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White Collar Crime
By Kathryn Keneally; Kenneth Breen; Thomas Fallati
White-Collar Crime columns.
Responding to Government Leaks
A defense attorney receives a call from a reporter seeking the
attorney’s comment on what was purportedly a non-public investigation.
The client has not been indicted, but may now be compelled to respond to
accusations arising from a grand jury investigation. The defense
attorney suspects that the government leaked information to the media,
but the attorney now faces difficult choices and challenges.
Defense attorneys are likely to face this scenario more often as media
interest in criminal investigations intensifies. Of course, the public
has always been riveted by high-profile cases. Increasingly, however,
criminal investigations of all kinds, including complex white collar
matters, garner headlines and media attention.
In this atmosphere, the incentive for the government to leak information
is high. A leak permits the government, without bearing the burden of
proof of a court proceeding, to suggest that an individual is guilty
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