News & Analysis as of

Illinois Municipality Concludes Probe on Hostile Work Environment

Blowing the whistle does not always need to involve fraud and malfeasance. Sometimes a culture of apathy allows a hostile work environment to develop that can only be addressed with outside intervention. Employees and...more

Whistleblowers are important | Ensure yours understand their benefit

Over the last few years, we've seen how the power of whistleblowers can effect change, hold companies accountable and stop corruption. The spotlight on the critical role they could have played is seen in the absence of them...more

Appellate Federal Court Overturns District Court Ruling; Federal Government Contractor Must Disclose Internal Investigation...

In our current Williams Mullen Construction Industry News, the article titled “Federal Contractors” discussed a ruling on March 6, 2014 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordering a federal government...more

D.C. Appeals Court Upholds Privilege For Internal Investigation Preceding False Claims Act Litigation

The KBR decision should not be interpreted as a sign that internal investigations of regulatory compliance are privileged per se. Companies should keep the following principles in mind when conducting any internal...more

There Is No Bark to the Barko Case

I always enjoy listening to the legal “doomsayers” who love to propound hysterical claims in an effort to gain attention. It reminds me of little children screaming for attention. Unfortunately, in the case of lawyers...more

Lift-Off: Step-By-Step Procedures To Start An Internal Investigation (Part I Of IV)

Life is filled with consequences. As our parents told us (and we repeated to our own children), “Your decisions have consequences.” I am a bit reluctant to start a blog series on internal investigations with a...more

Federal Court Ruling Raises Questions About Privileged Nature Of Certain Internal Investigations

On March 6, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (“KBR”) must produce to a qui tam relator 89 documents relating to internal investigations...more

California Expands Protections for Employee Whistleblowers

Attention all employers with employees in California: On October 12, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 496, amending the whistleblower retaliation provisions set forth in section 1102.5 of...more

U.S. District Court Rules that Results of Internal Investigations Conducted in the Ordinary Course of Business are Not Privileged...

A recent decision by a federal district court raises concerns about the ability of companies to claim privilege over the results of internal investigations. In United States ex rel. Harry Barko v. Halliburton Company, et al.,...more

Board Investigations And The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb – Part II

Yesterday I began an exploration of a recent article in the Corporate Board magazine, entitled “Successful Board Investigations” by David Bayless and Tammy Albarrán, partners in the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP. In...more

Financial Institutions Practice - Quarterly Review (October 2013)

In This Issue: - “The Upfront Costs of Compliance Are Looking More Like a Bargain Every Day” and “How to Minimise the Risk of Insider Trading and Leaking of Material Information” (October-December), Risk &...more

Courts Conducting the Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is prevalent in the news. Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning captured our attention. As more claims emerge from workplaces, additional whistleblowing lawsuits are challenging the courts to define and interpret...more

Beware the False Claims Act, Whistleblowers, and the Importance of Internal Investigations

Companies that do business with the federal government must be cognizant of potential liability under the False Claims Act. Civil litigation may be inevitable at times as a result of occasional business disputes with...more

Litigation: Investigating whistleblower complaints: When whistleblowers raise issues, proceed with caution

Companies launch internal investigations based on information that comes from a variety of sources, including newspaper articles, government requests for information and information bubbling up from within the organization...more

Are You the Fox in the Henhouse? Whistleblower Protection in In-House Investigations

Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Serpico, Karen Silkwood, Jeffrey Wigand, Sharon Watkins and Floyd Landis — only a few names on the long list of people who blew the whistle on fraudulent business practices. In the past, whistleblowers...more

The Relationship between Procedural Justice and Resolving Employee Concerns

Today’s Ethics Resource Center (ERC) Fellows Program Survey, Encouraging Employee Reporting through Procedural Justice, noted the effects procedural justice can have on employee support for a hotline/helpline. Some of the...more

Global HR Hot Topic - April 2013: Internal Investigations in Overseas Workplaces

Challenge: In America, internal investigations into suspicions and allegations of employee misconduct follow an increasingly well-defined approach. But exporting US investigatory best practices raises unexpected...more

How Does Your Organization Treat Whistleblowers?

As almost everyone knows, Lance Armstrong spoke for the first time about his performance enhancing drug (PED) use recently on Oprah. On the first night he admitted for the first time that he used PEDs during his seven wins at...more

Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2012 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC" or the "Commission") and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") enforcement developments and cases regarding broker-dealers during...more

How To Prevent Whistleblower Complaints

In this era of whistleblower risk, companies need to prepare for whistleblower complaints which are made outside the company. Whistleblowers are not required to report complaints internally nor wait for any specific period...more

The Allianz FCPA Enforcement Action – What the Compliance Practitioner Needs to Know

Who is your favorite character from the Iliad? Is it Agamemnon the king who brings the Greek Armada to Troy for his brother’s honor; perhaps Ajax the mountain of a man who is the most loyal Greek warrior; how about Achilles...more

A Year-End Update on the UK Bribery Act

Although 2012 did not bring a major prosecution, it was not without note-worthy events. The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), on top of the withdrawal of previous Bribery Act guidance and the publication of new guidelines in...more

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