Bringing a Prosecutor’s Perspective to Internal Investigations

A conversation with Joseph Mack, Senior Compliance Counsel at Bayer U.S. LLC

A former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney, Mack shares the insider knowledge of investigations and compliance that he’s gained from working both in the public sector and in-house. 

In what ways does your public sector experience help to inform your handling of investigations for an organization?

Prior to becoming an AUSA, I defended corporations and individuals in DOJ and SEC investigations. This experience greatly helped me when I became a federal prosecutor. Likewise, now that I am in-house, I bring with me the viewpoint of a federal prosecutor. Accordingly, when handling an internal investigation, I want to review the evidence and take similar steps as I would when I was a prosecutor. This includes not only asking questions in a way that elicits fulsome responses, but also following the evidence and developing additional leads. At the end of the day, you want to be able to do a thorough and complete investigation based upon all of the available facts – and that is the type of investigation you learn to conduct when you are a prosecutor.

How do evolving privacy regulations impact the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, and how can counsel in this field best navigate them to ensure compliance?

Our data privacy counsel are constantly staying abreast of the fluid privacy law landscape. However, privacy regulations do not affect just the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries; these regulations impact nearly all industries. Because there is no comprehensive federal data privacy law framework, individual states are getting more proactive, and there is now a patchwork of applicable state regulations. In many ways, the evolution of privacy law regulations is similar to that in the federal and state reporting area – after the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, many states imposed their own requirements, and continue to do so today. Your company does not want to be an outlier in how they handle privacy issues. Accordingly, I think counsel is best suited to make sure to appropriately utilize conferences and industry groups to benchmark, and of course be guided by advice from outside counsel.

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