We’re getting into the spirit of the season, thankful for the many great blessings enjoyed during 2007. We won’t disappear completely during the holidays, but we’ll slow things down for a few weeks while we spend time with family and friends in other parts of the world. Before we pack our toothbrush, we’d like to leave a short list of our favorite posts, sites and other inspirations from 2007 (not in any particular order):
Our post from August 20, 2007. An entire organization, despite its best efforts to prevent wrongdoing in its ranks, can still be held criminally liable for any of its employees’ illegal actions. Those words are from the U. S. Sentencing Commission’s May 2004 release, and they tell everything you need to know about the importance of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance programs. No organization will ever eliminate the possibility of FCPA violations. But any organization can prepare itself for the consequences.
Our post from September 12, 2007. As the lone exception written into the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, facilitating payments have a reputation for being safe and practical. In truth, grease payments are often dangerous and potentially damaging. When we talk about FCPA compliance with the people on the ground in difficult countries — such as China, Indonesia, Nigeria and others — the hottest and most troublesome topic is facilitating payments.
Our post from October 31, 2007. It requires 54 procedures, takes 704 days, and costs 3,788% of annual per capita income to obtain the licenses and permits needed to build a warehouse in Moscow. Red tape breeds public corruption. It adds more misery and poverty to the world than any other cause. It belongs in the trash heap of history.
An astonishingly high-quality legal blog produced by Peter Henning of Wayne State University Law School and Ellen Podgor of Stetson University College of Law. They set the standards of intelligent discourse and consistency for law-related blogs and inspire us by their example.
Peter Lattman’s blog for the Wall Street Journal Online overflows with good humor. Any lawyer tempted to take himself or herself too seriously (which is most of us, most of the time) should dip into the law blog on a daily basis. The Wall Street Journal may be an unlikely source for such an entertaining blog, but the Journal’s great writing and readability show through in every post, some of which deal with the weighty issues of our day — like mustaches and bow ties.
6. Our readers — you’ve been extraordinarily generous with your feedback, support and encouragement.