Posted by: bridget | 13 December 2006

Sarbanes-Oxley

Federal prosecutors are now discouraged from pressuring companies to disclose confidential information while under investigation for SOX violations.  Formerly, prosecutors could use lack of cooperation in turning over priveleged discussions with attorneys as a basis for an indictment.  Prosecutors also frowned upon companies who paid the legal fees for employees under investigation.

Given that indictment can mean the end of business, a company has little reason to assert its rights – the Pyrrhic victory would cause it to win the Constitutional battle but lose the war.  Given the complexity of SOX legal issues, a company that pays for an attorney for its employees is acting both in the best interests of the employee and the best interests of justice: we can hardly expect that most employees would be able to afford a corporate/white collar crime attorney, and a public defender would lack the expertise to effectually defend someone accused of a SOX violation.

A pachyderm raised trunk to the new guidelines.

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