Thursday, March 5, 2009
The lunch speaker was Neil M. Barofsky of The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program ("SIGTARP"), who provided an entertaining and informative presentation that outlined the criminal activity that this office could prosecute. I stopped counting how many times he used the word "transparency" but I assure you it seemed like a good number. The website for the office is here. His conclusion was to remind attorneys that they should make sure that their retainer does not come from TARP funds.
Alice Fisher moderated a panel on corporate charging decisions that provided a primer on the history of the corporate guidelines. There was also discussion of differences between non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements. Two statistics (if I caught them correctly) 1) of the 100 corporations under investigation, not one was asked to waive attorney-client privilege; 2) 75% of deferred prosecution agreements have a compliance element. I found the first statistic amusing - if you have a corporation's back against the wall (indict and suffer the consequences, or sign a deferred prosecution agreement) there really is no need to ask for anything - it will all be delivered. This is especially true if you have guidelines that still allow for waivers in some situations, even if the waiver is the exception as opposed to the rule. But I am sure some will disagree with me on this.
(esp)(blogging from San Francisco)