Sarbanes-Oxley: Regulating Lawyers 

February, 2003 - Aarthur S Berner

First the auditors, then the bankers and now the lawyers. Many have questioned the role of lawyers in recent corporate scandals and expressed the view that lawyers should not be allowed to be bystanders and perhaps even facilitate (whether or not knowingly) corporate wrongdoings. So, last year, in the hopes of restoring investor confidence in public companies, Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act instituting sweeping corporate governance reforms including standards of conduct for lawyers representing public companies and their nonpublic subsidiaries. Sarbanes-Oxley required the SEC to address previously sacrosanct attorney-client privilege and confidentiality issues as well as well-established means for attorney discipline.



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