News & Insights


The Criminalization of Government Affairs Activities

Program Speakers

Thomas Spulak, Gary Grindler, John Richter


Lobbyists and corporate executives who interact with government officials at all levels are often confronted with the question of whether it is lawful or appropriate to offer things of value to those officials. "Things of value" includes meals, trips, tokens of appreciation and campaign contributions. The concern is heightened when the lobbyist or the organization have issues pending before the official.

King & Spalding practitioners from the Government Investigations and Government Advocacy and Public Policy practice groups will discuss these and other important topics in an interactive webcast. Our discussion will begin with the ethics regulations and rules of the Executive and Legislative Branches and the Federal Election Campaign Act, and will then focus closely on the growing trend by the Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies to enforce these provisions through criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Issues that will be discussed include:

  • What is an official act and why is that important to understand the term?
  • What is a quid pro quo?
  • An overview of the McDonnell prosecution.
    • When does an otherwise permissible gift become illegal?
  • Can a campaign contribution ever be considered a bribe?
  • Should I make a campaign contribution while I am working with staff of a Member of Congress, senator or their staff?
    • Should I contribute to a member who has just helped me on an issue of importance to my company or client?
    • Should I discuss legislative issues with a member while at a fundraiser?
    • Should industry groups hosts fundraisers for members specifically geared to issues that are currently being considered in Congress?
  • What about contributions to charities if suggested or solicited by a government official? Can that ever be a crime?
  • Is it really against the law to discuss the activities of a Super PAC with a candidate?

Those who register may submit questions at the time of their registration to Kristina Sooy and their questions will be answered by the speakers during the webcast. Questions may also be submitted during the broadcast.

You may register for the program here.

If you have questions that are not addressed during the program, please contact one of the speakers and they will be happy to answer them.

If you would like to receive CLE credit for this program, please complete this linked form and return to King & Spalding (see instructions on form).

Thank you for your interest in our e-Learn Series.  To send a request to have your name placed on the e-Learn invitation list, click here


Kristina Sooy
Professional Development Coordinator

King & Spalding LLP
1180 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
+1 404 572 3042 Direct

Event Details

Date: March 24, 2015