Ethical Issues in Internal Investigations and in Responding to Government Investigations

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 68 minutes
Recorded Date: October 05, 2018
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2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
  • Rules of Professional Responsibility That will be Covered
  • Internal Investigations
    • Issue Reporters
    • Practical Issues in Protecting the Privilege
    • Counseling and Remediation
  • Government Investigations
    • Interviews and Client Personnel
    • Ethically Managing and Resolving Issues
  • Representation of Multiple Clients
  • Common Interest/Joint Defense Arrangements
Runtime: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Recorded: October 5, 2018


Conducting internal investigations and responding to government investigates require counsel to understand and effectively navigate a number of ethical responsibilities.

In this session, we will discuss the critical rules of the road to keep in mind and provide guidance on how to prevent ethical issues and resolve ethical challenges when they arise in this context.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference held on October 5th, 2018.

Provided By

Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference


Catherine Kane Ronis

Vice President & Associate General Counsel
BAE Systems, Inc.

Catherine Kane Ronis is the Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Litigation and Investigations for BAE System, Inc. She manages complex litigation matters and government investigations, including False Claims Act cases, bid protests, commercial litigation, and other government contract disputes. In her role, Catherine is responsible for providing support and counseling to ensure that the legal rights of the Company and its business units are protected and enforced in connection with actual and threatened litigation in a timely and cost efficient manner. She also routinely counsels business clients on important non-litigation matters, including product safety issues and trade secret issues.

Before joining BAE Systems, Catherine was a partner in a major international law firm. As part of her practice, Catherine successfully counseled several Fortune 50 companies on regulatory matters and led a number of large teams in a variety of litigation and investigation matters before the federal and state courts, and regulatory agencies. Catherine also volunteered her time representing indigent clients at the Legal Aid Society.

Catherine graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law, where she received numerous awards, was on the Deans’ List, and was a Senior Editor for the Syracuse Law Review. Catherine received her undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College with a double major in economics and political science.

Jennifer T. Mattis

Senior Investigation Counsel
Northrop Grumman Corp.

Jennifer Mattis is the Senior Investigation Counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Brenda Morris

Deputy General Counsel
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Brenda Morris joined Booz Allen in January 2013, after 25 years of investigations and courtroom experience as a Federal and State prosecutor. Ms. Morris was chosen to lead the Investigations Unit within the Law Department that will focus on internal investigative activity and certain litigation management functions. The Unit investigates potential violations of the Procurement Integrity Act, the Federal Corrupt Practices Act and other laws relating to contractor integrity, labor time charging issues, inadvertent information exposure and other incidents that could possibly require disclosure to the government, as well as potential violations of Booz Allen Hamilton’s core values. The Unit draws upon the expertise of other Law Department practice groups on substantive legal matters and collaborates with other internal compliance functions, including regulatory compliance, information security, internal audit, security services and human resources.

Ms. Morris gained the majority of her Federal experience when she joined the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice in September 1991. The Public Integrity Section is a distinctive unit within the Criminal Division which is responsible for the nationwide investigations and prosecutions of corrupt public officials. She has prosecuted various white-collar crimes such as bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, criminal conflict of interests, RICO, Hobbs Act, and theft of Federal programs. She has secured convictions through negotiated pleas and through trials involving high-level Federal and State government officials, politicians, and corporate leaders. Ms. Morris began her career as a prosecutor as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Iris Bennett

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

Ms. Bennett has deep experience counseling clients on the investigation, defense, and resolution of white collar matters, as well as the corporate compliance programs designed to avoid such liabilities. She has represented numerous Fortune 100 corporate and individual clients in matters relating to potential violations of criminal or civil fraud statutes, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act, and antitrust laws. She has also represented companies in matters implicating the federal mandatory and voluntary disclosure rules and brought those matters to successful resolution. She has conducted internal investigations in cases across the globe and represented companies before the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the Department of Justice as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, in all phases of U.S. government investigations and settlement.

Ms. Bennett’s fluency in Spanish has enabled her to conduct many investigations in that language. In addition to her extensive investigation and defense experience, Ms. Bennett has years of FCPA compliance counseling experience. She regularly advises corporate clients on their anti-corruption compliance programs and on specific policies, procedures and compliance questions. She has also designed and led large-scale corporate compliance reviews and audits.

Ms. Bennett clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and for the Honorable David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Ms. Bennett entered private practice after serving as a federal criminal defense lawyer in the District of Columbia Federal Public Defenders’ office. Ms. Bennett is also Chair of the Public International and Criminal Law Subcommittee for the District of Columbia Bar, International Law Community, 2017-2018.

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