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Internal Investigations 101: Interviews and Interrogations

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 discuss the differences between interviews and interrogations:

An investigator uses several ways to collect evidence. One method is to obtain oral testimony from individuals. Oral testimony is acquired from interviews and interrogations. An interview “is a conversation intended to elicit information” and “are generally non-accusatory”. During an interview, an investigator asks “open-ended questions in an attempt to elicit as much information as possible”. Some experts advise “interview subject should do most (75%) of the talking” during an interview. An interrogation, on the other hand, “is the process by which suspects are questioned in regards to their involvement in the activity that gave rise to the investigation” and “involve the interviewer accusing the suspect”. Interrogations are typically associated with law enforcement.

Source: Christopher D. Hoffman, “Investigative Interviewing: Strategies and Techniques (August 2005), available at: http://www.ifpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/interviewing.pdf.

Contact attorney Michael L. Buckner (+1-954-941-1844; mbuckner@bucknersportslaw.com) for additional information on conducting internal investigations and intelligence-gathering.


About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, civil litigation, estate planning and compliance services.


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