehicle.  Here’s a Sharman White Collar Panel Video of a Network panel about white-collar issues for civil lawyers — me, Jackie Arango of Akerman Senterfit (Miami), Joel Neckers of Wheeler Trigg (Denver) and Gerry Leone of Noxon Peabody (Boston).  Here’s the blurb from the Network program: No one thinks of themselves, their employees or their company as “criminals.” On the other hand, Walter White was once just a chemistry teacher. The lines between what are business-crime problems and what are traditional corporate civil issues — compliance, due diligence, regulatory recordkeeping and permitting, whistleblowers, confidentiality, privilege and indemnification — have…

  • Compliance,  FCPA

    Honor and the FCPA

    This is a compelling question: FCPA Professor on Trust in the Corporation Can a culture of trust — of honor — work better as a corporation’s FCPA defense than a labyrinth of rules?  This is not merely a “tone at the top” kind of question.  Rather, it requires a commonly-shared landscape of what is honorable conduct; a handful of commonly-shared principles of comportment; everyone’s understanding that this system works to the benefit of all; and a single-sanction intolerance for whatever wanders outside that ethical landscape. Even if the honor-culture is more effective than checking-off-the-boxes in your department’s compliance template, how does a company in an FCPA case defend the honor-culture…