The main takeaways from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Yates memo are clear: when investigating corporate misconduct, federal prosecutors will now focus on individual employees as well as the company itself, and a company must disclose all relevant facts to earn any credit for cooperation. How these new points of emphasis will be implemented, however, remains much less clear. In an article published in ColoradoBiz, Faegre Baker Daniels partner Doug Wright discussed revelations from a conversation on the topic with John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for Colorado, and dished practical tips for how corporations can prepare for the new policy.
“The Yates memo is barely a month old. It will take some time to see how the DOJ implements its instructions,” Wright wrote. “But its implications serve to emphasize an increasingly important area for corporate boards: risk management. As the sergeant in Hill Street Blues used to say, ‘Let’s be careful out there.’ The Justice Department is moving to ensure that they are holding lawbreakers accountable, whether they commit their crimes on the street corner or in the boardroom."