“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King Jr
Lisa conducts investigations in a thorough, fair, and impartial manner, recognizing the importance of producing a timely, well written, and cost effective report.
Retaining an outside investigator is often the best way to insure true neutrality and an unbiased final report that will withstand the test of litigation. The importance of using an outside investigator is frequently overlooked when confronted with the urgency of moving forward with an investigation. The unfortunate result is many times the belated realization that the internal investigator either has a conflict or is perceived to have a conflict, undermining the integrity of the final report.
Clarifying, in advance of commencing the investigation, what type of an investigation the investigator is being retained to perform is essential. Whether the investigator is serving only as a neutral fact finder or is also making recommendations to management, it is important to retain an investigator who writes well and will be a well-respected witness in the event of potential litigation.
Lisa has trained many investigators how to conduct investigations and prepare final reports. She understands the importance of conducting a thorough investigation, preparing a carefully written report, and being able to clearly explain her findings and recommendations to management as well as to a judge and jury in the event of litigation.
Lisa encourages employers to maintain a list of trusted outside investigators. When many investigations must be commenced within 24-48 hours, there is no time to interview potential investigators at the same time the investigation process must be commenced. In selecting investigators and verifying whether the investigators have the experience required to conduct a neutral investigation, a number of factors should be considered:
- What is their training and experience?
- Will they interact well with witnesses?
- Are they mindful of the confidential nature of the investigation?
- Are they able to prepare a well written report and know when such a report may or may not be required?
- Do they understand the substantive and technical issues unique to the business requiring the investigation?
- Will they be able to interact well with management in delivering the findings and recommendations?
- Will management be able to trust the accuracy of their fact findings and their recommendations?
- Will they be able to deliver a timely and cost effective report?
- Will they be able to testify credibly if there is future litigation?
- Could there be a waiver of privilege risk if the investigator is also an attorney advising the organization?