The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives a
criminal defendant a right to a fair trial. On 21 March 2012, the
US Supreme Court ruled that this constitutional right also includes
a right to an effective lawyer during plea bargaining negotiations.
Consequently, the right of effective counsel in all parts of a
criminal proceeding is strengthened by applying it to the entire
plea bargaining process.
The US Supreme Court formulated this new standard in two recent
cases (Missouri v Frye and Lafler v Cooper), in
which legal advice of counsel led the defendant to reject a
favourable plea bargain. The Supreme Court argued that had the
lawyers counselled the defendants well, they would have taken the
shorter sentence. To win a challenge under this new standard, a
defendant must show that with effective counsel, he would have
taken a plea offer, the judge would have approved it and the deal
would have been more favourable than the actual case's outcome.
As such, US Supreme Court case law has changed the plea bargaining
process from unregulated negotiations to a procedure under judicial
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In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments in the past month with links to primary resources.
The DOJ is creating a new compliance counsel position in the Criminal Division's Fraud Section to scrutinize the compliance programs of companies under investigation for possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations.
When renowned violin master and teacher Roman Totenberg passed away in 2012 at the age of 101, he died believing that his treasured Stradivarius violin was stolen following a 1980 performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and that it would never be recovered.
On August 12, 2015, Vincente Garcia (former head of Latin American sales for SAP International, Inc.) pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In the past year, a number of major financial institutions have
been hit not just once, but twice by federal and state regulators
for follow-on regulatory violations, including financial sanctions