• Cooperation Agreements,  Insider Trading,  Sentencing

    The Winter Olympics of Cooperation: The Bridge On The River Kwai, White-Collar Self-Image and Federal Sentencing

    “Cooperation” is a complex concept for individuals and businesses caught up in white-collar criminal cases, compliance reviews and breakdowns of business ethics.  As with the more obscure or corrupt Winter Olympic events, there are ways to demystify the complexity, but it is not easy. In David Lean’s 1957 film The Bridge On The River Kwai, we see cross-currents of duty, vainglory, cooperation, resistance, collaboration and death.  (We also hear some great whistling, but that is another matter).  All of these ideas and emotions come into play when a colleague, an employee or a corporate officer or director is faced with the question: “Do I [or we] cooperate with [the Government, the…

  • Compliance,  Fourth Amendment

    Dude, That’s My Lighter: Lacrosse, Suspensions, the Fourth Amendment and the White-Collar Thanatos of Zero Tolerance

    The relationship between lacrosse and white-collar crime is not obvious, although for much of its 20th century history the sport was powered by mid-Atlantic and New England prep-school products whose high schools also provided several All-American rosters of white-collar defendants.  And even for perfectly lawful activities, there has long been a close relationship between lacrosse and Wall Street, as shown in this 2008 Wall Street Journal article about how On Lacrosse Fields, A Battered Bank Is Still a Player The story of how these Maryland lacrosse players’ case moves into court  raises some curious insights, though, into matters of compliance and internal policing, not to mention Fourth and Fifth Amendment…

  • Compliance,  Fifth Amendment,  International

    The Border, Searches and the Digital Devices of Executives and Employees

    Here’s a story (via @nytimes) about how the border is a back door for device searches. There is, of course, a “border exception” to the Fourth Amendment, a constitutional doctrine that came of age when national physical borders were also, usually, information-borders as well.  Although the discussion in the article takes place in the national-security context, it’s worth American companies giving more careful thought to how they address the way their executives and employees work and travel.  Employees usually love using their own devices and storing company data in ways that are readily accessible to and productive for them. At the border, though, all that corporate data is free game.…