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What Is a Civil Investigative Demand?
A Civil Investigative Demand (CID) is a tool used by government investigators to gather information and evidence for use in a federal civil investigation. The CID may request information or documents, or both, and prosecutors may issue the CID before or instead of commencing any formal judicial proceedings.
What Steps Do You Need to Take?
Step 1: Contact an Attorney
If you receive a CID, the government is either investigating you or someone you know and that the government believes you can provide valuable information about. So, be careful. Many people enter CIDs too casually and without proper preparation, and before they know it, they have turned from witness to a target of a federal investigation. Attorneys, experienced with government investigations, will understand the background of the CID request and prepare you for your sworn testimony. The goal is to be truthful and cooperative while avoiding self-incriminating answers or admissions. Recipients of a CID request may want to contact attorney Lynette Byrd of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, who issued and supervised CIDs during her tenure as federal prosecutors.
Step 2: Preserve your Documents
You are charged with taking all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction of documents responsive to the CID request, including electronic documents. To avoid obstruction of justice issues, you should turn off any auto-delete functions in your email, voicemail, and document retention systems. You should also make sure neither you nor your staff destroy any tangible documents, such as paper files, or equipment, such as smartphones, laptops, or computer storage equipment.
Step 3: Assess the Situation
CIDs tend to be enormously broad in scope, potentially covering thousands of documents and a huge array of topics. You should try to get an idea early on as to what needs to be done to respond to the CID and how long it will take you so that you can dedicate the proper resources to the project. If it will not be feasible for you to adequately respond within the deadline provided in the CID, you may be able to get an extension of time to respond from the issuing authority. However, the sooner you communicate the potential impediments to your response to the authorities and your efforts to address them, the more likely they will be to grant the extension.
Step 4: Prepare
Responding to a CID can be extremely time and resource intensive. Once you have assessed your situation, you should immediately work with your attorney to develop a plan and a timeline for gathering all of the necessary documents and information. Bear in mind that your attorney will want to review any documents or information before they are submitted to the government; therefore, you should have everything together on your end well in advance of the deadline in order to provide your attorney with an adequate opportunity to review. Additionally, you may need to delegate tasks to employees, such as IT personnel, and you should plan on giving them enough notice to thoroughly address their responsibilities regarding the CID.
About Our Practice
The attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP are a team of former prosecutors, former senior government officials, and seasoned defense attorneys. For clients under government investigations, our team offers the insights and contacts of former federal prosecutors as well as the experience of a law firm that has handled hundreds of civil, criminal, and administrative cases in courts across the country.
- Nick Oberheiden has successfully represented business owners, executives, lawyers, public officials, and industry leaders in high profile prosecutions, government investigations, and media campaigns, including 60 Minutes.
- Attorney Lynette S. Byrd focuses her practice on civil and criminal litigation, Medicare and insurance audits, and general advice and counseling in health care law. She is a former Assistant United States Attorney with years of substantial trial experience under her belt who merges excellent litigation skills with profound understanding of the law.
We are available every day of the year, 24 hours a day. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by emailing us directly.
Oberheiden & McMurrey offers clients reliable advice when it comes to handling Civil Investigative Demands. Our experience is based on the fact that many of our attorneys come from leading positions within the Department of Justice, where they supervised and issued CIDs in a variety of contexts. It is this first-hand understanding of hundreds of CIDs that allows our attorneys to make the right strategic decisions and to avoid further investigation or even criminal prosecution. If you received a CID, you should speak with former DOJ-prosecutors Bill McMurrey or Lynette Byrd or request a free and confidential assessment from Dr. Nick Oberheiden.