• Fifth Amendment,  Grand Jury

    Dante’s Guide: Preparing the Grand Jury Witness

    In the year 1300, at age 35, the narrator of Dante’s Inferno famously finds himself in trouble: Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray             from the straight road and woke to find myself                         alone in a dark wood.  How shall I say   what wood that was!  I never saw so drear,             so rank, so arduous a wilderness!             Its very memory gives a shape to fear.   The grand jury witness finds himself or herself in a position not unlike that of the Italian poet at the beginning of his trek through the Divine Comedy.  The federal grand jury is one of the most…

  • 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…

  • Privilege

    Board Room, Bored Room and the Existential Horror of Styrofoam Coffee Cups: 13 Ways to Avoid Waiving Privilege in Corporate Meetings

    This discussion by Mark Herrmann at Above The Law — Law Firm Meetings Vs. Corporate Meetings, Meetings, Meeting, And Meetings! — is a wonderful set-piece about meetings.  Read the whole article, but here he compares law-firm meetings  corporate meetings: Corporations are different. They’re publicly traded. They’re often much larger than law firms. They’re divided into operational divisions with pyramidal structures, with many people reporting to fewer people who report to fewer people still who report to someone near the top. Put that all together, and it means meetings. And meetings. And meetings. And meetings. In fact, to my eye, there are four types of corporate meetings . . . . First, there…