Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s decision in United States v. Stein[FOOTNOTE 1] on the issue of advancement of legal fees to former partners and employees of the accounting firm KPMG has caused much jubilation among defense attorneys.

In his ruling, Kaplan held unconstitutional the portion of the Department of Justice’s so-called “Thompson Memorandum” that requires prosecutors, in assessing whether to bring criminal charges against corporations or other business entities, to take into account the entity’s decision to advance legal fees to current and former directors, officers and employees who are under investigation.

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