Monday, March 24, 2008

Deferred Prosecution in AB Volvo, et. al

The fact that AB Volvo entered into a deferred prosecution agreement was previously discussed here. Based upon this agreement it seems unlikely that there will be a company statement, at least one that has not first been vetted through the DOJ.  The deferred prosecution agreement in paragraph 14 states:

"14. Statements to the Media:  In connection with this Agreement, AB Volvo, Renault Trucks and VCE shall only issue a press release if they first determine that the text of the release is acceptable to the Department."

And it further looks like some of the terms of the agreement seriously diminish the attorney-client privilege rights. The Department reserved the right to ask for attorney-client privileged material.  And yes, the company can withhold them, but -

iii.   In the event that AB Volvo, Renault Trucks and VCE withhold access to the information, documents, records, facilities and/or employees, the Department may consider this fact in determining whether AB Volvo, Renault Trucks and VCE has fully cooperated with the Department."

And breaches of the agreement, it looks like the Department gets to decide that also, and the company loses some of their statute of limitation rights.   To view a copy of the agreement, see here -

Download newcomb_doc.pdf

If you find this agreement problematic from a contracts perspective, you'll probably be interested in this article by Professor Candace Zierdt (Stetson) and myself here.

(esp) (w/ a Stetson thank you to Librarian Whitney Curtis).

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