• Grand Jury,  Search Warrants

    Search Warrants, Subpoenas, and Danish Existentialism

    The “what-to-do-when-the-FBI-shows up” spiel is, admittedly, a well-worn trope on the white-collar panel-discussion circuit, a talk accompanied by coffee in styrofoam cups (in the morning) or dry chicken-breasts on buffet steam-tables (in the evening).  Unless the audience is virginal in its dalliance with law enforcement, the shock effect of talking about search warrants is lost, and the delivery becomes boring, leading us to that nineteenth-century Danish existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard. Yet, the subject is a serious one for corporations and for individual businesspersons.  As we have noted before, law-enforcement techniques — including search warrants — that were once limited to organized crime, drug dealers or motorcycle gangs are now used with…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Impeachment

    Congressional Investigations, Criminal Cases and The Knights Who Say “Ni!”

    We are heading into what appears to be a summer of investigations along the Potomac, some of them in the House and Senate.  What are some of the things we might reasonably expect to see as investigations congressional and criminal cross paths?  And what does Monty Python have to do with it? Previously, I shared a few lessons about congressional investigations. First, the short-version video: Jack Sharman – Learning in Congress from Legal Filmworks Unlimited on Vimeo. Second, a longer how-to approach for lawyers and clients in a congressional investigation: In particular: We are in the summer months.  We have written before about  summer hearings: As a former oversight-and-investigations lawyer for…

  • Crime Fiction,  Deferred Prosecution Agreements,  Grand Jury,  Lawyers,  Poetry,  SEC,  Style and Grammar

    The Freedom of Little Joe Cartwright: Tax Crime, Edgar Allan Poe, Noir Film and Lacrosse

    Notes for the week. Prosecuting Individuals Federal criminal tax lawyer Jack Townsend blogs at Federal Tax Crimes.  Here is his note on Prosecuting Corporate Employees, particularly in the tax context: I have previously blogged on Professor Brandon Garrett (UVA Law) who have carved out an academic niche on how the Government deals with corporate crime, particularly large corporate crime (the too big to jail group). See e.g., Judge Jed Rakoff Reviews Brandon Garrett’s Book on Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 2/10/15), here. At the risk of oversimplifying his arguments, I summarize them in part relevant to this blog entry: When the Government goes…

  • Congressional Investigations

    Lessons From An Ex-Congressional Lawyer

    Almost two decades ago, I learned several lessons as a Congressional lawyer, some more useful than others.  Here is a 59-second summary of the better lessons. Let’s go over a few more lessons that might be useful, should you or your client be summoned to appear before a House or Senate Committee. The Lessons of Congressional Peculiarities A document request or interview demand from Congressional investigatory staff could be a one-time, narrowly-focused inquiry or part of a complex investigatory broadside – involving simultaneous civil, criminal and congressional investigations into a company (or its employees) or even an entire industry.  Examples in recent times include antitrust, food-and-drug, environmental, financial and corporate-governance…

  • Bank Fraud,  Securities Fraud

    Would You Buy A Subpoena Response From This Man?

    Always pay attention when the Department of Justice becomes enthusiastic about a long-neglected statute.  (The federal False Claims Act was dormant for almost a century).  Here is a sound, short article by Professor Peter J. Henning of Wayne State University Law School on a “new toy” for the Government: U.S. Finds Fresh Use for Seldom-Used Statute in Subprime Cases.  In discussing the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (or “FIRREA”), the federal law enacted in response to the savings-and-loan crisis, Professor Henning notes: Firrea is not just a penalty provision, however, because it also authorizes the Justice Department to pursue civil investigations into potential violations. Rather than just using it…

  • Evidence,  Fourth Amendment

    Subpoenas, Search Warrants and the Dead

    The Grateful Dead were succinct about it:   “Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again/I’d like to get some sleep before I travel/But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in” (from “Truckin”) (1970). Here is a piece about subpoenas and search warrants for risk managers.  Short and free. Videos included.  Also free.  No Jerry Garcia, though: On May 2, Jack Sharman spoke at the Spring Meeting of the Alabama Society for Healthcare Risk Management. As a member of the Firm’s White-Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations practice, Jack has represented physicians, physician-practices, nurses and other healthcare providers in criminal, civil and administrative investigations. Jack spoke…