It’s a call you dread. The call from a government prosecutor informing you that the company you’re representing in a civil suit it now also the subject of a government investigation. While no company celebrates being informed of a government investigation, there is a silver lining — that is, the government may intervene to stay the civil suit while the investigation is ongoing.

It is well established that the U.S. government may intervene in a federal civil action when the government is engaged in an ongoing criminal investigation related to the civil matter. The government will intervene to protect the government’s interest in its criminal investigation, but this intervention also serves to benefit the company, at least in the short term.

Reprinted with permission from Law360, March/ 2020

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