This course serves as an introduction to the field of corporate crime, which now covers a large realm of government and law firm practice. The course will give students a first exposure to: (1) the contemporary practice in federal government agencies and medium to large corporate law firms of investigating, sanctioning, and representing corporations and their managers involved in potential criminal violations (and certain civil analogues), and the law that governs those processes; and (2) the debate in the public policy realm over whether, why, how, and when the criminal law should be applied in the corporate and business context.
This field is large, complex, and developing rapidly. This course therefore can cover only a selection of topics, and will emphasize policy and the need to confront gaps and uncertainty in doctrine. As there is no unitary body of black letter law in this field, students should not expect this to be that form of law course. Coverage is likely to include mail and wire fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, securities fraud (including insider trading and accounting fraud), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate criminal liability, grand jury powers and procedure, representation of entities and individuals, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the corporate context, plea and settlement agreements, and sentencing.
The materials consist of a course pack and occasional handouts. Assigned readings average 30 pages per class meeting, with less case law and more fact-based practice documents and commentary than with a typical case book. In spring 2021, some asynchronous recorded lectures will be provided and that time will be subtracted from remote live class meetings. The grade will be based primarily on a floating take home exam, with some weight given to class participation.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context