George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Non-Prosecution and Deferred Prosecution Agreements: Promoting Efficient Settlements or Over-expansion of Corporate Criminalization?

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: Rayburn House Office Building
  • Division: Civil Justice Academy

Program Description: Corporations that became targets of criminal investigations generally faced two choices: enter into a plea agreement or challenge the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) case in court.  Since the early part of this century, however, the DOJ increasingly has relied on two innovative ways to settle criminal investigations: Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) and Non-Prosecution Agreements (“NPAs”).  Under NPAs and DPAs, corporations do not plead guilty to any crime, but agree to pay penalties and undertake certain remedial and prophylactic measures.  These new settlement vehicles may increase the efficiency of settlements and reduce collateral consequences to shareholders or employees. At the same time, some have expressed concern that NPAs and DPAs allow the DOJ to punish conduct that coincides with crime but that Congress never intended to be illegal.   To date, this debate as proceeded largely without data.  A forthcoming SCJI report, however, remedies this problem by examining across a variety of dimensions all NPAs, DPAs, and plea agreements entered into by public corporations from 1997-2011.


Cindy R. Alexander
Research Fellow, Law & Economics Center

James R. Copland
Director, Center for Legal Policy, The Manhattan Institute

Shana Regon
Director, White Collar Crime Policy, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

James C. Cooper
Director, Research and Policy, Law & Economics Center

This panel discussion is consistent with the definition of “Widely Attended” event as defined in the House Ethics Manual (p. 41) and House Rule 25, clause 5(a)(4)(A). Additional information on the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy can be found on our website.

For More Information, Contact: Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy