Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty

BP will plead guilty to fourteen criminal counts and pay $4.5 billion to resolve a U.S. DOJ criminal investigation into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Three BP employees have also been charged criminally in the matter. According to the New York Times: 
“This is unprecedented, both with regard to the amounts of money, the fact that a company has been criminally charged and that individuals have been charged as well,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at a news conference in New Orleans to announce the settlement.

The government said that BP’s negligence in sealing an exploratory well caused it to explode, sinking the Deepwater Horizon drill rig and unleashing a gusher of oil that lasted for months and coated beaches all along the Gulf Coast. The company initially tried to cover up the severity of the spill, misleading both Congress and investors about how quickly oil was leaking from the runaway well, according to the settlement and related charges...

Under its deal with the Justice Department, BP will pay about $4 billion in penalties over five years. That amount includes $1.256 billion in criminal fines, $2.394 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for remediation efforts and $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences. The criminal fine is one of the largest levied by the United States against a corporation.

BP also agreed to pay $525 million to settle civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it misled investors about the flow rate of oil from the well.

In addition, the company will submit to four years of government monitoring of its safety practices and ethics....
Click here for the entire New York Times article.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Upcoming NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College at Steston

2013 WCCDC dates: January 9 - 13, 2013

The NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson is a “boot-camp” program for practitioners wishing to gain key advocacy skills and learn substantive white collar law. The program will cover client retention, investigation in a white collar case, handling searches and grand jury subpoenas, and dealing with parallel proceedings. Participants will have the experience of negotiating a plea, making proffers, and examining which experts to hire and how to protect the client in this process. Interactive sessions with top white collar practitioners will allow the participants to learn trial skills such as opening statements, cross-examination, jury instructions, closing arguments, and sentencing – all in the context of a white collar matter.

Seminar Location:
Stetson University College of Law
1401 61st St. S.
Gulfport, FL 33707

Hotel Accommodations:
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
3400 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

This is an excellent conference, which I highly recommend to those in the field.  Click here to learn more.

NYT Discusses Issue of Felon Disenfranchisement

The NYT published an interesting op-ed regarding the issue of felon disenfranchisement this week.
The United States maintains a shortsighted and punitive set of laws, some of them dating back to Reconstruction, denying the vote to people who have committed felonies. They will bar about 5.85 million people from voting in this year’s election. 
In the states with the most draconian policies — including Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia — more than 7 percent of the adult population is barred from the polls, sometimes for life. Nationally, nearly half of those affected have completed their sentences, including parole or probation. 
Policies that deny voting rights to people who have paid their debt to society offend fundamental tenets of democracy.  
But the problem is made even worse by state and local election officials so poorly informed about the law that they misinform or turn away people who have a legal right to vote.
 

Click here to link to the full piece.

ABA CJS Conference on International Internal Investigations - Frankfurt, Germany - December 7, 2012

On December 7, 2012, the ABA Criminal Justice Section will host a conference regarding International Internal Investigations in Frankfurt, Germany.

"In today’s globalized economy and enforcement environment, internal corporate investigations are becoming complex and evolving international endeavors. This conference will bring together members of the international law enforcement community, general counsel, compliance officers, outside counsel, investigators, auditors, and legal scholars to discuss the most current, pressing, and difficult issues in this rapidly changing field.

The panelists, emanating from numerous countries around the world, will address topics including: recent trends in transnational internal investigations; strategies for selecting the right investigators and the appropriate investigatory model; best practices for collecting, reviewing, and transferring documents internationally; tactics and pitfalls when interacting with employees, internal counsel, and investigators; and strategies and concerns during disclosure and settlement."

I encourage anyone with an interest in this area to consider attending.  The luncheon speaker will be Dr. Klaus Moosmayer, Chief Counsel Compliance, Siemens AG.

Click here to see the full program and link to the registration materials.  The conference is very reasonable at only $125 for non-ABA members and $90 for ABA-members.