Archive for 2012

Here’s the new fall lineup

Meaning, for the purposes of this blog,  presentations I’ll be giving in the near future: – Conflicts of Interest: What’s New, What’s Important, What Works, at the ECOA’s annual E&C Conference, the first week of October in St. Louis – Compliance Program Assessments, at the PLI Advanced C&E Workshop, the second week […]

Beyond the revolving door: misalignment of interests in enforcement decisions

A recent study  shows that – contrary to what might be called popular suspicion –  lawyers with the Securities and Exchange Commission do not seem to try to curry favor by making lax enforcement decisions when dealing  with law firms that might offer future employment prospects. Rather, the study found evidence to […]

Fracking, conflicts of interest and adverse inferences

Being reasonably informed about the issues of the day is fundamental to participating meaningfully in the democratic process, but as those issues become more technically (and otherwise) difficult to understand the bar to such participation gets raised.   And, given the crucial role that experts play in helping others try to […]

Is your company ready for a conflict of interest close up?

Last week an alert reader of the COI Blog forwarded to us a copy of this letter FINRA recently sent to broker-dealers.  While of most obvious interest to the financial services industry, the letter also provides an occasion for other types of organizations to engage in a “thought experiment” to see […]

Should dentists and lawyers be rotated, like auditors?

This is another post in our ongoing series on “behavioral ethics.” Prior posts in the series can be found here. As a general matter, the professional relationships that expert service providers (e.g., doctors, lawyers, accountants) have with those they serve carry the potential for conflicts of interest, at least, where the provider’s […]

Gifts between employees

As a matter of etiquette, there are various types of gifts that one should never give to a boss or other colleague.  Here  is a list of eight such gift types (including “adult” items and cash). Virtually all corporate codes of conduct have limits or guidance concerning employees receiving gifts and […]

Conflict of interview review processes

As prior posts have discussed, reviews of disclosed employee conflicts of interest pose a number of challenges. Disclosures may not truly mitigate conflicts.  Indeed, they may actually cause more wrongful COI-based conduct to occur than would be the case absent a disclosure. Still, very few business organizations opt for a true […]

The ethical pitfalls of certainty

This is the tenth posting in our series on behavioral ethics. Other posts in this series are collected here. Judge Learned Hand famously said:  “The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.” And perhaps something similar should be said about the spirit […]

Conflicts of Interest: A governance challenge or a moral maze?

By Judith Irwin, Institute of Business Ethics Let’s start at the beginning.  What is a conflict of interest?  Wikipedia defines it as ‘a conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organisation is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the […]

A successful compliance experiment by the UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team

This is another posting in our ongoing series on behavioral science, and what it could mean for compliance and ethics programs.  Prior posts can be found here. In an article in today’s NY Times business section, Richard Thaler, professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s business school, […]