Investigations are an essential task at every stage of litigation – determining whether facts exist to bring a claim and, once a complaint is filed, building a case for trial. When conducted by attorneys, or investigators working as their agents, this fact-finding function is subject to a range of ethics restrictions. Where those restrictions are arguably violated, attorneys not only potentially expose themselves to ethics complaints but also risk compromising the underlying litigation.
This program will provide you with a real-world guide to the ethics issues of conducting pre-litigation investigations, including internal company investigations, external investigations, and investigating members of a jury pool or jury.
·Attorney ethics in pre-trial and pre-litigation investigations ·Ethics in internal investigations, including the fragility of the attorney-client privilege ·Determining who your client is and conflicts of interest in investigations ·When “pre-texting,” or dissembling, is allowed in investigations ·Social media issues – red flags in using Facebook and LinkedIn for investigatory purposes ·Limitations on investigating members of a jury or jury pool
Gregg M. Lemley is a partner in the St. Louis office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., where he has an extensive labor and employment law and related commercial litigation practice. He represents employers in a wide range of litigation matters in both state and federal court in disputes involving discrimination based on race, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin and the FMLA, sexual and racial harassment, and retaliation. Mr. Lemley also has a substantial practice assisting employers in the development, implementation and application of harassment, drug testing, family medical leave and a wide range of other personnel policies. Mr. Lemley received his B.A. from Webster University and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law.
William Freivogel is the principal of Freivogel Ethics Consulting and is an independent consultant to law firms on ethics and risk management. He was a trial lawyer for 22 years and has practiced in the areas of legal ethics and lawyer malpractice for 20 years. He is chair of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct and past chair of the ABA Business Law Section Committee on Professional Responsibility. He maintains the Web site “Freivogel on Conflicts” at www.freivogelonconflicts.com. Mr. Freivogel is a graduate of the University of Illinois (Champaign), where he received his B.S. and LL.B.