Conflict of Interest

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by QGator2414, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    I have no doubt that this is a problem among all governments

    The thing that really concerns me is if this guy is getting a kickback? Hence the question. Maybe he is going to work pro bono?

    That said this is going to get more attention due to the scope of the situation...federal government official in a healthcare scenario working both sides at the same time.
  2. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    The question would be whether you could really say that he is "working both sides at the same time."

    People moving in and out of government from industry is certainly a concern, and that's a big part of what the idea of "regulatory capture" is all about, but at the same time it's not like they just take a leave of absence from their company while staying on the payroll. They are formally disaffiliated, removed from the board, divest themselves of financial interests in the company, etc.

    Even with divestment, disaffiliation, etc. there is (unless waived) a certain amount of time that you let pass before you work on government things that directly affect your former employer. They waived that time period for this guy.
  3. g8rjd
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    g8rjd Well-Known Member

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    As a general matter, WITHOUT AN ETHICS WAIVER, the rules for former government attorneys (and probably other employees) is largely "relaxed" when moving from government work to the private sector. This is to avoid a major disincentive to working for the government. Under attorney ethics rules, you have a significant duty of loyalty, not just to your clients, but to former clients. However, when you leave the government, you can work adverse to the government (which is a no-no for private party clients), so long as you are not working on a matter that you "personally and substantially participated" in while you were with the government.

    For example, AUSA X works for the Department of Justice and spent much of his time "not defending" DOMA. He leaves the DOJ and goes to work for a firm where he is now adverse to his co-workers on Affordable Care Act litigation. No problem, as long as he didn't personally and substantially work on the ACA case while he was at DOJ. This type of situation would, however, be a problem if he were dealing with a former private client.

    I know this is a tad tangential, but I thought it might be helpful for some folks who aren't familiar with moving between government and private employment.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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