The Perils And Possibilities Of The Joint Defense Agreement

6 March 2012
New York Law Journal
When and how should a corporation facing investigation coordinate legal strategy and cooperate with its own employees and their counsel? This question often confronts corporate counsel conducting an internal investigation as they consider how to approach individual employees who are or may become subjects of a government investigation. One way to help assure that information can be obtained from such employees is to conclude a joint defense agreement (JDA), an agreement that enables multiple parties in actual or threatened litigation or prosecution to coordinate and jointly assess the government's case. JDAs protect communications passing from one party or its attorneys to another party or its attorneys or their agents, so long as those communications are in furtherance of conducting a joint defense.