Internal Investigations

Scales of JusticeAll too often, corporations and executives trying to “do the right thing” find little preventative guidance coming from the Department of Justice. Companies seeking to ensure their corporate compliance programs are robust enough to withstand government scrutiny frequently must resort to reviewing the United States Sentencing Guidelines or prior Non-Prosecution Agreements or Deferred Prosecution Agreements for guidance.

Recently, though, the DOJ Fraud Section quietly issued additional information about how DOJ prosecutors evaluate a company’s compliance program in “conducting an investigation of a corporate entity, determining whether to bring charges, and negotiating plea or other agreements.” The guidance was issued on February 8, 2017, and was not accompanied by so much as a press release or other public statement. Titled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” it can be found in full here.

Continue Reading DOJ’s New Guidance on Compliance Programs

Corporations conducting internal investigations need to be wary that information learned and materials generated in the course of these investigations may later fall into the hands of adversaries in litigation.

A recent decision by a federal district court, United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Company, et al., demonstrates this pitfall. Continue Reading Avoiding Privilege Pitfalls: Barko Calls for Caution