May 2015

Ethical Issues for White Collar Defense and Investigations Lawyers

Nellie Q. Barnard

Recent corporate scandals have made effective and honest corporate governance the chief priority for every company. Proactive and incisive white collar defense counsel in this area is a must. Reacting swiftly to serious problems can be an important factor affecting the final outcome. But white collar defense and investigation lawyers must be mindful of unique ethical issues that can arise in representing clients in criminal and civil government investigations.

This series of articles discusses three general sources of ethical issues for white collar defense lawyers that we see most frequently: (1) entering into Joint Defense Agreements with other defendants or other subjects in government investigations; (2) privilege considerations when conducting corporate internal investigations; and (3) representing clients who may be engaged in unlawful conduct during the course of representation.

Part One: Joint Defense Agreements 

Part Two: Conducting Corporate Internal Investigations

Part Three: Unlawful Client Conduct

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