DOJ Eyeing Executives in Corporate Misconduct Matters

Hot Under the Collar
– InsideCounsel

InsideCounsel interviewed Manatt's Kenneth Julian, a partner in the firm's Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense practice, for an article on the increasing number of top executives who have been placed on notice for criminal charges related to corporate misconduct.

InsideCounsel reports that at the center of this new push for criminal charges is a memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, putting executives on notice by letting them know that DOJ prosecutors are being encouraged to focus their attention on individuals who commit corporate wrongdoing, rather than just going after business entities.

"As far as enforcement goes, this appears to be a time of 'ready, fire, aim,'" said Julian. "A lot of investigations are commencing, and, for companies, that means they need to respond."

That response, said Julian, is quite important. "These things start with a subpoena and an investigation of allegations," he explains. "A fair number of cases don't go past the investigation stage, so it's important to pick someone with an understanding of the system to handle the investigation. We are in an environment where a lot of investigations are coming, but not many of them will reach the prosecution stage."