Too often people argue as though they are in front of a judge, or some other cosmic arbiter of correctness, rather than asking ourselves what might move our opponent. In this edition of OIG Shorts, the Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP Organizational Integrity Group explains that to increase our chances of moving our opponent, we need to recalibrate our goals, rethink our strategy, and reframe the discussion.Continue Reading Organizational Integrity Shorts: The Science of Persuasion
Investigations are stressful for an organization’s leadership. But what is often overlooked is that they are stressful for an organization’s employees as well. The need-to-know nature of internal investigations usually restricts knowledge of the investigation’s character, scope, and potential consequences to a relatively small circle of senior management. But the employees who fall within the scope of the investigation will often know little about what’s going on, which can generate anxiety, impair morale, and create tensions in the workplace, further leading to negative repercussions for the organization that persist long after the investigation has been closed.Continue Reading The Close-Out Debrief
At the Global Investigations Review Annual Meeting in New York on September 21, 2023, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Marshall Miller (“Miller”) delivered remarks that provide an invaluable glimpse into the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ’s”) current and forthcoming priorities and initiatives on corporate criminal enforcement. Miller’s remarks shed light on various key areas of DOJ’s enforcement focus, including DOJ’s continued encouragement of voluntary self-disclosure and increasing attention towards safeguarding national security interests. Miller also emphasized DOJ’s commitment to consistency, predictability and transparency in its corporate enforcement work with an aim that such commitment will help companies better predict outcomes for certain criminal violations and implement robust compliance programs to prevent criminal prosecution. Continue Reading A Look into DOJ’s Current Corporate Criminal Enforcement Landscape
In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in news of cyber-related False Claims Act (“FCA”) activity. For example, on September 1, 2023, the court unsealed a qui tam lawsuit against Penn State University relating to allegations of non-compliance with Department of Defense (“DoD”) cybersecurity obligations. Separately, on September 5, 2023, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a multi-million dollar FCA settlement with Verizon under its Civil-Cyber Fraud Initiative (which focuses on leveraging the FCA to pursue cybersecurity related fraud by government contractors and grant recipients, as we previously discussed here). These and other cases suggest—as many had been speculating—that the number of enforcement actions and publicity associated with previously-sealed qui tam cases will continue to increase. They also signal that contractors and universities should brace for additional scrutiny and potential whistleblower claims in this area.Continue Reading Recent Cyber-Related False Claims Act Activity Signals Contractors and Universities Should Examine Their Cybersecurity Practices and Brace for an Uptick in Enforcement
In the 10th edition of the “OIG Shorts” series, Sheppard Mullin’s Organizational Integrity Group continues its exploration of a number of complex compliance matters with a discussion on Setting the Table for Good Decision-Making: And Making Sure the Chief Legal Officer Has a Seat at It. This post discusses why it’s important that Chief Legal Officers and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officers have meaningful, real-time involvement in the key legal, organizational, reputational, and business discussions/decisions of their companies, as well as direct access to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board.Continue Reading Organizational Integrity Shorts: A Seat at the Table
This month, Sheppard Mullin’s Organizational Integrity Group continued its exploration of a number of complex compliance matters as part of their “OIG Shorts” series with a discussion on Understanding the Various Layers of a Targeted Compliance Program. This post discusses the importance of a targeted, multi-layered compliance program focused at individual deals, sales, contracts, etc. – as distinguished from the equally important company-wide E&C program previously discussed.Continue Reading Organizational Integrity Shorts: Understanding the Various Layers of a Targeted Compliance Program
In the first installment of our cybersecurity series, we discussed the importance of developing and implementing practical Information Security policies and procedures within your organization as well as the ethical and legal obligations you have to protect sensitive data within the organization.Continue Reading Cybersecurity Incident Response
On February 22, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new nation-wide policy to incentivize companies to self-report criminal activity. Among the cited benefits of self-reporting are discounts on fines and non-prosecution agreements. This new policy arrives on the heels of the “Monaco Memo,” issued in September 2022 by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, which directed each prosecutorial DOJ component to review its policies on corporate voluntary self-disclosures and update to reflect the guidance’s core principles. The policy also is in addition to guidance from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who in December 2022 emphasized prosecutorial leniency in criminal cases. Together, these memos show a shift from prior administrations, which emphasized prosecuting the “most serious, readily provable offense,” not leniency for self-disclosures. Notably, the new policy does not impact individual actors, who, since the 2015 Yates Memo, still are a DOJ priority. Indeed, the new policy emphasizes that crediting voluntary self-disclosure by companies will help DOJ “ensure individual accountability” for individual criminal conduct. We break down key elements of the DOJ’s policy below, including our quick thoughts on how this policy may impact corporate decisions going forward.Continue Reading Corporate Voluntary Self-Disclosure of Criminal Activity: More of the Same or a Real Sea Change?
Over the past few months, the OIG shorts series focused on structuring and implementing a comprehensive and effective ethics and compliance program. Many times, this requires a mindset shift from a checking-the-box mentality to a wholistic approach in which everyone feels they have an important role to play. Nowhere is this more apropos than in the area of cybersecurity including developing a data security strategy and maintaining an effective incident response plan.Continue Reading Ethics & Compliance: Let’s Talk About Cybersecurity
This blog was originally published in Law360.
On November 18, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila sentenced Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes to over 11 years in…Continue Reading When Organizational Culture Goes Wrong: A Federal Judge’s Vivid Description of Cultural Decay Inside Theranos
There is a compliance obligation that is sometimes honored in the breach: regular compliance self‐assessments. In this edition of OIG Shorts, the Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP Organizational Integrity…Continue Reading Organizational Integrity Shorts: Compliance Self-Assessments