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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense

A Blog About Current Issues in White Collar Defense

One of the hardest decisions on which a lawyer may be called upon to advise a client in civil litigation is the decision whether to assert the Fifth Amendment privilege. On the one hand, the overlap between pending civil and criminal matters may make it dangerous for the client to make statements that could incriminate him or her in the criminal case. On the other hand, while the assertion of a Fifth Amendment right in a criminal case may not be used against a defendant, the assertion of that right in civil litigation may permissibly lead to an adverse inference against the client in that lawsuit. There are a variety of strategies for dealing with this tension, including seeking a stay of the civil proceeding or a more limited protective order in the civil litigation. While there are many approaches to dealing with these issues, a recent case in Nevada reinforced the lesson that blanket assertion of the Fifth Amendment may actually harm the client’s interest more than helping it.... Read more

If there was ever an open question as to whether forensic handwriting identification is admissible under D.C.’s common law of evidence, the D.C. Court of Appeals has finally put that question to rest. On February 9, 2012, the Court of Appeals held that handwriting comparison and identification, as practiced by FBI examiners, passes the Frye… Read More

Successful criminal prosecutions of mortgage fraud seem to have one thing in common: a fraud figure well below $10 million. One of the recent cases that generated a fair amount of press involved the convictions of co-conspirators in a mortgage scheme carried out by an ex-NFL player. That scheme, which took place during the housing… Read More

A couple of years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice made an effort to systematize and improve its discovery obligations under Brady v. Maryland, the 1963 Supreme Court case that requires prosecutors to disclose information in their files that would tend to exculpate criminal defendants. A U.S. attorney, speaking at a conference of defense lawyers,… Read More

A dramatic, headline-grabbing white-collar crime sting in January 2010 involved the arrest of 22 executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry – and ultimately led only to a series of acquittals and mistrials, causing many to wonder whether the case should have been brought at all. After two trials… Read More

After a nearly decade-long legal battle, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to dismiss once and for all the privacy suit of Richard Convertino, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit who alleges that the DOJ illegally gave the press details of an internal investigation into his alleged misconduct. In February 2004, Convertino filed a… Read More

We previously wrote about the broad protests over two bills in Congress targeting online copyright infringement – the House’s Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). We were pleased that the protests and other activities were effective in ending efforts to pass those versions of the legislation. The protests… Read More

A U.S. District Court in Colorado recently considered whether the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination extends to the compelled production of decrypted computer files. It is beyond dispute that the government may not force a suspect to provide an encryption password if the password would provide a necessary link in the chain of evidence leading to… Read More

On February 7, 2012, the D.C. Council voted 10-2 to repeal the city’s iGaming program, which would have made the District of Columbia the first U.S. jurisdiction to permit the playing of online poker for money. In April 2011, the District had become the first U.S. jurisdiction to enact a law that permitted online poker… Read More

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January 31, 2012

Private Suits Under FCPA — An Ill-Advised Idea

By: Ifrah Law

Late last year, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to permit private suits against certain foreign companies and individuals. The bill, entitled the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act of 2011,” would significantly alter the landscape of FCPA enforcement, and not… Read More

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