Warning that the corporate system can't work if boards of directors are hamstrung by fear of civil or criminal liability, Treasury Secretary John Snow this week called for balance in the enforcement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

"We need to maintain balance in our enforcement. We need to make sure the emphasis is on substance and not form," Snow said in a speech this week on corporate governance at the New York University Center for Law and Business. "We need to make sure that innocent mistakes are not criminal."

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