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Ratted out by your employer



Forbes has an account of how corporate compliance culture is changing in response to the notorious 2003 enforcement policy memo by the Justice Department's Larry Thompson. Companies now routinely cooperate with prosecutions of their employees as a way of saving their own skins. Remember that seemingly friendly conversation you had with your company lawyer? Its contents can and will be used against you, because attorney-client privilege runs only between the lawyer and your joint employer, not between the lawyer and you -- and prosecutors will arm-twist your employer to waive that confidentiality. For more, see our Mar. 13 entry.

More: Skip Oliva of the Voluntary Trade Council writes to say:

I am currently working on a paper discussing how the DOJ's Antitrust Division has used its "Corporate Leniency Program" to encourage corporate officers and employees to expose their firms to civil antitrust litigation in order to avoid individual criminal charges. The Division automatically awards "amnesty" -- it's really just an extra-constitutional pardon -- to the first company that admits its role in a so-called price-fixing cartel. Scott Hammond, the Division's head of criminal enforcement, has openly bragged that employees are "rushing to his door" to admit wrongdoing even *before* a company is fully aware of its own conduct. The idea is for companies to secure their place in the amnesty line before there's time for anyone to assert their constitutional rights against self-incrimination. This is why you'll rarely see cartel cases go to trial.

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.