Internal Investigations Continue To Be Hot Topics
By: Douglas K. Rosenblum
On March 6 through 8, 2013, Marc Raspanti, Joseph Mancano, James Kraus, and Douglas Rosenblum of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti attended the 2013 ABA National Institute on White Collar Crime. One of the most well attended seminars was entitled “Dos and Don’ts of Internal Corporate Inquiry.” The panel, moderated by Michael A. Collora, highlighted the importance of carefully planned and executed internal investigations. A unique perspective was offered by panel member Douglas Lankler, Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance and Risk Officer of Pfizer, Inc. Mr. Lankler shared experiences of internal investigations spawned by internally identified issues, as well as those instituted following receipt of subpoenas.
Regardless of why an internal investigation is commenced, cost and timing are crucial considerations for counsel and the client. There are many methods by which to conduct investigations, but it is a best practice to have a written policy in place. This will avoid the inevitable questions by the government at a later time regarding why certain steps were taken or not. It is equally as important to be mindful of the audience. Will a report of the investigation be disclosed to the government? Should a written report even be created? As government enforcement of criminal fraud statutes continues to increase, it is a wise client who chooses counsel that is well versed in these topics.