In this episode, I am joined by AMI Managing Director Don Stern. We introduce the concept of defense counsel working with independent monitors. Stern began by noting that traditionally defense lawyers were very wary about getting compliance professionals engaged and involved in assessing a company’s compliance plan in the midst of an investigation. They tended to focus on such criteria when an investigation is active, the overall investigation. Moreover, initially the government wanted companies to wait until an investigation was over before a company would begin to fix things. However, those days have long since passed. Stern said, “at this point, the worst thing that a defense lawyer can do is to sit back, wait for the investigation to complete either their own internal investigation or the government’s investigation and then say to the government, well now we’re going to fix things. I think it’s important to get in there as quickly as possible.”
There are then multiple reasons for defense counsel, whose primary role is to defend an individual or organization. Stern ended by concluding, “the government has become much more sophisticated in assessing compliance programs. It used to be that you can simply present the policies, procedures and some metrics and the prosecutors or the regulators would nod their head and say you’ve got a very good program. But that is not anymore. They want an on the ground assessment as to whether it’s really working and whether people take it seriously.” The bottom line is that the “best way to do that in my view is having a third-party independent come in and do that work.”
Join us in next week where we dive into the weeds by looking at the nuts and bolts of working with a third-party independent monitor.
Find out more about Affiliated Monitors Inc. by checking out their website here.