President Signs Bill for New Federal Evidence Rule 502

On 9/19/08, the president signed S 2450 (PL 110-322) to amend the Federal Rules of Evidence to address the waiver of the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.


FASB Delays Lawsuit Disclosures — The board responds to companies’ distaste for its proposed rule on contingent liabilities

Sarah Johnson –

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has changed the deadline for when companies would have been required to provide new disclosures about their contingent liabilities under a controversial proposal.

Companies with a calendar fiscal year-end had been expected to comply with the rule in mid-December. At a board meeting today, FASB pushed off that date by another year after hearing that many companies could not implement a new policy for disclosing potential lawsuit liabilities in time. Plus, the board is still sifting through the wealth of feedback from lawyers, auditors, and financial statement preparers who worry the newly shared information would reveal confidential data and turn into an undeserved boon to the plaintiffs’ bar.

In the meantime, FASB will collect even more feedback by asking companies to do sample runs of its proposal along with an alternative method that has yet to be introduced. The rule overhauls FAS 5, Accounting for Contingencies — requiring companies to disclose “specific quantitative and qualitative information” about potential lawsuit liabilities — and changes the contingent losses that companies disclose under FAS 141(R), regarding mergers and acquisitions.

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Remarks as Delivered by Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip at American Bar Association Securities Fraud Conference

Arlington, Virginia
Thursday, October 2, 2008 – 12:30 P.M. EDT

Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I’m very grateful for the chance to speak about an issue that I know is of great importance to both this group and the Department of Justice: the role of attorney-client privilege in the investigation of corporations. As you know, the Department recently made significant revisions to its policy for the investigation and prosecution of corporate crimes. The new policy addresses issues that have been of great interest to prosecutors, corporate counsel, both in-house and outside counsel, particularly in the area of cooperation between business organizations and the government. I welcome this opportunity to discuss the Department’s new policy and what it means, I think, to the legal and corporate communities.

Let me please begin with some background. For many years now, federal prosecutors have been guided by Department of Justice policy that governs how they investigate, charge, and prosecute corporate crimes. These matters are critical to the public interest, and they are a high priority for the Department. Through our investigation of corporate crime — and, where appropriate, our prosecution of corporate crime — the Department strives to protect the integrity of our Nation’s free markets, and to safeguard investors, employees, and the general public from the potentially devastating effects of corporate wrongdoing.

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