Melissa Jampol Discusses How Criminal Cases Against Companies Could Play Out in Court


Melissa L. Jampol, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Forbes, in “How a Trump Organization Indictment Could Play Out in Court,” by Zach Everson.

Following is an excerpt:

A Manhattan grand jury returned criminal indictments against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, on Wednesday, according to a report in the Washington Post that cited people familiar with the matter.

The defendants are expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon to face charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The charges will remain sealed until then, The Washington Post reported. …

Here’s a road map for how events could play out.

First of all, what does it mean when a corporation is indicted?

Criminal cases against companies function similarly to lawsuits in civil court, with an attorney usually appearing in the business’s stead …

Other potential regulatory fallout includes losing professional licenses and being barred from government contracts, according to Melissa Jampol, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green who previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney and led investigative teams in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

What happens next?

The first step after an indictment is discovery, when the prosecution and defense exchange information about a case. A New York state law enacted in early 2020 requires district attorneys to provide defendants with “all items and information that relate to the subject matter of the case” within 45 days. This law was a major shift from previous regulations and is much less prosecutor-friendly than discovery rules are in federal court, Jampol said.

The district attorney’s office, however, does have an option for respite: it can ask the judge for a protective order that would temporarily shield some information that’s normally subject to discovery (such as if it is relevant to an ongoing investigation).