Corporate Counsel as Gatekeepers

Wayne Law Symposium brochure - final-3

An evolving view of the lawyer representing the corporation – working in-house or at an outside firm – is someone charged with more than just protecting the client. Corporate counsel are described as “gatekeepers” responsible for enhancing the integrity of the organization by deterring wrongdoing and, if necessary, revealing it to the appropriate regulators and prosecutors.

Indeed, the need to be viewed as cooperative drives many cases involving corporate misconduct as the government frequently relies on internal investigations to expose the extent of potential violations. The U.S. Department of Justice has gone a step further, telling corporations that the adequacy of their cooperation
will be judged on whether they identify culpable individuals, including senior management, by furnishing evidence that can be used to prosecute them.

It’s a world fraught with danger, especially for in-house counsel representing a single client. Prosecutors and regulators expect – and sometimes even demand
– prompt disclosure of information and a willingness to confess to a company’s culpability. Protections afforded to lawyers by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine, and even the long-cherished view of the lawyer as a zealous advocate for the client, may be in some peril.

The Wayne Law Review Symposium will consider how the role of corporate counsel as a gatekeeper affects the representation of the organizational client. We will
look at the legal, ethical and practical difficulties facing attorneys representing corporate clients who must deal with the government on a regular basis, whether because of potential wrongdoing or just as a matter of course because of regulatory requirements.

Opening remarks will be at 9 a.m. by Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson; Dennis Lienhardt, Editor-in-Chief of Wayne Law Review; and Judge Avern Cohn, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

At 9:15 a.m. former U.S. Senator Carl Levin will introduce Tony West, the former associate U.S. attorney general and general counsel for PepsiCo, will be our keynote speaker to share his insights as a lawyer who has been on both sides.

Timothy M. Guerriero (Wayne Law class of 1980), former General Counsel of TI Automotive Ltd., will moderate an in-house counsel panel discussion at 10:00 a.m. Panelists will be:

  • David A. Collins, President, Board of Directors, American Bar Foundation; former General Counsel, Saturn Corp.; and former Executive Director of Corporate Compliance, General Motors Corp.
  • John J. Collins (Wayne Law class of 1976), Managing Director and General Counsel, AlixPartners LLP
  • Emily Frascaroli (Wayne Law class of 2001), Counsel, Environmental, Safety & Regulatory, Ford Motor Co.
  • David Jaffe, former General Counsel, Guardian Industries Corp., and Chief Executive, Jaffe Counsel PLC

D’Lorah L. Hughes, Associate (Clinical) Professor and Director of Clinical Education, Wayne State University Law School, will moderate an academics panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. Panelists will be:

  • Joan Heminway, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Law
  • Arthur Laby, Professor, Rutgers University School of Law
  • Peter J. Henning, Professor, Wayne State University Law School

Thomas Cranmer, Partner, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC, will moderate a practitioner panel discussion at 1:45 p.m. Panelists will be:

  • Alan Gershel, Grievance Administrator, Attorney Grievance Commission of Michigan, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Aleksandra A. Miziolek (Wayne Law Class of 1980), General Counsel, Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc.
  • Richard Zuckerman, Partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Closing remarks will be given by Symposium Editor Justin Zayid at 3:30 p.m.

The day will include a continental breakfast, lunch and an evening cocktail and networking reception. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP. Register at law.wayne.edu/lawreview2015 by Wednesday, October 7.

The event is made possible through the support of the Cohn Family Endowed Fund.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Justin Zayid, Symposium Editor, at symposium_editor@wayne.edu.

We look forward to seeing you on October 16!