When a corporation is caught in a government investigation, the legal fees can quickly exceed $100 million -- and that's before the lawsuits even begin. Once the government files charges, those costs can continue to grow as companies are required to pay the legal fees for any officers or directors accused of wrongdoing.

Is there any way to limit these costs? The short answer is probably not, but a bill introduced in Congress last year might signal a way for companies to give themselves a mechanism to recover some the payments if a former officer or director is found to have violated the law.

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