Melissa L. Jampol (Member of the Firm, New York), Chelsea E. Ott (Associate, New York), and Clay T. Lee (Associate, Nashville) authored an article in Law360, titled “The DOJ's Current White Collar Priorities.”
Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full article in PDF format):
The primary theme from Miner’s speech is that the DOJ believes that companies should take affirmative steps to discover, and actually do something about any misconduct uncovered, in order to receive the benefits of voluntary self-disclosure. As such, legal and compliance departments must:
- Immediately put a stop to any misconduct once it is revealed;
- Fully investigate any alleged wrongdoing;
- Fully cooperate with the government and share all known information about individuals implicated in the improper behavior;
- Make appropriate enhancements to compliance programs to mitigate opportunities for similar misconduct in the future; and
- Pay restitution.
The advantages of voluntary self-disclosure are significant, but Miner’s comments must also be appreciated for the difficult work that quality cooperation entails. That is to say, cooperation must be complete, the investigation thorough, proper controls must be instituted (including proper audits and a strong commitment by a board of directors to compliance). Moreover, the DOJ has emphasized that the corrective actions taken after a problem is identified must be proportional and reasoned to prevent wrongdoing from reoccurring.