Corporate Criminal Liability, Moral Culpability, and the Yates Memo

16 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2017

Date Written: 2016


This article examines the Department of Justice's Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations (contained in the USAM) and considers the concept of "moral culpability" within them. The article goes on to propose revising the Principles of Prosecution to better focus on questions of "corporate moral culpability" as a means of more accurately assessing corporate criminal liability. In doing so, the article proposes not only changes to the Principles of Prosecution, but changes to the common law respondeat superior test for corporate liability. Finally, the article considering the impact of the Yates Memo (2015) on corporate charging decisions and the Principles of Prosecution.

Keywords: Corporate Criminal Liability, Respondeat Superior, Principles of Federal Prosecution, Corporate Crime, Moral Culpability, Yates Memo

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K20, K22, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Dervan, Lucian E., Corporate Criminal Liability, Moral Culpability, and the Yates Memo (2016). Stetson Law Review, Vol. 46, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Lucian E. Dervan (Contact Author)

Belmont University School of Law ( email )

1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
United States


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