These are good days for FCPA junkies like us. More is written now about enforcement and compliance in a week than used to appear in a year. And a lot of it is original and well outside the conventional wisdom. Among the people producing work in that category (and who have appeared on the FCPA Blog before) are:
David Hess, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's business school. He thinks about incentives for corporations to keep themselves clean -- through the use of sustainability reports, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and deferred prosecution agreements, among others.* * *
Rebecca Walker, a private practitioner, whose ideas on “associative liability” and extending codes of conduct to third parties are important to anyone in the compliance business. And she's humble and charming.
David C. Weiss, a law student at the University of Michigan. He wrote a terrific article for the January 17, 2009 Michigan Journal of International Law. It asks why the Securities and Exchange Commission uses disgorgement in FCPA enforcement actions, where the remedy came from, and where it's going. Great questions, and he's got some answers too.
Andy Spalding, a lawyer and Fulbright scholar. He argues that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- are you ready? -- causes corruption and hurts poor people. Andy respects the rule of law but also spends time trying to understand how laws really work. You've got to love a smart, well-spoken policy-wonking lawyer. As we said when we first heard his ideas, they're a real mind bender.
Two blogs with full-time FCPA coverage:
wrageblog, where Alexandra Wrage of TRACE has created a bulletin board for the compliance community. She and her contributors dish some great advice. We received a nice invitation to pen a few words there and we're planning to do that soon.
Mike Koehler's fcpa professor is a new resource. He had an FCPA practice for ten years and now teaches business law at Butler University. Many times over the years Mike has helped us understand FCPA enforcement practices, particularly at the SEC. We enjoy his view of the statute itself and what he thinks the words in it are supposed mean.
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And two veteran blogs that only sometimes cover the FCPA but are always worth reading:
Kevin LaCroix's D & O Diary. A reviewer might call his work authoritative, influential, magisterial, and quirky enough to always be inviting. We'll just say it's a must-read site.
Here's a recent excerpt we liked:
It might well be asked why anyone should bother reading both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times business pages. After all, both usually cover the same stories. Indeed, on Friday, both ran stories discussing the fact that year-to-date bank failures are at the highest level since 1992.
However these same-day articles about the number of bank failures in fact were a great illustration of the value of reading both publications, because the two newspapers presented very different explanations for the run of failed banks . . . . hereGabe’s Guide to the e_Discovery Universe. It's wild. There can be nearly a hundred posts a month, and its artwork and headlines are reason enough to visit (Crazy woman comes up with notion that e-discovery professionals should be “qualified”).
Our favorite times are when Gabe Acevedo, the blog's creator, hits the road. Then it becomes the world's best (and only?) law-related travelogue. Like his dispatch in April from Chicago:
As everyone knows, the most important part about any conference is the free stuff you get to take home with you, and the ABA Techshow did not disappoint. CDW gave away little mini toy race cars and notepads as well as some other stuff . . . The ABA handed out 2 gig thumbdrives. Definitely one of the cooler types of schwag there. . . . hereGabe is bursting with enthusiasm and goodwill, and he's always generous with his praise and attributions.
We'll have more to say about other friends and neighbors later.