Our lawyers have assisted corporate and individual clients in a broad range of complex civil and criminal government investigations, commenced in the United States and overseas by a variety of government and regulatory agencies and entities. Our representations have included the following areas:
Experienced Counsel Ready To Help
David Grudberg and Christopher Rooney, who head up Carmody's internal investigations and white collar defense practice team, have more than 50 years of combined experience in a wide array of criminal and civil cases, at the trial and appellate level, here in Connecticut, New York, Philadelphia and other major cities in the United States. Representative matters have included:
We have also represented numerous individuals within the State of Connecticut courts, and are equally comfortable in the state and federal systems.
Help From the First Contact with the Government
Government investigations start in seemingly mundane ways – a call or a visit from a team of investigators (often serving subpoenas or search warrants), who profess to need “just five minutes of your time.” Because most citizens cannot imagine that their government could think the worst of them, they often choose to respond to these inquiries without legal assistance, a decision most of them soon regret. Thinking erroneously that involvement of an attorney on their behalf signals to the government that the client has something to hide, clients often try to please the investigators in the hopes that they will eventually go away, only to find themselves mired in expensive and protracted wrangling with the government – or worse, an indictment of one of the company’s key employees by a grand jury. We urge our clients to treat any contact from the government as serious and to seek competent help starting from the first contact. Early involvement by counsel can lead to an early resolution for the client; waiting leaves the government free to reach ill-informed decisions that often only can be undone through expensive litigation and publicity.
Use Internal Investigations to Be Ahead of the Curve
Simply reacting at each step to the government’s latest theory and trying to correct its misconceptions as they develop leaves most clients frustrated and vulnerable. Clients succeed by having sound advice on where the government’s investigation will go next, how the government perceives their role in the underlying events and by having their counsel develop a “pro-active” response that defuses some of the ill-informed conclusions investigators may reach. With unlimited access to the facts and documents, a well-advised client should be able to discern before the government if anything has gone wrong. In those cases where the client or one of its employees has made a mistake, when and how the client presents that information to the government can make a difference in what price the government exacts for the mistake. Any client’s defense must be begin with an early and thorough internal investigation, which arms them with the knowledge to develop a credible and viable strategy that will limit the negative impact that comes from a government investigation.
One critical factor used to judge the degree of culpability of business entities is the extent to which the company in question had policies and procedures in place aimed at preventing violations of law. The media daily reports on Wall Street companies shifting blame away from the business as a whole and onto certain “rogue employees” who have defied sound company policies (think of the “London Whale”). When individual employees have strayed, simply having an ombudsman or an anonymous tip line to detect wrongdoing is proving inadequate procedure to prevent illegal activity. Increasingly, prosecutors look with a jaundiced eye at the policies that were adopted and the proof offered that the company had effective policies in place prior to the incident that seemed legitimately designed to prevent illegal activity. Such policy and procedure manuals have now become standard in regulated industries such as securities and businesses (such as health care providers) who submit claims to the government for payment. Few large companies do not have a Compliance Officer. We would be happy to review your compliance materials and make recommendations for improvement.
The rewards to whistleblowers and the protection of them from retaliation is expanding. One of the most fertile sources of government cases is the unhappy employee who feels that his or her valid complaints have been ignored. While some of these whistleblowers are motivated by a genuine (though often misguided) sense of righteousness, many are driven by the mentality of the bounty hunter. Effective policies to diffuse the unhappy employee’s complaints before they become a whistleblower are critical today. We will be happy to advise you on how to develop such policies and how to deal with these complaints when they are made to the government.