Jenner & Block

“Court Rejects Corporate Plea Agreements for Failing to Sufficiently Protect the Public Interest,” Financial Fraud Law Report

In this article, Jenner & Block Partners Reid J. Schar and Robert R. Stauffer and Associates Tiffany M. Cartwright and Eddie A. Jauregui explain that federal district court judges are increasingly exercising a greater role in vetting plea agreements and settlements and fashioning resolutions for corporate defendants.  The article, which first appeared as a Jenner & Block “Client Alert” in August 2013, reviews a recent order by Judge William Young of the District of Massachusetts, calling for district courts to take a more vigorous role in protecting the public interest when deciding whether to accept a corporation’s guilty plea.  Corporations, the authors observe, “should monitor this trend.  Should it continue, it suggests that companies, in fashioning resolutions with the government, should anticipate potential judicial objections and may have to accept an increased degree of uncertainty regarding punishment and settlement, as opposed to what has historically been a clear understanding of the ultimate resolution of their case through agreement with the government.”