July 08, 2019

CUA Law Professor Sarah H. Duggin recently co-authored an article entitled “Ethical Rules and Professional Liability Risks of Business Lawyers Advising on Executive Protection Programs” with Steven Braga, Adam P. Schwartz, and James Wing. The article appears in the American Bar Association publication Business Law Today.

Ethical Rules and Professional Liability Risks of Business Lawyers Advising on Executive Protection Programs

Business Law Today
June 28, 2019
By: Sarah H. Duggin, Stephen Braga, Adam P. Schwartz, James Wing

“Cooperation Revolution” Shifts Focus to Executives and Managers

In 1999, then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued an internal Justice Department memo entitled: Bringing Criminal Charges Against Corporations. It laid the groundwork for policies that allowed more leeway in bringing criminal charges against large firms.

By 2002, the Enron and WorldCom failures had occurred, and Arthur Andersen had imploded after it was indicted. The firm was ultimately acquitted of criminal misconduct, but innocent partners, employees, and others suffered severe losses as a result of Andersen’s demise.

Congress acted promptly. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) became law in 2002, with the express goal of improving the quality of public company financial reporting. SOX imposed on senior executives enhanced disclosure and certification obligations, eliminated accountants’ potential conflicts of interest, and established a new federal regulatory body, the PCAOB, to police the quality of public company audits. The ABA created a task force to consider the impact of SOX on executives. That task force later became the Director's and Officer's Liability Committee of the Business Law Section.

Click here to read the full article.