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The Champion

April 2010 , Page 28 

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These Paper Tigers Have Teeth!

By William R. Terpening

Anticipating and Responding to Document Subpoenas From Government Authorities in Federal Matters

Recent events in the securities industry and other regulated areas have virtually ensured that many companies will receive subpoenas for documents from federal authorities. Often, companies will receive the subpoena from the Department of Justice in the context of a white collar criminal action against a third party. Subpoenas may also arrive from the Securities and Exchange Commission or another regulator. Regardless of the source, the general approach for responding is substantially the same, and the consequences for failing to follow those rules can be severe. Physically gathering documents and responding to a subpoena can be costly and disruptive, and managing the response can be more complicated than one might expect. Creating a record that demonstrates “good faith” compliance is vital.

Companies that prepare a written plan, in advance, will be better positioned to respond to subpoenas e

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