Archive for 2014

Episode 100

For the 100th episode of his FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report, the amazingly prolific, extremely knowledgeable  and always thoughtful Tom Fox interviews yours truly. You can hear the interview – which covers  a number of topics, ranging from the early days of the compliance field to the latest views of the […]

Effective C&E Programs: The Justice Department Speaks

Last week, together with David Wilkins of SNC-Lavalin, I chaired the Practising Law Institute’s Advanced Compliance & Ethics Workshop.  Marshall Miller, the number 2 in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, gave the keynote address, which was subsequently posted on the Department’s web site.  Among the important points he made were […]

Risk assessment: frequently asked questions

In addition to the COI Blog, I write a column on risk assessment for Corporate Compliance Insights. My most recent posting there is on various risk assessment FAQ’s that – both in conducting assessments and advising clients on how they can do so themselves – I’ve dealt with over the […]

C&E officer reporting relationships: a tale of two recent surveys

More than a decade ago, Iowa senator Charles Grassley famously said of a company’s general counsel also serving as its compliance officer: “It doesn’t take a pig farmer from Iowa to smell the stench of conflict in that arrangement,…” And since then, there has been a lively (albeit not always […]

Come to the Advanced C&E Workshop

On October 7-8, together with David Wilkins of SNC-Lavalin, I’ll be chairing the annual PLI Advanced Compliance & Ethics workshop in NY, which will also be available by web cast.  My partner Rebecca Walker will be chairing the workshop in SF on November 17-18. We have assembled an all-star team […]

How friendly should the E&C officer be?

While not an outright conflict of interest, getting too close to management has pitfalls for the E&C officer – as Steve Priest and I discuss in our latest Ethics Exchange (on the ECOA web site).  At the same time,  being  close may be essential to being seen as a trusted […]

Compliance programs and the culture of care

Samuel Johnson once said: “It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.” And carelessness is obviously at the root of many other types of wrongdoing too. In a keynote speech at the just-concluded SCCE 10th annual Compliance and […]

Conflicts of interest, compliance programs and “magical thinking”

An article earlier this week in the New York Times takes on the issue of “Doctors’ Magical Thinking about Conflicts of Interest.”  The piece was prompted by a just-published study  which examined “the voting behavior and financial interests of almost 1,400 F.D.A. advisory committee members who took part in decisions for […]

The conflict of interest case of the year

With less than four months to go, the corruption case again the governor of Virginia and his wife seems destined for 2014 COI case of the year honors.  But while much of the press revolved around the Governor’s unsavory – and unsuccessful – trial strategy of throwing his wife/co-defendant “under […]

Prosecutors, massive fines and moral hazard

Many years ago, I lived next door to a young police officer and his family who, while presumably paid a modest salary, drove a pretty expensive car.   He was able to do this, I learned, because his department seized autos (and other property) of various suspected offenders and then let […]