Q&A: Michael A. Cox

Senior Counsel, Dykema,Detroit


DB: Where are you?

MC: In Washington, D.C., where I’m attending the National Association of Attorneys General spring meeting.

DB: What’s going on there?

MC: I was part of a panel that addressed parallel proceedings, where companies or individuals face criminal and civil actions simultaneously. An example includes British Petroleum, with the oil spill last summer in the Gulf of Mexico. We’re also seeing it in Michigan with the Enbridge oil spill last July, where the oil reached the Kalamazoo River.

DB: What steps can companies take in response to a government investigation?

MC: A company needs to be proactive and engaged about how it operates, both in the short term and the long term. Such practices will really limit any potential problems. If a government investigation does occur — and, let’s face it, accidents [happen] — companies need to be very up-front with federal and state regulators. The more regulators are kept in the dark, the harder it will be for everyone involved. In my experience as Michigan’s attorney general, if we were kept in the dark about an issue or investigation, the problems tended to get worse.

DB: How can companies prepare for regulations that are in flux, such as national health care reform?

MC: Our firm has been working very diligently on this issue. The legislation was passed (in March 2010), and we’ve been developing strategies and monitoring the legislative process very closely. ... Now administrative hearings are under way to set out the rule-making. It’s like a big rock that’s been dropped in a pool, and we’re following and anticipating the waves.

DB: How about the Dodd-Frank Act?

MC: It’s the same as health care in terms of administrative hearings and rule-making. The U.S. government is creating a whole new consumer protection agency, and at the same time increasing the power of state attorneys general as it relates to prosecuting federal law. Each state operates differently.

DB: How did you make the transition from public to private counsel?

MC: I’ve long been a prosecutor, so I’m using those skills to anticipate potential issues and problems for our clients. You really want to prevent any problems from occurring. But, if they do occur, the best thing to do going forward is to formulate a very precise plan for solving those problems. db


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

PDA Q&A: Cedric Ballarin

Vice President, Faurecia North America, Auburn Hills

PDA Q&A: David Moncur

Principal, Moncur Associates, Southfield


DR. PARTHA NANDI || Founder and CEO, ‘Ask Dr. Nandi,’ Sterling Heights


NICHOLAS J. STASEVICH || Shareholder, Butzel Long, Detroit

PDA Q&A: John Hale

The E-Interview: John Hale // President, Corporate Travel Service Inc., Dearborn Heights
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 30 in Their Thirties: Amy Peterson // 35
    Since she was a young girl in Jamestown, N.Y., Amy Peterson wanted to work for a Major League...
  2. 30 in Their Thirties: Anthony Lamerato // 32
    Ask Tony Lamerato to describe the most challenging part of any job in the broadcasting business...
  3. Detroit Phone Case Manufacturer Introduces Line of NHL Cases
    Original Stix, a Detroit-based startup that manufactures phone cases using recycled broken hockey...
  4. Lear Corp. Acquires Second Building in Downtown Detroit
    Southfield-based automotive supplier Lear Corp. has purchased a building in Detroit’s Capitol...
  5. City of Southfield Buys Shuttered Northland Mall, Plans to Demolish, Sell Property
    The city of Southfield today announced it has purchased the closed Northland Center mall for $2.4...
  6. 5Qs: Richard Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, on Attracting Talent