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A New Guide to the Sentencing Guidelines

Bonime-Blanc Andrea | June 3, 2008

For years—essentially since the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines were first enacted in 1991—companies have been left pretty much to their own devices to figure out how to develop effective ethics and compliance programs that live up to (or go beyond) what the Sentencing Guidelines require.

In their original incarnation (from 1991 to 2004), the compliance provisions of the guidelines were mostly voluntary in nature, and adopted by either: (a) visionary organizations that decided that an E&C program would benefit and complement their culture, strategy and reputation; or (b) troubled organizations caught in ethical lapses or legal violations and ordered by the government to adopt an E&C program as a remedial measure.

In late 2004, a second phase in the life of the Sentencing Guidelines began. Important revisions were enacted on the heels of Enron and passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. With those reforms, the Sentencing...

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