NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 17th September 2023, 03:00 pm
Surviving an FTC Interview: Asserting Your Rights
Getting called in for an interview with the Federal Trade Commission can be scary. You may feel anxious about what will happen and unsure of your rights. This article will walk you through what to expect at an FTC interview and how to assert your rights.
Before the Interview
If the FTC contacts you for an interview, don’t panic. Take some time to prepare.
- Know your rights. You have the right to have a lawyer present at the interview. Consider consulting a lawyer who specializes in FTC investigations.
- Review any documents the FTC has sent you. Make sure you understand what the investigation is about.
- Think about what you want to say. You can write down notes to help you remember key points.
- Get your documents organized. Gather any files, emails, or records that may be relevant.
Going in informed and prepared can help you feel less anxious.
At the Interview
When you arrive at the FTC office, you’ll meet with FTC attorneys and investigators. Here’s what to expect:
- They will likely record the interview. This is standard procedure.
- They will read you your rights. This is called the “Kastigar warnings.”
- They will ask you questions about the investigation. Answer truthfully, but don’t speculate.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” Don’t guess at answers.
- Stay calm. Don’t lose your temper or get defensive.
The key is to stay focused and stick to the facts. Don’t say more than you need to.
Asserting Your Rights
During the interview, politely assert your rights when needed.
- Right to counsel – Ask for your lawyer if you want advice on how to answer a question.
- Right to privacy – Refuse to provide personal information not relevant to the investigation.
- Right to end the interview – You can stop the interview at any time.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Say something like “I’d like to speak with my lawyer about this question.” Be firm but polite.
After the Interview
After the interview ends:
- Review your notes. Write down anything you remember while it’s fresh.
- Talk to your lawyer. Discuss how you think it went.
- Follow up on any agreements made. For example, provide any additional documents you agreed to give.
The FTC will evaluate your interview along with other evidence they gather. There are a few things that could happen next:
- They could drop the investigation if they don’t find wrongdoing.
- They could continue investigating.
- In some cases, they may file charges or seek a settlement agreement.
Having a lawyer to help guide you through this process can give you peace of mind. They can inform you of your rights and represent your interests every step of the way.
Dealing with a government investigation can be unnerving. But knowing your rights, staying calm, and being prepared can help you handle an FTC interview effectively. Assert your rights, stick to the facts, and keep your lawyer looped in. With the right support and preparation, you can get through this difficult process.
FTC. “A Brief Overview of the Federal Trade Commission’s Investigative and Law Enforcement Authority.” https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/what-we-do/enforcement-authority. Accessed 17 Sep. 2023.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. “Asserting and Protecting Privilege Claims in FTC Investigations.” https://www.gibsondunn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/WebcastSlides-Asserting-and-Protecting-Privilege-Claims-in-FTC-Investigations-03-28-2019.pdf. Accessed 17 Sep. 2023.
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. “Successfully Navigating an FTC Investigation.” https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/successfully-navigating-an-ftc-36150/. Accessed 17 Sep. 2023.
Linder, Douglas. “The Constitutional Rights of Persons Subjected to FTC Investigations and Adjudicative Proceedings.” https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/training-materials/ftcadminlawjudge/module7constitutionalrights.pdf. Accessed 17 Sep. 2023.