Day 1 - Friday, December 4, 2020

Virtual Breakfast and Orientation
Opening Remarks from the Co-Chairs

David H. Laufman
Wiggin and Dana LLP
(Former Chief, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice)

Matthew T. Sanderson
Member, Co-Leader of the Political Law Group
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Keynote Address

The New FARA Crosshairs-and Limits on Exemptions
Key Takeaways on Individuals, Entities and “Non-Traditional Groups” Under the Microscope

Attorneys and the “Lawyer Exemption”

  • Assessing the scope and nuances of the FARA exemption for legal representation
  • Reconciling what crosses the line and what doesn’t
  • Law firm compliance programs in a post-Skadden world

Lobbyists and the LDA Exemption

  • Evaluating risks and vulnerabilities for lawyers and lobbyists
  • What DOJ advisory opinions and determination letters indicate about government priorities
  • The “principal beneficiary” standard: What does it mean?
  • Potential defenses to FARA enforcement actions

Morning Networking Break
PR, Media, Tech and SEO Firms

  • DOJ’s application of FARA to conduct outside of the U.S.
    • Spotlight on PR campaigns directed at the U.S.
  • Establishing standards for when an entity disseminates stories for non-U.S. citizens
    • What triggers the registration requirement?

Corporations, Non-Profits and Their Executives Under FARA

  • Determining whether an exemption applies to business or non-profit activities
  • Assessing the application of FARA to business executives receiving requests from foreign governments for policy-related assistance
  • Comparing and contrasting activities that are considered exempt and non-exempt
  • Identifying the differences between 613(d)(1) and (d)(2) and what these exemptions offer “agents”

Networking Virtual Luncheon
TOWN HALL Q&A: Meet the Chief
What Does It Take to Get a Conviction? Dissecting Recent, High Profile FARA Criminal Cases

This panel will focus on the most prominent enforcement actions in recent memory, and the intersection of FARA with other U.S. laws.

Topics will include:

  • Reviewing recent cases and critical developments informing FARA enforcement
  • How DOJ assesses its “willfulness” burden of proof in criminal cases
  • Circumstantial evidence in FARA criminal prosecutions: What is enough?

PRACTITIONER “WAR STORIES”: Practical Unwritten Rules, Tough Decision-Making and Emerging Case Management Challenges
Afternoon Networking Break
So You Have to Register: Now What?

This session will cover the strategic points to keep in mind when DOJ sends a letter of inquiry and requests documents. Topics will include:

  • Determining and controlling who must file a “shot form” for individuals
  • Completing reports and filing informational materials
  • Establishing a post-registration compliance training and messaging to appropriate personnel

LOOKING AHEAD: Legislative Reform Post-Election

This closing panel will focus on the status and impact of the drive to expand the powers of the Department of Justice to impose civil fines, and limit the applicability of certain exemptions. The discussion will include a practical analysis of pending Bills, including those giving the DOJ authority to issue administrative subpoenas and more. Topics of discussion will include:

  • What are the hurdles to reforming FARA?
  • What exactly has been proposed and how it expands the panoply of risk?
  • What is the anticipated impact of those proposals on the enforcement of the current law?
  • Which reforms can DOJ implement on its own vs. Congress?
  • Additional items to keep in mind when building FARA into compliance program

Forum Concludes