Chris Myers, John Rowley, and John Irving of the Holland & Knight firm have authored a Client Alert on the recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejecting a challenge to vicarious corporate criminal liability. The case involved the criminal prosecution of a ship owner/operator for failure to properly maintain an oil record book (ORB) as required by Coast Guard regulations. Members of the engineering department on the ship had utilized a by-pass pipe to route oily wastewater directly into the ocean. The ORB was falsified to omit this activity. The owner/operator contended that its policies prohibited such activity and that the government should be required to prove that the company did not have an effective compliance program. The appellate court upheld the conviction, ruling that evidence of an effective compliance program could be used by a defendant to show that an employee was acting outside the scope of his/her employment, but was not an element of the offense. The ruling is explained in greater detail in the Client Alert. Readers may also contact the authors.
(Source:Holland & Knight)