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Series

Litigation

Corporations

2003

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Is There A Role For Lawyers In Preventing Future Enrons?, Jill E. Fisch, Kenneth M. Rosen Jan 2003

Is There A Role For Lawyers In Preventing Future Enrons?, Jill E. Fisch, Kenneth M. Rosen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Following the collapse of the Enron Corporation, the ethical obligations of corporate attorneys have received increased scrutiny. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, enacted in response to calls for corporate reform, specifically requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to address the lawyer’s role by requiring covered attorneys to “report up” evidence of corporate wrongdoing to key corporate officers, and, in some circumstances, to the board of directors. Failure to “report up” subjects a lawyer to liability under federal law.

This Article argues that the reporting up requirement reflects a second-best approach to corporate governance reform. Rather than focusing on the ...