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US Attorney Manual Updated to Incorporate Yates Memorandum

DOJ Directives Incorporating the Yates Principles

This is the third installment on our blog series covering the Yates memorandum and changes in Federal policy regarding prosecution of individuals for corporate wrongdoing.

In September of 2016, the DOJ issued revisions to its Manual used to provide guidance to U.S. Attorneys.  The revisions include the directives set forth in the Yates Memorandum together with subsequent clarification that was provided by the DOJ.  The revision to the Manual added a new section entitled “Focus on Individual Wrongdoers.”   The individual wrongdoer sections of the Manual cover the general principles that were set forth in the Yates Memorandum as well as revisions reflecting the new concepts regarding corporate cooperation credit, privilege assertion, and cooperation between criminal and civil enforcement authorities.

The Manual revisions should indicate the seriousness of this issue.  The Manuals are used as a primary reference by prosecutors across the country who are responsible for prosecuting corporate wrongdoing.  The revisions indicate that the DOJ is making the concepts included in the Yates memorandum into operational policy.  Agents will be judged and reviewed on their effectiveness complying with this policy.  This action is a clear indication that the Yates concepts are real.  We can expect a much higher degree of scrutiny on individual corporate wrongdoing.

As stressed in previous blog articles, companies must review their policies and procedures for investigating potential wrongdoing and implement changes that mitigate their risk in view of the new Federal policy.

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John H. Fisher

Health Care Counsel
Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C.
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Wausau, WI 54402-8050

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