Devolution of Authority: The Doj's Corporate Charging Policies

Posted: 12 Jun 2006

See all articles by Lawrence D. Finder

Lawrence D. Finder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan D. McConnell

Haynes and Boone LLP


This paper examines the Department of Justice's corporate charging policy through the lens of reported deferred and nonprosecution agreements entered into since 1991. The authors have collected and examined each agreement and present their findings, in part, through detailed tables which highlight the salient features of these agreements. The paper ties changes in these pre-trial agreements to the pre-trial diversion procedures in the U.S. Attorney's Manual and the implementation of the Organizational Guidelines within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines as well as various memorandums issued by the Department including the Holder Memorandum, the Thompson Memorandum, and the McCallum Memorandum. The article highlights how these agreements have changed over the past 15 years. By analyzing these agreements and explicit charging policies (the Organizational Guidelines, the various DOJ memorandums, and the U.S. Attorney's Manual), the article shows that DOJ corporate charging policy has devolved into an office by office policy and that the terms of a pre-trial agreement depend on which U.S. Attorney's Office is handling the investigation. The statistics and data in this paper are current as of August 21, 2006.

Keywords: Thompson Memo, Holder Memo, McCallum Memo, Deferred, Prosecution, Nonprosecution, U.S. Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines, Enron, Andersen, KPMG, Boeing, DPA, NPA, Corporate, White Collar

Suggested Citation

Finder, Lawrence D. and McConnell, Ryan D., Devolution of Authority: The Doj's Corporate Charging Policies. St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Lawrence D. Finder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan D. McConnell (Contact Author)

Haynes and Boone LLP ( email )

One Houston Center
1221 McKinney
Houston, TX
United States
713.547.2622 (Phone)

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