The 5 Best Places to Find Training Hypotheticals

If you want your audience to understand compliance concepts, you need to engage them by creating amazing hypotheticals

But not every attorney or compliance professional can just conjure up a fantastic story out of nowhere.

Who do you think we are? J.K. Rowling? George R.R. Martin?

I'll let you in on a poorly kept secret - the best way to find training hypotheticals is to use real life cases. 



  • Often, real life is much more interesting than fiction;
  • The basic structure of the story is already made up for you (just tweak it to relate to your company's employees); and
  • Prosecutions and settlements give us insight into which real life situations the Department of Justice takes seriously.

Okay, sounds great. So I'll just go to Google or Westlaw and find these great cases, right?

Not so fast.

Often DOJ settlements and lists of cases are hidden in blogs, news sites and other areas that aren't immediately apparent. 

In order to save you time, I've done the searching for you.

Here are the 5 best places to find training hypotheticals, organized by topic:

1. Anti-corruption, anti-bribery

The FCPA Blog's Enforcement Database is awesome! Seriously, Richard Cassin and his crew really know what they're doing. 

Per The FCPA Blog, 

"the database depicts every DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement action starting from January 1, 2008. It graphs the actions in several different ways (by year, by industry, by country, etc), summarizes each one, and links back to the relevant entry on the FCPA Blog. It's all searchable."

Wow. seriously, if you need anti-corruption and anti-bribery examples, check out the FCPA Blog's Enforcement Database ASAP.

Note: The DOJ also has a great database of enforcement actions going back to 1977! Check it out here: DOJ FCPA Database

2. Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a great list of enforcement actions dating back to 2009. These examples run the gamut from hedge fund managers to low level employees. 

It's a phenomenal resource. 

Check it out here: SEC Insider Trading Cases

3. Antitrust

The DOJ's Antitrust Division has this awesome little search tool that makes finding relevant cases a breeze. 

The Antitrust Case Filings System lets you organize all the filings by type of violation.


This lets you pinpoint potential risks for your company and get an instant list of training hypotheticals on that topic. You want tying agreements? Boom, done. You want bid rigging? Conspiracy? It's all there. 

4. Discrimination & Harassment

The EEOC Office of General Counsel Annual Reports are a goldmine for training hypotheticals. 

Just click the link to the annual reports and go to the section on "Selected District Court Resolutions" for a huge list of representative litigation organized by topic. You can be sure these are the areas the EEOC takes seriously, and they're easy to apply to your training. 

5. General - Newspapers & Blogs

If I can't find a good governmental resource, one of my favorite tricks is to go straight for the most outrageous stories - the media. Just search the websites of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or any other major publication, and you're guaranteed to find some great stories, filled with all the juicy details your employees will love. 

For example, you want more insider trading hypotheticals?

Check out the NY Times' archive - NY Times Insider Trading

Or how about accounting fraud? 

Check out the Wall Street Journal's search function - WSJ Accounting Fraud

In short, make sure to use government websites, newspapers and blogs to create great hypotheticals. They're easy to search and will make your training memorable. 

But ultimately, I realize this takes up a ton of time. If you're too busy to research and create great stories for training, check out our custom training services. We'll do all the work, while you sit back and watch your employees engage with your company's new training.