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A Practical Guide to Employee Internal Investigation Legal Issues

Internal investigations of employee misconduct are fraught with legal pitfalls. It is essential to recognize these traps in order to preserve attorney-client privilege, avoid future lawsuits and more. In this essential legal overview of conducting employee internal investigations, our experienced attorney faculty will walk you through the investigation process and illuminate the top pitfalls that employers fall into. Ensure internal investigations protect the legal rights of all parties while mitigating the potential for future lawsuits - register today!

  • Ensure attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine are preserved while conducting internal investigations.
  • Analyze investigation procedures to reduce the chances for real or perceived interviewer bias.
  • Spot investigation procedure cracks that have the potential to cause serious legal difficulties down the road.
  • Create legally defensible paper trails that fully document the rationale behind termination decisions.
  • Evaluate internal investigation results and determine whether potential exists for retaliation, wrongful discharge or other claims.
  • Strategically use the results of internal investigation in discovery, depositions and other litigation procedures.

All times are shown in Eastern time

  1. Initiating the Investigation: How Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work-Product Doctrine are Preserved
    10:00 - 10:50, Annette M. Margarit
    1. The Role of the Attorney in the Investigation
    2. Legal Advice vs. Business Advice
    3. Scope of Attorney's Duties for Company
    4. Investigating Complaints vs. Litigating Complaints
    5. Third Party Consultants: Functional Equivalents of Employees?
  2. Conducting the Investigation
    10:50 - 11:40, Julie A. Pace
    1. Statements to the Accuser
    2. Statements to the Accused
    3. Statements to Witnesses
    4. Reducing Claims of Bias or Unfairness: Essential Strategies
    5. Common Investigation Errors Non-Attorneys Make
    6. Organizing Interview Materials
    7. Creating the Investigation Final Report
  3. How Plaintiff Attorneys Spot Investigation Cracks - And Make Them Bigger
    11:55 - 12:45, Julie A. Pace
    1. Brushing Complaints Under the Rug
    2. Delayed Investigations
    3. Failure to Follow Company Complaint Policies
    4. Lack of Confidentiality in the Investigation Process
    5. Other Exploitable Cracks
  4. Discipline and Termination Essentials to Avoid Problems Down the Road
    1:15 - 2:05, Annette M. Margarit
    1. Discipline or Termination?
    2. Ensuring Paper Trails Fully Document Actions
    3. Discipline Essentials for Perpetrators
    4. Documenting Discipline and Termination Meetings
    5. Unemployment Benefit Claims - Backdoor Discovery for Future Litigation?
  5. Analyzing Investigation Results: Do the Accuser or Accused Have Grounds to File Suit?
    2:05 - 2:55, David A. Selden
    1. Retaliation
    2. Wrongful Discharge
    3. Constructive Discharge
    4. Discrimination Claims
    5. Potential for Employment-Related Class Action Suits
  6. Using Investigation Materials in Litigation: Plaintiff and Defense Strategies
    3:10 - 4:00, David A. Selden
    1. Litigation Holds: What Should be Preserved?
    2. Discovery Essentials: Reports, Notes, Recordings, Etc.
    3. Accessing Documents that Constitute Anecdotal Statements
    4. Information that Can and Cannot Be Redacted
    5. Deposing the Accused, Accusers and Witnesses
    6. Strategies for Deposing Attorney and Non-Attorney Investigators
  7. Ethical Issues in Employment Law
    4:00 - 5:00, Annette M. Margarit
    1. Key Rules of Professional Conduct
    2. Confidentiality
    3. Conflicts of Interest
    4. Attorneys' Fees

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