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Title IX

Should You Consider an Internal Investigation?

Universities are under intense scrutiny. Instances of fraud and cover-ups in highly-regulated industries have given rise to new legislative and regulatory requirements.  More than ever before, universities face potential investigations by government agencies while at the same time private plaintiffs are pursuing more cases involving significant allegations regarding conduct with the institution. In addition, employees are often encouraged to function as law enforcement and report wrongdoing. In today’s legal and regulatory environment, the need for organizations to promptly investigate and respond to allegations of misconduct within their ranks is more important than ever.

But there is a means for universities to protect themselves.

A thorough internal investigation when confronted with allegations of potential wrongdoing, conducted by experienced counsel, can allow an institution to avoid external scrutiny or minimize the risk associated with it.

When should a university consider an internal investigation?

  • Allegations of wrongdoing within the university
  • Government investigation
  •  Liability and potential resulting litigation
  • Whistleblower complaint
  • Auditor inquiry
  • Complaints of harassment

What You Can Expect from the Cohen Seglias Internal Investigations Team

We are uniquely positioned to conduct internal investigations for educational institutions, guiding them through the legal issues that arise in the process and obtaining a timely resolution of the matter at hand.

Our first step is a deep dive preliminary assessment:

  • An assessment of the severity/credibility of the allegation
  • An analysis of how high in the organization it goes
  • Whether the allegation is on the radar of board or senior management
  • Whether there are any disputed issues of fact
  • Identification of potential witnesses
  • Identification of potential physical evidence and evidence custodians
  • Recommendations on preventing or mitigating further damage
  • Strategies to preserve evidence before it disappears, including and sequestering evidence. 

Once the research and background knowledge is gathered from the preliminary assessment, the case strategy is created and presented.

Experience that Matters

Our sophisticated Internal Investigations Practice knows the applicability of legal privileges, is capable of assessing liability, and is trained in witness interviews and credibility determinations. We are experienced in conducting comprehensive internal investigations in order to discreetly uncover the truth so that our clients can make informed and legally defensible decisions. We have analyzed and uncovered waste, fraud, abuse and other wrongdoing within organizations and institutions throughout the U.S.

Our Practice includes a former state investigator and prosecutor; a seasoned labor and employment attorney; nationally known experts in research integrity and scientific misconduct matters; and the former head of the Office of Research Integrity, the organization that oversees national investigations related to scientific misconduct allegations on behalf of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Our Internal Investigations Practice is also supported by the firm’s Electronic Discovery and Document Retention Group, who are the Firm’s experts in recovering email, text messages, and other forms of electronically stored information, essential elements in any internal investigations matter.

Members of the Internal Investigations Practice are frequently tapped by the media and trade organizations to provide insight and input on matters related to internal and scientific investigations.

 

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