Changes to Justice Manual on Individual Prosecutions Moderate but Preserve the Yates Memo

The fate of the DOJ’s policy on pursuing individuals as encompassed in the so-called Yates Memo has been in question since the change in administration in 2017. A recent announcement by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of some minor changes to the policy may now lay to rest those concerns. The policy changes reaffirm the DOJ’s focus on prosecuting individuals but loosen the requirements for companies to obtain cooperation credit and return discretion to DOJ attorneys in civil cases. In this first article about the policy changes, we spoke to former DOJ prosecutors to understand their context. In a follow-up article, we will dive more deeply into how the changes might impact enforcement. See “How Will the Yates Memo Change DOJ Enforcement? (Part One of Two)” (Sep. 23, 2015); Part Two (Oct. 7, 2015).

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