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Most companies under criminal investigation by the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), eventually resolve their liability with the government short of going to trial, either by entering into a corporate leniency agreement or, more commonly, by pleading guilty to criminal antitrust charges under a corporate plea agreement. Foremost on the minds of corporate counsel when negotiating these agreements is ensuring that the company pays no criminal fine under leniency or as small a fine as possible under a plea agreement. But it is often equally important for the company to maximize the number of its employees covered by the corporate disposition, thereby eliminating the possibility that those employees will be individually prosecuted. The stakes are enormous for a company trying to obtain non-prosecution or immunity protection for the broadest number of its employees involved in what is commonly referred to as antitrust “cartel” conduct, such as price fixing. Even if a company is able to resolve its own criminal liability, it still cannot put the criminal investigation behind it when some current employees remain under investigation for months or years. Even worse, for those employees taking their chances at trial, the government will inevitably parade cooperating witnesses before the jury and highlight inflammatory company documents, publicly demonstrating the scope of the company’s wrongdoing.
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By Phil Brown
As we enter 2018, public companies across the United States will begin, in earnest, their preparations for this year’s proxy season and annual shareholder meetings. It is not an understatement to say that 2017 was a tumultuous year on many fronts — economically, politically and globally. As a result, general counsel should have several issues on their radar that could play a role in 2018’s proxy season.
The #MeToo movement has empowered victims of sexual harassment and abuse previously silenced by powerful business and political leaders. No longer silent, these victims are using their experiences to challenge the powerful and raze structures that have permitted abuse. We have compiled a panel of legal experts to analyze how the law and the legal profession failed the workplace. The panelists discuss legal and environmental conditions that led to abuse, and what lawyers and businesses can do to curb the powerful and protect the vulnerable.
By Sandra Feldman
This edition of the Quarterly State Compliance Review looks at some legislation of interest to corporate lawyers that went into effect from Oct.1, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018. It also looks at recent decisions of interest from Delaware.
By Thad McBride
The challenge for U.S. actors is how to comply with the law in the dynamic world of economic sanctions. This article tries to help by pointing out challenging (or “hot”) current issues and making suggestions about compliance strategies that in-house counsel can leverage to address the most challenging compliance issues.