Monday, June 26, 2006
The American Bar Association (ABA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have not exactly been on the same side on all issues these days. And this seems odd as DOJ is made up of attorneys and the ABA is an attorney organization.
For one, the ABA opposed the DOJ policy on waivers of the attorney-client privilege (see here)
And now the DOJ is proceeding against the ABA asking a court for civil contempt on a consent decree previously signed. According to a DOJ press release here, it sounds like the parties have reached an agreement. The press release states in part:
"The Department of Justice filed a petition today asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to hold the American Bar Association (ABA) in civil contempt for violating multiple provisions of a 1996 antitrust consent decree. The consent decree prohibited the ABA from misusing the law school accreditation process. The Department also filed a proposed order and a stipulation in which the ABA acknowledges the violations alleged in the Department's petition and agrees to reimburse the United States $185,000 in fees and costs incurred in the Department's investigation. The proposed order is subject to court approval. . . . "
Looking at some of the items on the list, like "-Obtain annual certifications from certain ABA staff and volunteers that they agree to abide by the decree and are not aware of any violations," - it sounds like the ABA may be implementing a compliance program.