Reassessing the Incumbency Effect

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Return to Book Page. Reassessing the Incumbency Effect by Jeffrey M. Incumbents in the U. House of Representatives have presumably increased their vote percentages in recent decades, raising questions about the efficacy of elections in making members responsive. The evidence, however, indicates there has been no improvement in the electoral fortunes of incumbents in the last 50 years. Only Republicans have improved their electoral fortune Incumbents in the U. Only Republicans have improved their electoral fortunes as a result of realignment.

This valuable book provides a very different interpretation of how incumbents have fared in recent decades, and the interpretation is supported by non-technical data analysis and presentation. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

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Jeffrey M. Stonecash, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Political Science | Maxwell School

Sep 26, Mike rated it really liked it. Your corporate client has just been raided by the FBI. For years the traditional playbook has been for corporate counsel conducting an internal investigation to Upjohn interview all relevant personnel and develop factual information before making a determination to provide counsel for individuals who have potential culpability. Specifically, DOJ has highlighted the importance of corporations identifying culpable individuals.

All in all, the clear takeaway from recent DOJ guidance is that corporations that do not undertake internal investigations and provide the Government with evidence identifying personnel who were substantially involved or responsible for criminal conduct risk losing cooperation credit—which could very well mean a declination.

JDAs have long been a staple of corporate investigations. They also allow multiple parties with common interests to share resources and strategies, and often provide participants with sufficient information to rebut unfounded allegations. From a corporate perspective, there are many advantages to participating in a JDA.

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An effective internal investigation requires corporate counsel to have direct access to individuals, something inherently necessary to fact finding. Individuals, after all, are the ones who act for the company and, in turn, create potential liability for the company. However, because individuals may also be personally liable for their actions, they often need their own counsel—counsel that may not let his or her client be interviewed by the company, or that will certainly want to be present for and actively participate in subsequent interviews for fear that the corporation may elect to waive privilege and share inculpatory information attributable to the client with the Government.

Such might be the case if the corporation gathers facts from employees who have entered into a joint defense agreement with the corporation, and who may later seek to prevent the corporation from disclosing the facts it has acquired.


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First , it is absolutely incumbent that corporate counsel conduct initial interviews of all employees with potentially relevant information. Employee interviews are essential for collecting critical facts that will enable counsel to assess risk and serve as the foundation for strategic decisions. That said, counsel should be mindful that the Government sometimes issues deconfliction requests, asking a company to defer interviewing employee witnesses until after it has had an opportunity to do so, to avoid infecting potential witnesses with information they would not otherwise have.

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Such requests may present issues for corporations because failure to comply likely weighs against their receiving full cooperation credit, but corporations and their boards also have a duty to investigate allegations of potential wrongdoing and take steps to terminate such wrongdoing as soon as possible—tasks that may be impossible without employee interviews.

In such situations, counsel should consider talking to the Government about these fiduciary duties and ask for assurances that the investigated conduct is not ongoing. On the other hand, the Government has made it clear that corporations may not qualify for cooperation credit if they do not conduct an internal investigation and turn over key information—information that a company might not be able to readily harvest from a represented employee.

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If the Government tells corporate counsel that a specific employee is a subject or target of its investigation, and to the extent communicating that information to that employee does not create the potential for obstructive behavior, the company should share that information and remind the employee about the possibility of obtaining personal counsel.