Tuesday, February 14, 2017
As many readers know, I am heavily involved in planning international white collar crime conferences with the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. These have become wonderful learning and networking opportunities for those with an interest in the many issues in the field that transcend national boundaries.
I’m excited to announce the next international conference offering will occur on April 5, 2017 in Hong Kong. The event will focus on Global Investigations and Compliance: From Regulatory Trends to Leveraging Innovation and Technology. I expect this conference to be a wonderful compliment to the successful Global White Collar Crime Institute the American Bar Association held in Shanghai in 2015. If you attended the Shanghai event, I hope you will join us again and reconnect with the many colleagues and contacts you established at that earlier conference. If you were not in attendance in Shanghai, I hope you will join us in Hong Kong and be introduced to the growing network of international professionals making these American Bar Association white collar conferences an important part of their network.
Seating is limited for this event, and I hope you will register today to reserve your spot (click here to register). I look forward to seeing many of you in April.
Official ABA Event Description
PwC Hong Kong and the American Bar Association are hosting a full day seminar with four robust panel discussions followed by a networking reception. The panel sessions will focus on a number of pertinent topics, such as exploring regulatory updates, international investigations, navigating cross-jurisdictional issues in Southeast Asia, and the future of blockchain technology in compliance programs. The content for these panels will be delivered by leading experts, including prominent attorneys in the US and Asia, US regulators, consulting professionals, corporate executives, professors, and others. The target attendees for this event are international and Hong Kong/China based legal and corporate professionals focused on white collar crime and compliance.
· Regulatory Update: Recent Trends in Enforcement
· Current State of International Investigations
· Navigating Cross-Jurisdictional Issues in the South Asian Market
· Block-chain Technology: What does it mean for the Future of Compliance Programs?
More information here.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
According to the Jamaica Observer, the U.S. State Department has agreed to assist Jamaica in introducing bargained justice into its criminal justice system. From the article:
The justice minister said that changes are to be made to the Criminal Justice (Plea Negotiations and Agreement) Act in order to make the legislation more effective and to speed up the pace at which justice is delivered to Jamaicans.
The Act, which was introduced in 2006 and amended in 2010, allows individuals accused of crimes to plead guilty and give testimony or information in return for a reduced penalty.
Minister Chuck explained that the amendments will, among other things, allow for the defence counsel to be a part of the plea bargaining process and to negotiate with the prosecutor and judge regarding the sentence to be imposed.
“If the accused knows that following a trial he can receive a sentence of 10 or 15 years, and he also knows that his defence counsel can bargain with the judge and get five years instead of 10 years, there is a real likelihood that he may accept the plea,” Minister Chuck explained.
“If there is an agreement, the matter can be dealt with right away. Always in this plea bargaining process, it will be under the jurisdiction of the judge, who must have the final say,” he noted further.
Minister Chuck said that plea bargaining is not intended to “soften” the justice system, noting that sentencing guidelines will be in place to ensure that justice is served.
Interestingly, the article indicates that Jamaican Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, explained that the "principle of plea bargaining was a time-honoured common law tradition...." As readers of this blog will know, my 2012 article entitled Bargained Justice (available for free download here) traces the history of plea bargaining and reveals it is a relatively modern American phenomenon dating back mainly to the early 20th century and rising to dominance in the second half of the 20th century. As many countries begin to adopt plea bargaining (See e.g. Japan - discussed here), I hope some of the important lessons we have learned about the psychology of plea bargaining will be considered as new laws and rules of criminal procedure are drafted in these various jurisdictions (For example, see The Innocent Defendant's Dilemma (available for free download here)).
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The New York Times published an article earlier this year entitled Trial by Jury, a Hallowed American Right, Is Vanishing. It is well worth a read. The piece examines the rarity of trials at the federal level and includes observations from some of the country's most prominent judges.
From the opening of the article:
From the opening of the article:
The criminal trial ended more than two and a half years ago, but Judge Jesse M. Furman can still vividly recall the case. It stands out, not because of the defendant or the subject matter, but because of its rarity: In his four-plus years on the bench in Federal District Court in Manhattan, it was his only criminal jury trial.Click here for the entire article.
He is far from alone.
NPR has an interesting story about juvenile defendants lacking legal advice and often being urged to plead guilty. From the beginning of the piece:
Everybody knows when you are accused of a crime, you get a lawyer. But in practice, that is not the case for thousands of kids. The Justice Department says about half the young people locked up in detention facilities never had an attorney. And now, a new report finds that even when juveniles do get legal advice, it often comes from lawyers who urge them to plead guilty.Click here to listen to the entire NPR story.
Friday, July 22, 2016
In May of 2016, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform held a day-long symposium entitled The Enforcement Maze: Over-Criminalizing American Enterprise. Here is the description from the NACDL website:
"The day-long symposium featured key leaders from industry, academy, law, and policy across the political spectrum. Together they addressed the rise of overcriminalization, the inappropriate criminalizing of civil and regulatory matters, why laws need criminal intent requirements, fundamental flaws with the plea bargaining process, criminal discovery abuses and inadequacies of the grand jury process, as well as the use of certain pressures associated with enforcement against business and corporate individuals. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte gave the morning keynote address; keynote lunch address was given by former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden; and Senator Orrin Hatch gave closing remarks."
I was honored to give one of two Ted Talk-inspired presentations during the event. My talk focused on the symbiotic relationship between overcriminalization and plea bargaining. You can watch the talk here.