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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Assessing credibility: avoiding common pitfalls in workplace investigation reports

Writing about credibility is one of the most challenging aspects of workplace investigation reports. As someone who reviews a lot of reports, I find that investigators usually have a good sense of who is credible and who is not, but they can struggle to write about how they assessed credibility. This is especially true of newer investigators.

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“It wasn’t me”: When respondents deny everything and give you nothing

In the course of a workplace investigation, it is not unusual to encounter a respondent who simply denies the allegations, without offering any further information or explanation. While a simple denial may sometimes be a sufficient response to an allegation, there are instances where there is seemingly more to the story than what the respondent is offering.

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Investigating allegations against senior leaders

It is not out of the ordinary for our firm to conduct workplace investigations involving very senior leaders – presidents, CEOs, senior vice-presidents, partners (in the case of law and accounting firms, for example), school principals, and even board members. While complaints against these individuals may not be the norm, they certainly do exist.

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We believe you  . . .  Sometimes

The assessment of credibility and reliability is always a central part of an investigator’s work. My colleague, Chantel Levy, wrote an excellent overview of the considerations a decision maker should bear in mind when making a finding of credibility, including consistency, corroborative evidence, plausibility, and motive.

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Carroll v. Trump: Lessons for investigations of historic claims of sexual abuse

We have had mandates to investigate allegations of sexual abuse that occurred many years ago. As we point out to clients who wish to retain us, beyond the complexities of every case of this kind, most notably that there is usually no direct evidence of the event having transpired, “historic” cases present unique challenges: Witnesses may no longer be available, documents may have been destroyed, and memories inevitably fade.

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