Each year, we like to look back at our most popular posts. Even in this unique year, our most popular posts were our most practical ones. There’s no doubt that as the news turned to FBI investigations, search terms about the agency’s interview memos increased dramatically.
Before we jump in, we want to thank all of our readers. We write this blog for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Nothing makes us happier than to hear that someone we wrote was helpful to you. Feel free to contact us with questions or post ideas.
Without further ado, here are our 10 most-read posts for 2020:
- What is an FBI 302? The Problematic Nature of FBI Agents’ Interview Memos There was a lot of interest in how the FBI conducts its interviews, and how it records those interviews. This post describes how an FBI interview memo can be the start of a world of hurt for the target of an investigation. It was #1 on the list likely because there is a dearth of writing about this topic, even though every criminal defense lawyer will tell you how important 302s are to a criminal prosecution.
- Concurrent, Consecutive and “Stacked” Sentences: Why One Word Makes a Big Difference at Sentencing The end of most criminal cases is the sentencing hearing. Two of our top ten posts covered this topic. There can be a lot of confusion about a concurrent sentence versus a consecutive sentence, particularly when the words are awfully similar. This post unpacks the various types of sentences that can be imposed.
- What is Grand Jury Secrecy Grand juries are mostly in hiatus right now due to COVID-19 but that has not stopped people from having questions about them. This post explains why grand jury proceedings are kept secret and why a prosecutor’s request to keep something secret is really just a request.
- What Is a Reverse Proffer Proffers are a key part of a white collar criminal defense lawyer’s arsenal. But there are many kinds of proffers. Reverse proffers are the rare time when the lawyer—and the client—are not on the hot seat. The prosecutor does the talking, but it often means there is a lot of bad news for the client.
- OIG Investigations: Why Clients and Lawyers Should Both Worry Our firm handles a lot of OIG investigations, particularly because they can turn very quickly into criminal investigations. But all too often, federal employees and government contractors think, “it’s just the OIG” and don’t take the investigation seriously. That’s a mistake. This post exposes the hidden dangers of an OIG investigation.
- White Collar Crime Resource Guide: Statute of Limitations This post is a perennial entry on our year-end list. It must be here because it does well in Google search results, since this isn’t exactly a riveting post. It may not be the most exciting post, but we’re glad it’s a helpful one year after year. At some point, we’ll have to figure out that SEO thing…
- In Your Client’s Words – Speaking at Sentencing This is the second post about sentencing on our list. It covers the scary moment when our clients stand up to speak at sentencing. A client can be his own best advocate. Or his worst.
- OIG Investigations in the Time of Coronavirus: Time and Attendance Fraud by Federal Employees OIG investigations are increasing, and there are some trends emerging along the way. This post describes just one of the many types of OIG investigations that we’re seeing this year.
- The Risk of FDA-Related Insider Trading for the COVID-19 Vaccine It’s hard to know if this post was popular because of the insider trading focus or the COVID-19 focus, but it was a frequently-read post. Now that we are seeing the fruits of Big Pharma’s vaccine trials, we will also see if there are any unfortunate side effects (legally speaking).
- Criminal Prosecutions Under HIPAA Finally, this post focused on the very rare circumstance of a criminal HIPAA case. It may be a rare case, but there was plenty of interest in the topic.
We wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season and new year. We sincerely hope that 2021 puts 2020 in the rear view mirror!