Responding to a grand jury investigation involves far more than furnishing information to the investigating authorities. While responding to subpoenas and providing witnesses are important parts of dealing with a grand jury investigation, successfully navigating the perils associated with an active investigation requires much more, including:
- Preparing a strategic course for collecting and producing documents typically requested by a grand jury;
- Discovering and analyzing the information being provided to the grand jury from all sources in an effort to learn as much as possible about the case the prosecution is attempting to build;
- Developing theories of defense to the charges being investigated;
- Managing the intricacies of communications with other possible subjects or targets of the investigation;
- Filing motions before the supervising court when the prosecution overreaches, or taking other steps to minimize the burdens and disruption of investigation;
- Safeguarding legal privileges that protect certain information against disclosure;
- Directly engaging with the prosecutors who will make charging decisions to negotiate the terms under which testimony will be provided to the grand jury, including proffers and immunity, and to press legal and factual theories; and
- If needed at the end of the day, engaging in a robust effort to persuade the prosecutors and their superiors in a U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice or relevant agency not to bring charges.
On behalf of corporate clients, Sidley lawyers have conducted internal investigations to assess potential exposure for a client both proactively and in reaction to a government investigation, handled document productions involving millions of pages reviewed and produced, managed multi-year, multi-target grand jury investigations involving dozens of witnesses and worked with prosecuting and investigating agencies, in many instances avoiding indictment. The grand jury and administrative investigations in which Sidley lawyers have been involved have focused on an array of substantive areas: antitrust, customs and trade, environmental, export, government contracting, food and drug laws, fraud, healthcare, immigration, public corruption, securities and tax.