Policy Forum

Deputizing Company Counsel as Agents of the Federal Government

April 26, 2005 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring N. Richard Janis, Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler; Timothy Coleman, U.S. Department of Justice; John Hasnas, George Mason Law School; and Moderated by Timothy Lynch, Cato Institute

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Does U.S. law shield business firms from reckless charges—or does it foster a shakedown racket whereby firms must pay tribute to the government to simply be let alone? More and more people maintain that our adversary system of justice is being undermined by new legal rules that essentially deputize company counsel as agents of the federal government. When government agents launch an investigation, business executives and company employees turn to company counsel for legal advice. But when those same lawyers must relay information back to prosecutors so as to avoid accusations of “obstruction,” has the independence of counsel been hopelessly compromised? Join us for a discussion of these questions on the day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Arthur Andersen v. United States.