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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Ethical Internal Investigations

(591 reviews)

Produced on December 20, 2018

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$ 79 Ethics and Business, Corporate, & Securities In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 8m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Business, Corporate, & Securities

Course Description

Corporate internal investigations dealing with possible (or actual) wrongdoing have become increasingly popular. CEOs and boards of directors sometimes seem to order these investigations as a matter of course. While there are numerous good reasons to proceed with an internal investigation, there are many downsides and risks that lawyers need to consider when advising their clients.

This program, taught by C. Evan Stewart, a Senior Partner at Cohen & Gresser LLP, will discuss how to conduct investigations under the protections of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine, review issues when dealing with governmental regulators, ethical challenges in handling these investigations, the risks to lawyers inherent in such investigations,  how English law differs on how investigations can be handled, and (from very prominent litigation) how not to handle an investigation.

Mr. Stewart is also a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990 and has published nearly 300 articles on diverse legal subjects; he is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities, professional responsibility, and complex litigation issues.  In 2016, Mr. Stewart was awarded the Stanford D. Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association’s Ethics Committee for his contribution to the field of legal ethics. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the reasons to conduct internal investigations
  2. Review the risks to the corporate client when investigations are not handled correctly (e.g. the “shield and the sword doctrine”, the viability of “selective waiver”, whether or not “oral downloads” work, the challenge of interacting with auditors, the “bloodhound” factor, the “silver platter doctrine”, and more)
  3. Assess the ethical issues facing lawyers who conduct investigations, as well as other professional risks attendant to doing work in this area
  4. Contrast English law that governs corporate investigations in order to understand what risks it poses, and how to (potentially) protect your client
  5. Appreciate the dangers of handling an investigation the wrong way by a deconstruction of a very prominent litigation

Credit Information

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C. Evan Stewart

Cohen & Gresser LLP

Mr. Stewart’s practice principally focuses on the financial services industry, handling litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the “Top Trials of 2005” for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for “late trading” mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

With substantial experience in the financial services industry, Mr. Stewart served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., as well as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc. Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to be responsible for, among other things, overseeing and litigating all of the disputes arising out of the company’s Private Wealth Management Division.

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received theStanford D Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject". In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990 and has published over 200 articles on diverse legal subjects; he is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities, professional responsibility, and complex litigation issues.


Michael H.

Helpful information for the unwary

Stephanie B.

I feel privileged to have listened to such an ultimate expert (& I am 40 years at the bar).

Amy K.

this one is a good one

Adam D.

This was the single greatest CLE I have ever watched in my entire life.

Bill H.

Superb. Superb. Superb.

Gregory N.

Well Done

Gianna O.

highly recommend

Samuel L.

Not at this time.

Irene L.

Very informative - knowledgable instructor



irina a.

clearly an expert in this field. thank you!

Rebecca T.

One of best courses on Lawline - presentation well articulated

Erin H.


Deborah A.

Professor Stewart was great. I had him for a course at Fordham 20 years ago. He knows his area of practice inside out and is a very interesting speaker. He doesn't waste words so everything he says is important and substantive. I learned something new in this relatively short presentation. Thank you.

Thomas S.

Very good. Scary.

Isabeth G.

informative, helpful

Clarisse T.

Very informative -- sufficient amount of factual background from various cases was provided.

Robert J E.

Really Good class.

Anneliese V.

Excellent content and presenter. Definitely one of the top 5 CLEs I have done with Lawline.

Marian W.

This program was excellent and very interesting.


This course is helpful if you deal with large organizations, corporations, and have investigatory issues pending or for background on what can occur.

Nicole N.

Presenter was very knowledgeable.

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