The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 requires corporations to adopt effective compliance programs and initiate internal investigations to deal with allegations of misconduct in certain circumstances. Moreover, under the standards applied by the Justice Department for determining whether to criminally charge a corporation, whether an effective corporate compliance program exists and whether an appropriate internal investigation was conducted to effectively respond to allegations of misconduct, are important factors (even for business organizations not subject to Sarbanes Oxley). Wyatt & Blake has experience conducting internal investigations for businesses and hospitals, as well as experience in representing individual executives and employees in connection with such investigations.
All information gathered in connection with an internal investigation is subject to the attorney-client privilege. The corporation or business organization controls the privilege and is free to waive the privilege if it determines, with advice from counsel, that waiver is appropriate. Whether to waive the privilege and provide information uncovered during an internal investigation is often a critical decision to be made when a corporation and/or its officers or directors are under investigation.