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Full-Text Articles in Law

Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon Garrett, Jeffrey Gordon, Geeyoung Min Jan 2020

Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon Garrett, Jeffrey Gordon, Geeyoung Min

Faculty Scholarship

What role do corporate boards play in compliance? Compliance programs are internal enforcement programs, whereby firms train, monitor and discipline employees with respect to applicable laws and regulations. Corporate enforcement and compliance failures could not be more high-profile, and have placed boards in the position of responding to systemic problems. Both case law on boards’ fiduciary duties and guidance from prosecutors suggest that the board should have a continuing role in overseeing compliance activity. Yet very little is actually known about the role of boards in compliance. This paper offers the first empirical account of public companies’ engagement with compliance …


Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon L. Garrett, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Geeyoung Min Jan 2020

Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon L. Garrett, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Geeyoung Min

Faculty Scholarship

What role do corporate boards play in compliance? Compliance programs are internal enforcement programs, whereby firms train, monitor and discipline employees with respect to applicable laws and regulations. Corporate enforcement and compliance failures could not be more high-profile, and have placed boards in the position of responding to systemic problems. Both case law on boards’ fiduciary duties and guidance from prosecutors suggest that the board should have a continuing role in overseeing compliance activity. Yet very little is actually known about the role of boards in compliance. This paper offers the first empirical account of public companies’ engagement with compliance …


Criminally Bad Management, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2018

Criminally Bad Management, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

Because of their leverage over employees, corporate managers are prime targets for incentives to control corporate crime, even when managers do not themselves commit crimes. Moreover, the collective actions of corporate management — producing what is sometimes referred to as corporate culture — can be the cause of corporate crime, not just a locus of the failure to control it. Because civil liability and private compensation arrangements have limited effects on management behavior — and because the problem is, after all, crime — criminal law is often expected to intervene. This handbook chapter offers a functional explanation for corporate criminal …


Coordinating Compliance Incentives, Veronica Root Jan 2017

Coordinating Compliance Incentives, Veronica Root

Faculty Scholarship

In today’s regulatory environment, a corporation engaged in wrongdoing can be sure of one thing: regulators will point to an ineffective compliance program as a key cause of institutional misconduct. The explosion in the importance of compliance is unsurprising given the emphasis that governmental actors — from the Department of Justice, to the Securities and Exchange Commission, to even the Commerce Department — place on the need for institutions to adopt “effective compliance programs.” The governmental actors that demand effective compliance programs, however, have narrow scopes of authority. DOJ Fraud handles violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, while the …


The Responsibility Gap In Corporate Crime, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2017

The Responsibility Gap In Corporate Crime, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

In many cases of criminality within large corporations, senior management does not commit the operative offense — or conspire or assist in it — but nonetheless bears serious responsibility for the crime. That responsibility can derive from, among other things, management’s role in cultivating corporate culture, in failing to police effectively within the firm, and in accepting lavish compensation for taking the firm’s reins. Criminal law does not include any doctrinal means for transposing that form of responsibility into punishment. Arguments for expanding doctrine — including broadening of the presently narrow “responsible corporate officer” doctrine — so as to authorize …


Modern-Day Monitorships, Veronica Root Jan 2016

Modern-Day Monitorships, Veronica Root

Faculty Scholarship

When a sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State, when Apple was found to have engaged in anticompetitive behavior, and when servicers like Bank of America improperly foreclosed upon hundreds of thousands of homeowners, each organization entered into a "Modern-Day Monitorship”. Modern-day monitorships are utilized in an array of contexts to assist in widely varying re­mediation efforts. This is because they provide outsiders with a unique source of information about the efficacy of the tarnished organization's efforts to resolve misconduct. Yet, despite their use in high profile and serious matters of organi­zational wrongdoing, they are not an outgrowth of careful study …


