Public Officials

News & Analysis as of

Pros and cons of “resign to run” laws for elected officials

During this election season, we thought it would be timely to bring up what are commonly referred to as “resign to run” laws. So-called “resign to run” laws require that before an elected official may run for a different...more

John Edwards argues before the Texas Supreme Court on important libel case that started in 2003

Houston partner John K. Edwards recently argued before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend County...more

DOJ Moves to Dismiss Public Corruption Charges Against Former VA Governor

Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia moved to dismiss public corruption charges against former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, and his wife, Maureen McDonnell. The decision comes...more

The Ethics Advisor: The Details Matter — Recusing Yourself Due to Conflict of Interest

Once, when I had put a lot of time and attention into arranging the particulars of social engagement, an old acquaintance called me a “detallista.” At the time, I think she may have meant it more as a slight than a...more

Dismissal of Charges Against Former Virgina Governor McDonnell is Another Lesson in Prosecutorial Discretion

On September 8, 2016, the United States moved to dismiss the charges against Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell. The reason given for the decision was short but thoughtful: "After carefully considering the...more

Expansive Korean Anti -Corruption Law Comes into Force

Korea to introduce “Kim Young-ran Act,” significantly expanding the scope of the anti-corruption regulatory framework. The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act of Korea (the Act), commonly known as the “Kim Young-ran...more

Anti-Corruption Laws and Other International Risks – What it Means for the Real Estate Industry and How to Protect Against Risks

Real estate investment involves many risks with which real estate investment managers are familiar. These range from “micro” risks, such as tenant disputes and defective property maintenance, to “macro risks” such as negative...more

Recent changes to City of Toronto Lobbying By-law

The City of Toronto has changed its rules around the lobbying of public office holders. These recent changes include new rules for consultant lobbyists and the information they must disclose regarding their clients,...more

Awaiting the Finale: France’s Debate Over Its New Anti-Corruption Law

France will soon change the anti-corruption landscape with a new law aimed at reducing foreign bribery. Finance Minister Michel Sapin introduced the new law in July 2015 with hopes of aligning France’s efforts with those of...more

Cert. Petition Seeks to Clarify “Public Official” Under New York Times v. Sullivan

More than 50 years ago, the Supreme Court issued its foundational First Amendment decision New York Times v. Sullivan. The Court held in Sullivan that the First Amendment protects all published statements about public...more

Laws and Legal Reforms against Corruption Are Approved

Derived from the historic constitutional reform which created the National Anticorruption System (“SNA”) in May 2015, the Mexican Congress approved a group of laws that comprises the legal framework that will make effective...more

The FCPA Implications of the Supreme Court’s McDonnell Decision – A Mountain Out of a Molehill?

The Supreme Court’s decision in the McDonnell case was expected. It was evident that the Supreme Court was going to reverse the convictions when it granted a stay of McDonnell’s sentence and agreed to hear the case....more

The Ethics Advisor: It’s Getting Hot in Here

Ah, summertime. Beaches, BBQs, visits with familia, ethics developments, balmy nights … Wait – ethics? Yes, it’s true. The world of ethics and conflicts of interest es muy caliente this summer, with a couple of...more

"Supreme Court Vacates Corruption Conviction of Former Virginia Governor"

On June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court unanimously vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on corruption charges and remanded the case for retrial. As discussed below, the impact of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reins In Government's Expansive Interpretation of Bribery Charges

Last week, in McDonnell v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the bribery convictions of Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia. In doing so, the unanimous Court rejected prosecutors’ expansive...more

Even Though the Supremes Vacated Former Governor McDonnell’s Bribery Conviction, Don’t Even Think of Ditching Your Ethics...

The Supreme Court of the United States voted unanimously on June 27, 2016, to vacate former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s conviction under the federal honest services and extortion statutes. In doing so, the eight...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Who is Liable for Prosecution for Misuse of Public Funds

California Supreme Court Clarifies Who is Liable for Prosecution for Misuse of Public Funds - A public official need not be in charge of public funds to be convicted of misappropriating them, the California Supreme Court...more

Federal and State Public Official Prosecutions Intertwined

For everyone who makes a living trying to influence – or just to understand – state public policy, the most important Supreme Court decision of the year may have been one of the last decisions it issued. On the last day...more

U.S. Targets Private Equity Funds for FCPA Scrutiny

The private equity industry is facing increased scrutiny by the U.S. Government for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has created a new private...more

The McDonnell Case: Limitations on public corruption prosecutions and a victory for the social compact of representative...

On Monday June 27, 2016, the US Supreme Court published a unanimous opinion reinforcing what is quickly becoming a contemporary trend in both public corruption and campaign finance regulation cases across the country. By...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses McDonnell Conviction

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court handed former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell a big victory by reversing his 2014 conviction for “accepting payments, loans, gifts, and other things of value from [Johnnie]...more

Supreme Court Narrows Interpretation Of Federal Corruption Statute

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, narrowing the definition of an “official act” in federal corruption cases. McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474 (2016)....more

Supreme Court’s Interpretation of “Official Act” Poses New Challenge

The Court’s narrower interpretation of “official act” under the federal bribery statute creates a higher hurdle for federal prosecutors....more

Supreme Court Overturns Former VA Governor’s Conviction Based on Narrowed Federal Bribery Definition

On June 27, 2016, in an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the Fourth Circuit the conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell on honest services fraud charges and charges that Governor...more

The Supreme Court did not Condone the Conduct when it Vacated the Virginia Governor’s Conviction for Bribery

“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferrari’s, Rolex’s and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the...more

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