Two recent developments - from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States Sentencing Commission - will have a noticeable impact on the structure and value of compliance and ethics programs. On May 19, 2010, US Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., issued a new department-wide policy on the charging and sentencing of federal crimes. The new policy departs from previous guidance by specifically emphasizing that all charging decisions, plea agreements and sentencing requests take into account an "individualized assessment" of the defendant's conduct and criminal history, the "circumstances relating to the commission of the offense," and the needs of the community and federal resources and priorities. This policy shift appears to give discretion to the prosecutor to evaluate a defendant's conduct, which discretion could include a review of an organization's compliance and ethics program as part of the "individualized assessment" of the appropriate charge to issue, plea to offer or sentence to request.
Also further demonstrating the value of a compliance program, the recent amendments to Section 8C2.5(f) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines provide that a business organization with a compliance program that meets four specified criteria may now be able to reap the sentencing-mitigation benefit of an effective program in the face of wrong-doing by its high-level personnel.
Please join us for a 60-minute webinar addressing these developments and their impact on interactions with the DOJ. Some of the topics to be addressed include:
- Potential impact of the new policy on the charging and sentencing of corporations
- The November 1, 2010 amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines
- What an "effective" compliance program looks like under the amended guidelines
- How the amended guidelines affect a corporation's decision to self-report
Instructions for accessing the program will be sent prior to the event.