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In an environment of aggressive federal prosecution and regulation both businesses and public officials are challenged to identify the permissible line between proper financial transactions — things like campaign contributions and business entertainment — and unlawful payments. And, in what the First Circuit called a “novel theory of Hobbs Act extortion,” public officials now have to struggle with the scope of permissible advocacy — when does advocacy for constituents become extortion? United States v. Brissette, 919 F.3d 670, 684 (2019).
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By Jacqueline C. Wolff, Scott T. Lashway, and Matthew M.K. Stein
In times of crisis, criminal activity — particularly crimes involving theft and fraud — tend to spike. There is no reason to believe that the Covid-19 pandemic and the unrest in the financial markets will be any different. An important difference for company counsel, however, will be in how the malfeasance, negligence or wrongdoing can be investigated.
By John Kelly
The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in landlords and tenants closely reviewing a clause in their lease that was long considered unimportant boilerplate. Yes, we are referring to the “force majeure” provision.
By C. Ryan Barber
In a practice that prizes in-person meetings, virtual communication has become commonplace.
By Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan Sack
This article discusses the standard for ordering a bill of particulars in the Second Circuit, drawing a comparison with the standard for civil fraud claims, and then describes a recent decision ordering a bill of particulars in the high-profile prosecution growing out of the Theranos blood-testing scandal. The decision in that case highlights the importance of seeking bills of particulars in fraud cases.