The Week's Best Blog Lit
Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:45AM
Richard L. Cassin in Conflict of Interest Blog, Effective Compliance Program, Foreign Official, Haiti, John O'Shea, Jury Instructions

On his Conflict of Interest Blog, Jeff Kaplan talked this week about people from one company serving on another company's board. He's not always against it. But he flags COI concerns that can come up.

This is always a hard one (ask any risk manager in a big law firm).

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Tom Fox wowed us again with his practical approach. His Ten Compliance Issues from 2011 included this gem: 'With the effective changes in the federal sentencing guidelines from November, 2010 and the DOJ comments this year,' Fox said, 'it has become clear that companies must give a more prominent role to the Chief Compliance Officer and separate that function from that of the General Counsel.'

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On the FCPA Professor, Mike Koehler's discussion about an FCPA appeal stood out. One of the Haiti Telco defendants, Carlos Rodriguez, was sentenced to seven years in prison in October last year. Now he's challenging the jury instruction on who's a 'foreign official.' Koehler thinks Rodriguez has a good shot at winning the appeal.

Incidentally, John O'Shea's 'foreign official' challenge was denied yesterday. Judge Lynn Hughes in Houston adopted the DOJ's view that foreign state-owned enterprises are instrumentalities under the FCPA, which makes their officers and employees 'foreign officials.' As Mike Koehler said today, this was the fifth time the DOJ's interpretation of 'foreign official' was challenged at the trial court level, and all have failed.

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Former federal prosecutor Michael Volkov penned this about wiretaps and the FCPA:

The idea of wiretaps in corporate board rooms sends shivers down every director’s spine. It should. The Justice Department no longer views white collar crime as different than organized crime, gangs or drug trafficking. What that means from a practical standpoint is that federal agents are using the same investigative tactics as they have historically used against organized crime and drug traffickers.

Volkov's Corruption, Crime, and Compliance blog is full of great writing.

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Ever wonder what makes the best news writing?

In a letter to the Washington Post, journalist John B. Holway of  Springfield, Virginia, cited short, simple sentences (and he used a bunch of them to make his point).

He said:

No opening adverbial phrases. No which/who/that subordinate clauses. No phrases between dashes. Throw out every “as” and every gerund. Use concrete nouns and active verbs. Subject-verb-direct object. Drop most adverbs and adjectives; probably the right noun or verb will suffice. Attribution can go in paragraph two. Where and when can also be in paragraph two. Or assume that “when” was “yesterday.”

We're lucky to bat .220 against those fastballs. Plenty of room for improvement. Wish us luck. Later.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (
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