Internal Investigations

News & Analysis as of

Post Traumatic Settlement Disorder

The rigor and stress of an extensive corporate internal investigation is over. You’ve helped your client determine the scope of wrong-doing, take actions against wrong-doers, calculate the damages/amount of the fraud, fix...more

When Is An Internal Investigation Not Privileged?

Compliance programs have grown in importance along with the demands of new laws and regulations. These programs are increasingly seen as vital to preventing corporate misconduct or, at least, mitigating sanctions if...more

Privileged Status Of Internal Investigations At Risk - Court Finds Reports From Company's Internal Investigation Are Not...

A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia puts the privileged status of internal investigations conducted by internal resources at risk.In U.S. ex rel. Harry Barko v. Halliburton Company, the...more

Tips For Conducting An Internal Investigation

Perhaps your computer system was hacked. Maybe you opened a container to find goods in it that did not belong to you (thank goodness they were not dangerous) or perhaps no goods but evidence people lived in the container...more

Testing the Boundaries of the Faragher/Ellerth Defense in Sexual Harassment Cases

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court created a defense for employers accused of permitting a supervisor to engage in unlawful sexual harassment of an employee. In two seminal cases, the Court held that an employer is not...more

District Court’s Attorney-Client Privilege Ruling Counteracts Incentives to Perform Internal Investigations

It has long been assumed that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Upjohn Co. v. United States, reports generated during an internal investigation undertaken at the direction, and under the supervision, of corporate...more

Federal District Court: Documents Created During an In-House Corporate Compliance Investigation Are Not Privileged

In a noteworthy decision in Barko v. Hallilburton Co., a federal court has ruled that a company's internal investigations are not privileged and must be produced to a whistleblower. In light of the ruling in Barko, government...more

Proceed with Caution: D.C. District Court Says Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Do Not Survive Internal Fraud...

On March 6, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Company et al. that should serve as a wake-up call for all companies conducting internal...more

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations

A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. This interest in social networking does not...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 45, Interview with Justice Ken Wise [Video]

In this episode of the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report, I visit with Justice Ken Wise of the 14th Court of Appeals. We discuss contract drafting and interpretation, internal investigations and judicial ethics. ...more

Federal Court Ruling Raises Questions About Privileged Nature Of Certain Internal Investigations

On March 6, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (“KBR”) must produce to a qui tam relator 89 documents relating to internal investigations...more

California Expands Protections for Employee Whistleblowers

Attention all employers with employees in California: On October 12, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 496, amending the whistleblower retaliation provisions set forth in section 1102.5 of...more

Are Internal Compliance Investigations Privileged? D.C. District Court Rules No

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia holds documents related to internal investigations of possible violations of corporate code of conduct not protected from disclosure under either attorney-client privilege or...more

Protection Against Discovery of SARs and Related Internal Investigation Documents Given Resounding Endorsement by Washington State...

The Bank Secrecy Act prohibits financial institutions from producing Suspicious Activity Reports and documents related to internal monitoring and investigations that are intended to “detect fraud and money laundering.” The...more

Corporate Internal Investigations: Best Practices

A CEO receives an anonymous call claiming that someone is stealing company trade secrets or that an employee is taking kickbacks from a vendor. A GC gets a call from the HR director who has an employee accusing the company...more

The Lost Art Of Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations

You are the HR leader for your organization. Whether you are an executive, a human resources professional, an attorney, an owner, or – in many cases – hold more than one of these titles, when HR issues arise, they come to...more

Board Investigations And The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb – Part II

Yesterday I began an exploration of a recent article in the Corporate Board magazine, entitled “Successful Board Investigations” by David Bayless and Tammy Albarrán, partners in the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP. In...more

Internal Investigations: Doing One Can Be A Compliance Best Practice

The US Navy contract scandal took an interesting twist recently when one of its contractors, Inchcape Shipping Services, which had been suspended from doing business with the Navy for “conduct indicating questionable business...more

Assessing Credibility While Conducting Harassment Investigations

Employee Jones tells Human Resources that employee Smith has been making sexually offensive comments at work. Jones provides dates and details. Human Resources interviews Smith, who says Jones is making up the story and...more

Investigating Employee Complaints – An Employer’s Double Bind

An employee, having been notified of his impending termination, complains to his employer of discrimination. A human resources professional retained by the employer to investigate the complaint concludes that the employee...more

Internal Trade Compliance Training Is No Longer Enough…

To kick off the new year, our first post is regarding internal training of management and employees. If a CEO instructs management to ensure the company is protected, management might decides to train internally,...more

My Favorite Blog Posts From 2013

One of the best things about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act and other anti-corruption practice areas is the top notch quality of commentators. While Mike Volkov regularly derides the FCPA paparazzi...more

Complicating The Duties Of In-House Counsel

A recent case seems to complicate the duties of counsel representing an employer where an employee is a witness in the case. A blue collar employee was seriously injured at work. Another blue collar employee was the...more

Five Key Focus Areas for Internal Investigations of Sexual Harassment

A claim of sexual harassment can be one of the most challenging issues facing an organization. How you handle the investigation can mean the difference between taking the right actions toward resolution or subjecting the...more

Gruss v. Zwirn: SDNY Strikes a Blow Against Selective Waiver

On November 20, 2013, US District Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision with potentially significant consequences for attorneys conducting internal...more

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