Broadcast Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2023 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm (ET)
Preserving and protecting privilege remains a critical and challenging issue in internal investigations. Taking a misstep by disclosing sensitive information can result in damaging legal and reputational consequences. With the ethical traps, potential large number of factual witnesses who must keep information confidential for privilege to be preserved, the possible involvement of outside technical experts, and numerous other issues that arise during an investigation, the protection of privilege is tricky.
In some circumstances, a privileged internal investigation will interface with a compliance investigation that regulators or the government will expect to be non-privileged. Preserving privilege over the internal piece of the investigation may be challenging. In addition, privileged information may at times be inadvertently disclosed and it will be critical to challenge or limit the scope of any waiver. There may be times when it is appropriate to proactively waive privilege over certain information, however doing so requires careful consideration and balancing of benefits against the risks of a waiver broader than anticipated. The panel will address these and other challenges that arise in the context of preserving privilege during internal investigations.
Listen as a panel of distinguished thought leaders and professionals organized by The Knowledge Group provide the audience with a comprehensive discussion of the most pressing issues and salient developments in maintaining privilege in the context of internal investigations. Speakers will also provide proven strategies to handle investigations successfully.
Key issues that will be covered in this course are:
Critical Privilege Issues in Internal Investigations
Margaret L. Watson, Shareholder Highly Experienced Employment Law Trial Attorney Littler Mendelson P.C.
Margaret L. Watson has more than 30 years of experience in employment litigation, internal investigations and alternative dispute resolution. She has litigated numerous cases in federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations (FINRA, AAA, JAMS) and agency proceedings. She regularly defends employers and individual managers in cases involving discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII, Section 1981, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, Dodd-Frank Act and related New York State and City laws, as well as common law tort and contract claims, including U-5 defamation claims and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. For approximately ten years, Margaret was employed by a large national wealth management financial services company, where she served as litigation counsel and also helped to design and manage the first corporate ombudsman office for the broker-dealer business of that company. Margaret is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and she began her career as a law clerk to the Hon. Whitman Knapp in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Beth P. Weinman, Counsel Experienced Life Sciences Focused Criminal Defense and Regulatory Attorney with Extensive Investigations Experience Ropes & Gray LLP
Beth Weinman, Counsel in Ropes & Gray’s Life Sciences Regulatory and Compliance practice group, focuses her practice on FDA regulation and enforcement of laws governing pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices including diagnostics, and dietary supplements. Beth represents clients in investigations concerning alleged violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and False Claims Act (FCA). She also provides regulatory and compliance counseling related to marketing practices, good manufacturing practices, good clinical practices, and product recalls and withdrawals. Beth joined Ropes in 2018 from FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel, where she worked closely with FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Justice and other government agencies on FDCA and FCA investigations and enforcement.
Vince Farhat, Partner, Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Group With Extensive Jury Trial Experience Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Vince Farhat is a partner in JMBM’s Los Angeles office and chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice. Vince has extensive jury trial experience and focuses his practice on representing companies and individuals in criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions by government enforcement agencies, as well as complex federal litigation.
Before becoming a criminal prosecutor, Vince was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office where he represented the United States in commercial litigation and other civil cases. From 1998 to 1999, Vince served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward Rafeedie, U.S. district court judge for the Central District of California.
Vince Farhat, Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Group
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Establishing and maintaining privilege over internal investigations is critical to ensuring a comprehensive investigation that establishes key facts and uncovers any problems, so that they can be addressed and remediated while litigation and enforcement risk is mitigated.
If privilege is not established and protected appropriately, it can be waived. It is critical to understand the implications of privilege waiver, when waive or partial waiver might be appropriate, and how to avoid inadvertent waiver.
This session will examine the challenges associated with protecting privilege in internal investigations and will discuss best practices that will ensure that privilege can be appropriately protected unless a decision is made to waive privilege.
This session will include a robust discussion of the experiences and best practices of three practitioners who conduct internal investigations in three different legal fields as well as lessons learned from their most challenging investigations.