Is the Justice Department Killing the Federal Grand Jury?

The U.S. Constitution prohibits the Department of Justice, absent consent of the defendant, from bringing criminal charges against any person or entity without approval of a grand jury composed of American citizens.  When the pandemic erupted in earnest in March and states began implementing stay at home orders or guidance, the federal courts, which supervise federal grand juries, suspended virtually all non-emergency sessions.  As the country begins to emerge from home confinement, the courts will begin to loosen restrictions on the sitting of grand juries.  Will they fully recover, and what does that mean?

The Supreme Court has called the … Read more

Skadden discusses U.S. v. Novartis as Reaffirming the Importance of Updating and Adhering to Corporate Policies

A recent decision in a false claims act case, United States ex rel. Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Novartis),[1] underscores the importance of policing employee adherence to corporate policies and industry codes, and assessing strategic responses to allegations involving the violation of company policies when engaged in litigation with the federal government over whether the company broke the law.[2]

Although Novartis is a pharmaceutical company, the decision’s implications extend far beyond the health care industry and should be considered by corporations in all regulated industries. For such businesses, there typically are three interconnected worlds of governance: federal … Read more

Skadden discusses the State of DOJ FCPA Enforcement

For nearly 15 years, the United States has had the worldwide corruption enforcement stage to itself, reaping billions of dollars in fines and settlement payments from companies that have acknowledged engaging in bribery in foreign countries. That monopoly, however, may soon end. In a report entitled Left Out of the Bargain,[1] the World Bank recently observed that “the country of enforcement was different from the country where the official was bribed or allegedly bribed”[2] and that the country of enforcement has rarely shared its financial recoveries with the countries where the corruption occurred. Motivated by the potential financial recovery … Read more