Compliance Bits and Pieces for December 11

Here are some interesting stories from the past week.

Tis the Season! Where are the gifts from vendors?? from Kathleen Edmond, Best Buy’s Chief Ethics Officer

This time every year we send out reminders to our employees that we do not accept gifts from vendors. At the same time we send letters to our vendors asking that they don’t send our employees any gifts. I usually get questions from employees, and even some vendors, about why we we have this policy.

Second Circuit Defines Employers’ Obligations in Sexual Harassment Claim by Daniel Schwartz on the Connecticut Employment Law Blog

The Second Circuit’s decision in Duch v. Jakubek (decided on Friday, December 4th)… discusses what to do with a supervisor who purposely ignores evidence of sexual harassment. And the court concludes that the supervisor should have known that a female subordinate was being sexually harassed and should’ve done something about it.

Magyar’s Magnum Opus from the FCPA Blog

Magyar Telekom’s SEC disclosure last week about its internal investigation into fraudulent contracting practices could have been short and bland and very ordinary. A typical corporate blank wall. Instead it was abundant in length and detail  — one of the most rewarding public disclosures about an internal investigation we’ve ever read. It appeared in the company’s SEC Form 6-K, Report of Foreign Private Issuer, filed December 3, 2009 here.

Did An FCPA Enforcement Action Contribute to a Foreign Coup? by Mike Koehler in the FCPA Professor

In April 2009, DOJ announced (see here) that Latin Node, Inc. (a privately-held telecommunication services company headquartered in Miami) pled guilty to violating the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with improper payments made to officials in Honduras and Yemen in order to obtain and retain business. The criminal information (see here) details Latin Node’s efforts to obtain and retain business with Hondutel (the Honduran government-owned telecommunications company) and charges that despite recognized “financial weaknesses” in Latin Node’s proposal, Hondutel ultimately selected Latin Node for the agreement because of various improper payments Latin Node made or authorized to various Honduran “foreign officials.”

FCPA Ending its ‘Most Dynamic Single Year’ With a Bang By Dionne Searcey for The Wall Street Journal Law Blog

Two Florida executives of a Miami-Dade County-based telecommunications company, the president of Florida-based Telecom Consulting Services Corp., and two former Haitian government officials were charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday for their alleged roles in a foreign bribery, wire fraud and money laundering scheme, DOJ has announced.

Why You Shouldn’t Take it Hard If a Judge Rejects Your Friend Request by Ashby Jones on the Wall Street Journal Law Blog

Late last month, the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee issued an advisory opinion on the use of social networking sites by Florida judges. (Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.) This little rhetorical appears early in the opinion:

Whether a judge may add lawyers who may appear before the judge as “friends” on a social networking site, and permit such lawyers to add the judge as their “friend.”

ANSWER: No.

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