An internal investigation is an important mechanism an organization can use to address an allegation of wrongdoing, determine legal liability, identify individuals or parties with culpability, comply with regulatory requirements, develop corrective measures and enhance operational efficiencies. Buckner is pleased to continue its blog series highlighting best practices, strategies and techniques that can be used by organizational leaders and counsel during an internal investigation. Today’s post will continue a review of witness interview strategies with a discussion on interview locations.
A comprehensive internal investigation will use interviews of witnesses and related parties as one method of collecting relevant evidence. An interview should be conducted at a location that will put the interview subject at ease, but permits the investigator to remain in control of the interview. For example, conducting an interview at a hotel conference room/suite is a great location. If an investigator is required to interview an individual at his or her workplace, then using a discrete conference room or vacant office would be better than the individual’s office. Further, avoid conducting an interview at the subject’s lawyer’s office since the investigator loses control over the setting.
In addition to a suitable location, an investigator should ensure the location’s logistics and environment are conducive to a great interview. For example, the interview location should be inviting (e.g., friendly and professional receptionist, bright and pleasant decor) to facilitate a comfortable interview subject. Also, the investigator should arrange for the individual to receive precise directions to the location. Finally, an interview subject will be more ready to talk if all logistical issues have been addressed, including the availability of refreshments and convenient parking.
For more information on conducting internal investigations, please contact Michael L. Buckner at +1-954-941-1844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.