have taken all reasonable steps to respond appropriately to the offense and to prevent further similar offenses -- including any necessary modifications to its program to prevent and detect violations of the law."50 A corporation cannot rest after its initial effort; it must consider appropriate changes to the program if a violation occurs and if the law should change.
The issues surrounding corporate criminal liability are complex and rapidly evolving. The stakes are high and the potential for a mistake is great even when a corporation acts with the best intentions. Prudence requires that a corporation seeking to avoid the devastating consequences of a criminal prosecution of the company or its employees obtain competent advice from experienced counsel before a problem arises.
Despite the hostility with which some view codes of conduct these codes have become a permanent part of the corporate landscape. In the abstract, it is difficult to object to the adoption of a corporate code.
Thus, the positive factors, when combined with the legal incentives, should compel every corporation to implement an effective code of conduct. Considering these advantages, a corporation can no more afford to operate without an effective corporate code of conduct than it can afford to operate without liability insurance. Only extremely careless or foolish executives will fail to implement and enforce a compliance program and risk losing the significant advantages of such programs.