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Government's Willful Blindness Theories Put Lawyers At Risk

Law360, New York (October 4, 2016, 5:34 PM EDT) -- The government's recent focus on holding individuals accountable for corporate misdeeds is supporting the rise of aggressive theories of prosecution, including the idea that even absent actual knowledge, they should have known something was amiss — and defense experts say that's an especially dangerous development for attorneys.

Willful blindness is a boon to prosecutors, a theory that allows them to bring cases even where lawyers can show they had no actual knowledge that they were involved in misconduct.

"In a world where second-guessing has become a blood sport, lawyers can be exposed," says Lawrence Spiegel, a partner at Skadden Arps Slate...

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