Investigations

Investigations

LCW's Investigations Practice Team understands that investigations of alleged wrongdoing are an employer’s opportunity to improve the work environment and public educational institutions, the academic environment as well.  Investigations can shed light on best (or worst) practices, systemic problems, and opportunities for improvement.  Effective and defensible investigations are also critical to meeting an employer’s legal obligations. Our attorneys have conducted and overseen hundreds of confidential and independent investigations involving the full range of workplace and student-related issues, including allegations of discrimination, harassment, public safety internal affairs investigations, employee student misconduct, and Title IX-related issues. We specialize in complex, sensitive and high-profile investigations and those involving high-ranking officials.  Our investigators are experts in employment and education law and their expertise results in investigations that are focused, thorough and efficient.  Investigations by a member of our Investigations Practice Team allow employers to focus on business-critical tasks while knowing the investigation is being conducted by an experienced, unbiased attorney.

The attorneys in our Investigations Practice Team regularly conduct investigations on behalf of clients, involving the full range of workplace issues ,including allegations of discrimination, harassment, misconduct and policy violations, and also investigate the full range of student issues. Our Investigations Practice Team is comprised of attorneys with experience and skill in conducting interviews, establishing rapport with witnesses, making credibility assessments, factual analyses, evidence gathering, and report writing, skills that are necessary to conduct accurate, effective and defensible investigations. Several of our investigators are also experienced litigators who know the significance of an investigation report in preparing for civil litigation. When required to testify at deposition, hearing or trial, our neutral and unbiased approach to investigations ensures that our investigators can be credible witnesses.

LCW understands that your organization’s interests will be served and protected through a comprehensive and properly documented investigation. Whether LCW is advising on an investigation conducted by your human resources staff or other personnel or an external investigator, or our attorneys are conducting the investigation, we are committed and experienced in working to obtain effective and defensible investigations that will protect your organization.

Areas in which we work

Approach

Our Investigations Practice Team is comprised of attorneys with experience and skill in conducting interviews, establishing rapport with witnesses, making credibility assessments, factual analyses, evidence gathering, and report writing: skills that are necessary to conduct accurate, effective and defensible investigations. Our investigators have interviewed hundreds of witnesses, complainants, and respondents. Many of our investigators have been specially trained in areas that require special knowledge such as interviewing minors or sworn peace officer rights under the Peace Officers Bill of Rights (POBR).  Several of our investigators are also experienced litigators who know the significance of an investigation report in preparing for civil litigation. We also have certified Level III ATIXA Civil Rights investigators who regularly assist educational institutions with both on and off campus investigations.

When required to testify at deposition, hearing or trial, our neutral and unbiased approach to investigations ensures that our investigators can be credible witnesses.  LCW understands that your organization’s interests will be served and protected through a comprehensive and properly documented investigation.  

Workplace Investigations

We handle investigations of employment and personnel issues including employee misconduct, hostile environment, discrimination, retaliation, ethics violations, whistle-blowing, financial improprieties, and discipline-related issues. We have investigated alleged wrongdoing on the part of employees, board members, and high-ranking officials.  We have extensive expertise in dealing with both cooperative and combative witnesses.  We often work with computer and other forensic experts in the gathering and analysis of evidence.

When the Firm oversees an investigation by someone else, we work closely with the internal investigator and provide support in preparing for witness interviews, conducting witness interviews, gathering documents and evaluating the evidence so the investigation is effective, uncovers the information needed, meets legal obligations, and better positioned to withstand legal scrutiny.

Public Safety Investigations

We are state-wide experts in the laws regulating investigations involving peace officers and firefighters.  We literally "wrote the book," having authored the CPER Pocket Guides on the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FBOR). Our appellate victories have helped shaped the way that public safety agencies conduct labor and employment relations on a daily basis. The firm publishes its own monthly newsletter with news involving police employment legal issues called the Briefing Room. We have also authored our own reference guide, “Principles of Public Safety Employment.” Members of the firm also frequently train police departments in their employment matters.

We conduct internal affairs investigations on a broad range of allegations, including the use of force, dishonesty, conduct unbecoming, harassment, discrimination and retaliation.  Members of our Investigation Practices Team who conduct public safety investigations are well- versed in the POBR and FOBR’s rules governing interrogations, including statutes providing for the required admonitions before interrogating subjects about allegations that could lead to criminal prosecution. A strong investigation report will support your institution’s position in the event of an appeal and make it more likely that your institution will prevail. In addition to our investigation services, LCW can provide an in-depth review of Internal Affairs investigation procedures, and create customized trainings for your institution.

Title IX Investigations

LCW investigators conduct prompt and appropriate investigations of on- and off-campus sexual assaults and harassment to help ensure your organization meets the U.S. Department of Education’s expectations.  Our investigators are experienced at working concurrently with local law enforcement in meeting investigation obligations.

Our investigators are also attorneys who regularly advise educational institutions in drafting and updating sexual misconduct policies and training Title IX Coordinators and other members of the campus community.  Our attorneys also represent educational institutions in responding to complaints filed with the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights alleging harassment and discrimination.  We are also thoroughly familiar with the overlapping requirements of these and related laws including the Education Code, Campus SaVE, Clery, and FERPA.

Student Investigations

We regularly conduct investigations of student issues including allegations of code of conduct or academic policies violations. We are familiar with California and Federal statutes and regulations concerning student rights and responsibilities.  We investigate sexual misconduct allegations involving students including cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and claims by students of bias and discrimination.  Our investigations include on- and off-campus incidents, including those that occur during internships or clinical assignments.

Training

In addition to conducting investigations, we also teach others through workshops, publications, and workbooks. We regularly present workshops to investigators on how to conduct effective and defensible investigations. We can also train your in-house staff on how to effectively conduct their own investigations. 

News & Knowledge

& Knowledge View All News 

Jun 14, 2018 Tips from the Table

Negotiating Personnel Rules

LCW Announces Three New Partners: Linda Adler, Jennifer Rosner and Max Sank
Oct 2, 2018 Press Release

LCW Announces Three New Partners: Linda Adler, Jennifer Rosner and Max Sank

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Jan 8, 2019 Special Bulletins

DFEH Provides Guidance on Impact of New SB 1343 Harassment Training Requirements: Some Questions Answered, Many Still Remain – Including Possibility that ALL Supervisory and Nonsupervisory Employees Need to Be Trained or Retrained Again in 2019

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Oct 9, 2018 Blog Posts

Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations Is Essential To Minimizing The Risk Of Liability On A Failure To Prevent Harassment Claim

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Nov 7, 2017 Blog Posts

California Supreme Court Lets Stand New Case on Officers’ Rights to Discovery Prior to Second Interrogation

On October 18, 2017, the California Supreme Court denied review of Santa Ana Police Officers Association, et al. v. City of Santa Ana et al., a decision from the Fourth District Court of Appeal involving information (sometimes referred to as “discovery”) that must be provided to a law en
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Private Education Matters

DFEH Provides Guidance on Impact of New SB 1343 Harassment Training Requirements: Some Questions Answered, Many Still Remain – Including Possibility that ALL Supervisory and Nonsupervisory Employees Need to Be Trained or Retrained Again in 2019

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Feb 6, 2019 Seminars / Webinars

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Speaker: Richard Bolanos
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