Picture the following scenario: A federal government agency sends a company a subpoena for information concerning possible violations of federal law. Because of the apparent serious nature of the inquiry, the in-house counsel retains outside counsel, who sets up an initial meeting with the government to learn more about the matter. Subsequent meetings are scheduled. In-house counsel asks to participate in further meetings in order to gain firsthand knowledge of the thrust and seriousness of the government inquiry, to convey the company’s commitment to compliance, and to assess outside counsel’s performance in dealing with the government. In-house counsel believes that it is important to put a human face to the company. But outside counsel warns that the in-house counsel’s attendance would hinder frank discussion and pose risks.
Daniel Prywes and Robert Lindquist discuss whether or not in-house counsel should insist on attending further meetings with government investigators.