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In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

A recent article in Inside Counsel points out that in-house attorneys are increasingly the target of investigations by the federal government. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice seldom charged general counsels in their investigations in the past, but that has changed over the past few years.

Perhaps the best-known example is the indictment of GlaxoSmithKline’s associate counsel in 2010 for obstruction of justice in an investigation into off-label drug marketing. A judge ultimately ruled that the attorney should never have been prosecuted, saying “a lawyer should never fear prosecution because of advice that he or she has given to a client.”

So, here’s our question for you:

Do you agree with the judge’s statement? Should general counsels also be indicted by the government in investigations into company practices?

Leave a comment below or email me.

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  • The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association will honor Tristan Higgins, director of the Law Department of Sony Electronics, Inc., with its Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award.
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