It’s the Law: Department of Justice Revises Guidelines for Criminal Prosecution of Corporations

| 01 November 2008

On 28 August 2008, the US Department of Justice released revised guidelines, the "Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations," for prosecutors to consider when assessing whether to prosecute a corporation. These revisions had been planned for some time and, on 10 July 2008, the Department of Justice provided Congress with a preview of the new guidelines. Coincidentally, the new guidelines were announced on the very day that an appellate court ruled the government's application of a prior version of the guidelines, which put pressure on a company not to pay for certain employees' attorneys' fees, was unconstitutional. This article reviews the prior versions of the guidelines, the criticisms of those guidelines and the newly revised guidelines.


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