Internal Investigations

In a trio of speeches given at separate events on September 17, 2014, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) officials announced new initiatives and points of emphasis in the Government’s ongoing efforts to hold corporations and corporate officers criminally liable in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.  Among the issues addressed by Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall Miller, and Attorney General Eric Holder were increased coordination between the Civil and Criminal Divisions on qui tam False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases, an emphasis on corporations’ cooperation in prosecuting culpable individuals, and the importance of whistleblowers and cooperating witnesses in the government’s investigations.
Continue Reading Recent Remarks By Officials Reinforce DOJ’s Focus On Criminal Fraud Investigations And Prosecutions Of Culpable Individuals

By David Gallacher 

Last month we wrote about a provision in the proposed 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) that would have given the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) statutory authority to demand a company’s internal audit reports in order to audit the efficacy of a company’s internal business systems. Surprisingly, the authorization, as originally proposed, was modified in the final legislation. While Congress directed DCAA to issue new guidance regarding auditor access to internal audit reports, Congress stopped short of giving DCAA actual authority to demand such reports. As such, contractors will remain at loggerheads with DCAA auditors who try to exceed their statutory authority.


Continue Reading Smash & Grab Redux – Congress Seems to Give DCAA Permission But Forgets to Give It Authority

By David Gallacher 

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) has long sought access to contractors’ internal audit reports in connection with the routine audit of contractors’ business systems. Contractors have, in most cases, successfully resisted requests for such access on the grounds that DCAA has no statutory authority to request such documents. But that may soon change. Section 843 of the Senate version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254) would grant DCAA broad access to contractor internal audit information.


Continue Reading Smash & Grab – DCAA Poised to Gain Access to Contractor Internal Audit Reports

By Bora Rawcliffe 

In Banner Health System d/b/a Banner Estrella Medical Center, 358 N.L.R.B. No. 93 (2012), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer’s maintenance and application of a general confidentiality rule prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of employee misconduct violates Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.


Continue Reading NLRB Ruling Condemns Blanket Confidentiality Policies During Internal Investigations

By Robert M. P. Hurwitz

A good internal investigation gives equal scrutiny to people and processes. It may be easier to replace or reprimand the “bad apple” employee than to overhaul a system with which employees are familiar and has become ingrained in the operational culture. Nevertheless, it is increasingly vital that companies take a hard look at systems, structures, and processes. A recent opinion from the D.C. Circuit indicates that these organizational elements will be the next battleground in False Claims Act (“FCA”) litigation.
 


Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Rejects “Collective Knowledge” But Shines Spotlight on Processes

A recent California Court of Appeals case, Coito v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (March 4, 2010), highlights an important discrepancy between state and federal protection of attorney work product as it applies to witness statements. While the federal rules and case law support a qualified privilege with regard to such statements (requiring a showing of substantial need to permit discovery), the law applicable in state courts may differ. The court in Coito, as further discussed below, followed a line of California cases that place witness statements outside of the attorney work product doctrine.
 


Continue Reading Witness Statements: Attorney Work Product?