Corporate crimes are a huge issue in the legal realm, hard to try and hard to gain justice in. Only a couple corporations have ever admitted to crimes that they have committed, but otherwise there is a long history of deals and agreements that take place in order to settle what would otherwise be extremely lengthy and expensive trials.
Sean Hecker, a lawyer at Debevoise in New York thinks that needs to change, saying that justice needs to be fair and applied to everyone. Settling out of court or arranging for agreements that don’t require a trial are not only the easy way out, it allows for this culture of committing crimes with the idea that you can pay your way out of it later. Hecker argues that for corporations it is easier for them to protect themselves when they just agree to a fast settlement that does not require any discovery process.
Hecker stated that he does not expect the current trend to change, but he and other firms are working to push the Justice Department to bring criminal charges where they apply in these types of cases. Law and legal cases are built on the cases that came before them, so it will just take one or two cases to be brought and justice successfully carried out for the tide to turn.
Not only do trial lawyers have to worry about getting the Justice Department to bring cases against these corporations, and then stop fast settlements from being handed down, but they need the public to understand why corporation settlements are bad for everyone else involved. Juries are the ones that are going to have to decide on these cases, and you need the men and women that serve on a trial to not only understand what is going on, but also be able to grasp the scope of the damage that has occurred.
In trying these larger cases where there is a lot at risk, but also a lot of time necessary for a lawyer and firm, it would help if there was a faster way of getting these cases into court. By reducing the amount of time between discovery and the actual trial, fewer of the parties involved have time to decline a case and give corporations and easy out.