“Staying In or Going Out When the Government Comes a-Knockin’,” Inside Counsel
“[R]emember the adage ‘the cover-up is worse than the crime’? Many have been investigated or convicted for obstruction of justice or impeding an investigation even when there is no conviction on the underlying allegation. As discussed in our previous article, regulators and prosecutors are targeting in-house counsel when they believe the entity or in-house counsel is covering something up.”
In Part II of a three-part series, Colleen M. Murphy, an attorney in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, continues the discussion of the targeting of in-house counsel by regulators and prosecutors when they believe the entity or in-house counsel is covering something up.
In this installment, Colleen and co-author Aaron J. Aisen analyze the Stevens case, recognizing that it is notable for several important reasons.
“First, this case shows the relative ease with which regulators and prosecutors can go after an in-house counsel if they feel the counsel is not cooperating with the investigation. Second, the court noted that one reason why Ms. Stevens was acquitted was because she did engage outside counsel. Third, like other legal practices, responding to government inquiries requires skill and experience to ensure it is done correctly. Finally, by going after the in-house counsel, the regulator/prosecutor can access otherwise privileged records by employing the crime-fraud exception. This can impact the entity as a whole.”