Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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When a company receives a civil investigative demand (CID) from a government agency like the Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission, it can trigger an internal investigation to gather responsive information. However, companies must be careful to appropriately scope these internal investigations to balance compliance with minimizing business disruption.
The first step is to understand the general basis for the investigation by reviewing the CID resolution and speaking with agency attorneys. This will indicate the suspected violations or practices under review. It’s important to understand the scope so you can appropriately target the internal investigation.
While CID scopes can be quite broad, any limitations provided can help appropriately narrow the internal investigation (see discussions on Reddit).
Conducting an internal investigation requires substantial resources in terms of employee time, legal review, data gathering, and document production. Assessing available resources will determine what can feasibly be covered.
Understanding resource constraints allows creating an appropriately scoped plan (see related discussions on Quora).
The next critical task is identifying the key systems, repositories and records where relevant data resides. This allows targeting data gathering to appropriate sources.
|Keyword searches, date filters
|File indexing and review
|Content management systems
|Metadata and full-text searches
Identifying these key sources early allows focusing data gathering and review (see Avvo’s CID response guide).
Interviewing employees with relevant knowledge of the business activities under investigation is also critical. This serves to understand key systems and records as well as locating responsive information.
Well-planned interviews allow efficiently targeting data gathering and avoiding excessively broad searches (see LawInfo’s CID guide).
The volume of information potentially responsive to CIDs often exceeds what can realistically be gathered and reviewed within typical deadlines. Prioritizing key data sources and search areas allows staying within appropriate limits.
Effective prioritization minimizes potentially irrelevant data collection (see FindLaw’s CID guide).
Thoroughly documenting all steps taken in the internal investigation is crucial both for agency reporting and demonstrating a defensible process.
Complete documentation helps establish the internal investigation was conducted in a reasonable, proportional, and defensible manner.
If any aspects of the CID seem excessively burdensome or irrelevant, companies should evaluate opportunities to negotiate limitations with the agency’s attorneys based on the established internal process and documentation.
Reasonable negotiations can help reduce business disruption while demonstrating cooperation. Companies should consult legal counsel when assessing these options.
Appropriately scoping internal investigations requires carefully balancing compliance obligations with minimizing organizational disruption. Following protocols to assess scope, identify key sources, conduct interviews, prioritize gathering, document the process, and negotiate opportunities allows organizations to appropriately respond.
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