Colleges and Universities in the Crosshairs: Defending Against Government Enforcement Actions

May 16, 2009 – May 25, 2009

The threat of government enforcement actions is greater than ever for colleges and universities. The highly regulated sector of post-secondary education is increasingly targeted by federal and state prosecutors, and by whistleblowers who often spark these investigations.

In this two-part teleconference, Ropes & Gray government enforcement partners and veteran federal prosecutors–Chris Conniff and Michael McGovern– will discuss the benefits to an institution that result from a timely and properly conducted internal investigation of allegations of potential compliance and/or regulatory violations. They will also describe the crucial role that internal investigations typically play in defending and resolving such allegations, as well as the pros and cons of self-reporting any confirmed violations, and they will discuss some examples of current trouble spots.

  • The first session focused on current enforcement trends in health care, including the government's increasing use of the False Claims Act as leverage in health care fraud investigations. We discussed the impact of these trends on medical schools and their university sponsors, and whether self-disclosure and repayment are effective tools in mitigating liability. Stephen Warnke, the head of the firm's Health Care group, joined Chris and Michael on this session. If you would like a copy of the presentation, please click here.
  • The second session, on Wednesday, May 6, will look at recent enforcement trends affecting colleges & universities, including the increasing scrutiny of relationships with commercial third parties (e.g. , health insurers, credit card companies, student loan providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers) and provide some tips on how to respond to such inquiries. We will also address some of the current issues facing college & university athletic programs and the important need for an institution's compliance program to keep pace with the growth of its athletic program. Dennis Coleman, chairman of the firm's Sports Law group, will join Chris and Michael on this session.

The session will run one hour.