More and more, defendants find themselves in two-front, or multi-front, fights: Federal prosecutors bring criminal charges, while another agency, or a civil component of the Department of Justice, brings a related civil proceeding. Private parties may bring parallel cases, whether shareholder suits or other class actions. Such situations frequently arise in securities or commodities fraud investigations, where the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) brings a parallel enforcement action, in health care fraud prosecutions, where the Justice Department’s civil division brings a parallel False Claims Act case, or in investigations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The factual issues in these parallel civil and criminal cases are largely identical. Legal issues overlap. But curiously, because one case is labeled “civil” and the other “criminal,” they are not deemed “related” under the rules of the Southern District of New York.

Rules in Different Districts

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