The past several years have witnessed an explosion in white collar criminal prosecutions. Evidence of this heightened level of enforcement is not hard to find: massively larger fines and monetary penalties, dramatically longer prison sentences for individuals, substantial increases in government staffing and enforcement budgets, and the unprecedented use of aggressive investigative techniques previously reserved for organized crime investigations. The breadth of recent enforcement cases is also remarkable: financial fraud and misconduct related to the financial crisis and mortgage meltdown, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Ponzi schemes, and insider trading, to name a few. And investigations that were once limited to the United States now frequently involve regulators and prosecutors across the globe.
This course will examine those developments and will focus on (1) case studies in corporate criminal law enforcement, including how federal law, emerging prosecutorial practices, and corporate cooperation guide and shape the resolution of white collar investigations; (2) evolving government expectations about the role of corporations and corporate counsel; (3) ethical and legal dilemmas in conducting a corporate investigation; (4) the emergence of the deferred prosecution agreement and efforts to regulate it; and (5) the black-letter law of corporate criminal liability, including the challenges posed by this standard for companies in light of the collateral consequences of indictment.
Note: This course will meet for the first half of the fall term.