1. How to Conduct Legal Student and Employee Investigations

How to Conduct Legal Student and Employee Investigations

Event ID: 75282
Session ID: 16798
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 1PM Eastern
Duration: Scheduled for 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter(s): Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., attorney at law, Steckel and Stopp
Credits: 1.5 HRCI, 1.5 SHRM


How to conduct legal student and employee investigations

Whether dealing with employee termination cases, unlawful harassment complaints, bullying allegations, or a variety of other employee or student-related litigation, from a legal-defensibility perspective, one factor has established itself time and again as the central focal point of a case: the investigation procedure. A sloppy, cursory, or non-existent investigation will almost certainly result in an unfavorable legal result, which may include being forced to re-appoint an incompetent employee or one that engaged in significant misconduct or being blocked from expelling or otherwise disciplining a disruptive or potentially dangerous student. From the timeline to the scope of the investigation, a carefully-crafted process is key.

Please join Atty. Erin D. Gilsbach as she goes step-by-step through a model investigation process, explaining the legal benefits of specific practices, pointing out common errors and pitfalls, and identifying areas where the process could or should be tailored to suit the specific needs of the school. She explores the process from the initial complaint through the collection and review of evidence to the interviewing of witnesses. She will discuss varying models and practices and will point out areas where different models may have different results. Erin Gilsbach will guide attendees through the process of collecting evidence and selecting and interviewing witnesses. She will also provide detailed suggestions regarding how to properly and defensibly document an investigation and will give helpful tips regarding the maintenance of investigation records. She will discuss notification rights regarding the complainant and the subject of the investigation as well as employee due process rights that may be implicated in the procedure. Finally, she will provide model suggestions for establishing an appeals process within the school.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • A general overview of the importance of well-established, legally-defensible investigation practices
  • Timelines and the importance of creating and implementing uniform, detailed, written procedures
  • Interviewing a complainant and/or dealing with anonymous complaints
  • Gathering evidence and notifying and interviewing witnesses
  • Documenting the investigation process
  • Drafting and documenting findings
  • Notifying/informing the complainant and the subject of the investigation as to the investigation results
  • Establishing a practical, efficient, and legally-defensible appeals process within the school
  • Ensuring satisfaction of any/all due process rights

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