Alston & Bird attorneys Mark T. Calloway and Emily McGowan have been honored with a 2016 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for their analysis of a new U.S. Department of Justice policy that – for the first time – prioritizes the prosecution of individual employees, not just their companies. Authored by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and known as the “Yates Memo,” the guidelines instruct federal civil and criminal prosecutors to give the investigation of employees priority from the onset of an investigation, rather than making them an afterthought.
In their article – “The Yates Memo and the DOJ’s Focus on Individuals” – Calloway and McGowan outline the key concepts prosecutors will adopt to strengthen the DOJ’s pursuit of individual corporate wrongdoers and assess the implications to companies and their executives, the most significant being that the DOJ will not give cooperation credit to a corporation unless it first provides all relevant facts regarding individual misconduct.
“The DOJ will now demand identification of all involved individuals in criminal and civil investigations; companies that refuse or fail to do so will not be considered for cooperation credit,” wrote the authors. “The DOJ may also require a company’s continued cooperation against relevant individuals even after the company has resolved the matter.”
The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, a program run in association with the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, recognizes excellence in legal writing. The winners are chosen from entries submitted by the nation's 1,000 largest and most prestigious law firms. Honorees were recognized at the annual Burton Awards Program and Gala, which was held at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2016, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as guest speaker.