Episode 5: Lisa’s Advice for Those Starting Out
By Ronald J. Coleman
Our fifth episode, “Anti-Corruption Compliance: Bribery & FCPA”, features guest speakers Jim McCurry, Jon Kolodner, and Lisa Vicens. I asked our guests if “a student or someone more junior would like to do what you do or get into your area, what advice would you give them?” Lisa said:
“Well, as a former Georgetown University student, I will say that my favorite thing about Georgetown, and which I think is actually the most helpful in the FCPA context, is curiosity about the world. Really understanding these different geographies, what institutions are like in them that can create potentially an environment for corruption. That is what the focus of this recent Biden memo is on. It’s on transparency, it’s on institutions, it’s on looking at how our democracies are operating and whether or not they’re creating the conditions for corruption. As a nerd and as an academic, I’d say that two of the main resources that I think of when I think of the FCPA is actually the FCPA Resource Guide, which is issued by the SEC and the Department of Justice. It’s available on their websites. And because this is an area where, for the reasons that Jon identified with the corporate enforcement policy, a lot of these investigations end up being settled, there’s not a lot of case law. If you’re a law student and you’re trying to find case law on the FCPA to study up on it, like we do in a lot of other areas of the law, you’re not going to find any cases. They are mostly settled, and it’s a complex law with a lot of terms that are really sort of ambiguous under the law. So some of the best ways to try to formulate your understanding of how the law operates, and how it’s enforced, is looking at that resource guide, which is issued by the agencies that enforce the law, and looking at the releases that accompany some of these big settlements that we’re talking about, so that you can understand the facts and circumstances that gave rise to an investigation and ultimately a resolution.”
Interested in hearing more? Check out Episode 5 here (available October 28, 2021).