April 04, 2012 Articles

The Risks and Benefits of Proffer Agreements in Parallel Proceedings

Granting "queen for a day" immunity can have significant collateral consequences.

By Kenneth C. Pickering

Limited-use immunity, sometimes called “queen for a day” agreements, present a host of practical and strategic issues. Considerations about whether an individual or corporation should make a proffer are particularly complex where parallel proceedings are involved. Each situation is unique, and the decision to make a proffer must be made after weighing the individual facts and circumstances of the particular case, as well as the potential collateral consequences.

Factors to Consider
Initial considerations about making a proffer are frequently complicated because the decision must usually be made at an early stage in the case. While the government’s investigation may be at an advanced stage, defense counsel will not likely have all the facts or documents available that prosecutors have at their disposal. And approaching the prosecutor early on is frequently critical, as prosecutors may not need your client’s cooperation later in the case. A few of the relevant considerations follow:

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now