March 12, 2015 Articles

The Nuts and Bolts of Your First Investigation

An overview for young lawyers of the differences between litigation and investigations.

By Justin L. Heather

Investigations are a different animal, and can be quite intimidating for the uninitiated. As litigators, we are trained to be zealous advocates for our clients. In the context of investigations, that duty of advocacy is somewhat tempered by the fact-finding nature of investigations. More importantly, the procedures for conducting an investigation are somewhat different from traditional litigation methods.

The purpose of the following is to provide a general overview of some of the primary differences between standard litigation and investigations. This article does not address the peculiarities of different statutory frameworks and regulatory regimes, or provide a detailed analysis of the variances attendant to employee, accounting, or other types of investigations. Rather, this introduction should help young lawyers to better understand the investigations process.

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