Deferred Corporate Prosecution As Corrupt Regime: The Case For Prison Feb 2015

Deferred Corporate Prosecution As Corrupt Regime: The Case For Prison

Lawrence E. Mitchell

Abstract: This paper looks at the growing phenomenon of deferred corporate criminal prosecutions from a new perspective. The literature accepts the practice and is largely concerned with the degree to which efficient and effective criminal deterrence is achieved through pretrial diversion. I examine the practice and conclude that it presents, from a structural perspective, a case of a corrupt law enforcement regime centered in the United States Department of Justice. The regime works in effective –if unintentional-- conspiracy with corporate officials to produce an inefficient enforcement regime that disregards democratic processes and threatens a loss of respect for the rule …


Clawbacks: Prospective Contract Measures In An Era Of Excessive Executive Compensation And Ponzi Schemes, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong Jan 2009

Clawbacks: Prospective Contract Measures In An Era Of Excessive Executive Compensation And Ponzi Schemes, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong

All Faculty Scholarship

In the spring of 2009, public outcry erupted over the multi-million dollar bonuses paid to AIG executives even as the company was receiving TARP funds. Various measures were proposed in response, including a 90% retroactive tax on the bonuses, which the media described as a "clawback." Separately, the term "clawback" was also used to refer to remedies potentially available to investors defrauded in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff. While the media and legal commentators have used the term "clawback" reflexively, the concept has yet to be fully analyzed. In this article, we propose a doctrine of …


A Forensic Study Of Daewoo's Corporate Governance: Does Responsibility For The Meltdown Solely Lie With The Chaebol And Korea?, Joongi Kim Jan 2008

A Forensic Study Of Daewoo's Corporate Governance: Does Responsibility For The Meltdown Solely Lie With The Chaebol And Korea?, Joongi Kim

Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business

At the end of 1999, one of the largest conglomerates in the world, the Daewoo Group, collapsed in a spectacular fashion. During its peak, Daewoo was a sprawling enterprise with over 320,000 employees with 590 subsidiaries overseas that operated in over 110 countries. Its management received widespread praise and academic recognition for its success. Yet, when the Asian financial crisis hit in 1997, it managed to commit a deception worth 22.9 trillion won ($15.3 billion) that was termed the "biggest accounting fraud in history, surpassing WorldCom and Enron . . . ." Years later, inner-workings of the conglomerate are finally …


Modern Mail Fraud: The Restoration Of The Public/Private Distinction, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1998

Modern Mail Fraud: The Restoration Of The Public/Private Distinction, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Over their long history, the mail and wire fraud statutes have gone through repeated periods of rapid expansion and contraction. The 1970s saw the flowering of the "intangible rights doctrine," an exotic flower that quickly overgrew the legal landscape in the manner of the kudzu vine until by the mid- 1980s few ethical or fiduciary breaches seemed beyond its potential reach. That doctrine was radically pruned by the Supreme Court in 1987 in the McNally decision, which held that the federal mail and wire fraud statutes reached only those schemes that intentionally sought to deprive their victims of money or …


"No Soul To Damn: No Body To Kick": An Unscandalized Inquiry Into The Problem Of Corporate Punishment, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1981

"No Soul To Damn: No Body To Kick": An Unscandalized Inquiry Into The Problem Of Corporate Punishment, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?
Edward, First Baron Thurlow 1731-1806

The Lord Chancellor of England quoted above was neither the first nor the last judge to experience frustration when faced with a convicted corporation. American sentencing judges are likely to face a similar dilemma with increasing frequency in the near future, for a number of signs indicate that corporate prosecutions will become increasingly commonplace. At first glance, the problem of corporate punishment seems perversely insoluble: moderate fines do not deter, …


Beyond The Shut-Eyed Sentry: Toward A Theoretical View Of Corporate Misconduct And An Effective Legal Response, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1977

Beyond The Shut-Eyed Sentry: Toward A Theoretical View Of Corporate Misconduct And An Effective Legal Response, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Like hard cases, festering scandals make bad law. As public perceptions shift so that conduct once tolerated becomes seen as illicit, political pressures develop that can result in hastily improvised responses by the legal system to fill the newly perceived vacuum. This generalization is advanced to question neither the inalienable right of the public to be scandalized, nor the need for corporate reform, but to approach a highly problematic dilemma: hurried, moralistic responses to a perceived evil often prove not only ineffective, but even counterproductive. The serious student of complex organizations may recognize this assertion as a slightly altered variant …