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Can Companies Deprive Employees of Right to Counsel?

The Wired GC posts about a provocative subject:  whether companies whose employees are accused of corporate crimes deprive them of the right to counsel by refusing to pay the cost of defense?   According to Wired GC's post and this article from The New York Times, companies under pressure from the feds are often cutting off payment of defense costs for employees, notwithstanding that their employment agreements or company bylaws may require the company to cover these expenses.  While it's hard to feel sympathy for corporate defendants, who often have net worth in excess of a million dollars, at the same time, the complexity of their cases also entails substantial legal fees.   Moreover, in some instances, employees are entitled to have their companies pay the costs of legal defense.  By cutting off funds, many corporate employees wind up accepting plea bargains -- which in many instances, is just what prosecutors intend by pressuring companies to stop paying employee legal expenses. 

As Wired GC concludes:

"For most corporate employees facing prosecution, even eventual reimbursement is an empty gesture. The likely result is that they plead, they sing and the prosecutors' batting average looks good over time."

For more on the topic, follow the links in Wired GC's posts to commentary by other bloggers.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 18, 2006 at 05:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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