Let Oberheiden P.C. help you prevent fraud in your Dallas business, as well as help you fight federal accusations by doing comprehensive internal investigations.
No company is immune to various legal risks. That is one thing you should understand as a business owner. Employees can steal your vital corporate assets, you may find yourself under investigation by federal law enforcement authorities, and many other things. When such problems happen, you’ll need swift and comprehensive investigations. These investigations are critical because they’re the ones that determine the scope of the issue you’re facing and suitable response strategies.
While we’re headquartered in Dallas, it doesn’t mean we serve Dallas businesses alone; we also represent others around the country in internal corporate investigations. Our team comprises of skilled attorneys and investigative agents who previously worked for different federal agencies, and if immediate response is required, they are available to act. We’re experienced in all kinds of litigation issues and can represent you in proceedings involving criminal, federal administrative, and civil law enforcement. And apart from helping you conduct in-depth corporate investigations, we can also be your representative in federal prosecutions, investigations, and civil lawsuits.
One best thing about choosing Oberheiden P.C. is that we offer emergency representation services. Unforeseen situations happen all the time: your company may experience an unexpected data breach, you may notice a misappropriation with your IP assets, or suddenly, you may become the subject of an investigation by the FBI or another agency. When such issues occur, we offer emergency representation to get you out of the crisis. Our actions are always strategic: we start by conducting thorough internal investigations and then use the results to formulate a response plan. With a process as strategic and this, you can rest assured that our plan will be effective.
Do You Require Internal Investigations at Your Company?
Various situations can bring the need for corporate internal investigations, and we have discussed some of them. Here are Oberheiden P.C., you can hire us to conduct internal investigations no matter the situation you’re facing. Do you want to pursue claims for wrongdoings against your business and prevent those occurrences from happening again? We can help! Are you facing potential exposure due to because of federal authorities looking into your business? We can help too! Here is a list of situations we can confidently and successfully represent you in:
- Fraud in government contracts
- Violations of federal statutory and regulatory compliance
- Government benefit program fraud
- Shareholder disputes and claims
- Self-disclosure, self-reporting, and accounting issues
- Theft intellectual properties and other assets
- Claims alleging harassment, discrimination, and other issues by you to your employees
- Whistleblower claims
- Bribery and fraud by board members and other corporate executives
- Breaches in data security as well as active threats to your company’s cybersecurity
What Can You Expect While We Conduct Corporate Internal Investigations?
Corporate investigations are not like other legal issues; they’re unique. When you hire us to do corporate investigations, your in-house legal team and company executives must work with us so that we can get all the required information. These investigations also call for careful structuring and proper management to maximize their effectiveness, avoid costly mistakes, and maintain the attorney-client privilege. Our attorneys and former federal investigators provide the following corporate investigation services to Dallas companies:
1. Determining the Exact Problem and Level of Investigation Needed
The exact issue and the investigation’s scope may not always be obvious, and that’s why preliminary investigative measures are crucial for each situation. These measures help to determine how and to what extent the company has been affected. They ensure some relevant concerns are not ignored, which can lead to ineffective strategies. Preliminary investigations also help to determine the people involved in the alleged wrongdoing to ensure they’re not included as part of the investigation team.
2. Forming the Investigation Team
The exact problem has been determined, and steps to proceed with the actual investigation have been formulated, this next step is forming a team that will do the work. While external counsel is responsible for leading and overseeing the investigation, some individuals in the company must also be involved. What are the steps for assembling an investigation team? One, each person is assigned a specific role. The next step is defining the reporting structures: where and how each team member will report his/her findings. The third step is laying out the procedures and policies to be followed by everyone during and after the investigation.
3. Reviewing Hardcopy and Electronic Corporate Records
In some aspects, doing internal investigations is akin to the process of discovery in civil litigations. Every record related to the problem must be maintained, collected, and scrutinized thoroughly without any exceptions. The scope of the investigation determines the records that need scrutiny, including both the extent and the timeframe of the issue at hand. Since our team of lawyers and investigators has far-reaching experience in a wide array of matters, it can quickly determine all the relevant records that need reviewing and scrutinize them swiftly to reach a conclusion.
4. Conducting Employee Interviews
In many cases, employee interviews are also important to the internal investigation process. However, conducting these interviews requires a lot of care, especially if the intricate details of the investigation shouldn’t be openly displayed. Whether an employee is a witness or has been implicated in the actual wrongdoing, caution is vital to avoid raising questions and concerns among other employees. Doing the process carefully also ensures no leakage of information occurs, particularly if that information can compromise the company’s position in litigation procedures that follow or federal enforcement proceedings.
5. Maintaining the Attorney-Client Privilege
Ensuring that the attorney-client privilege is maintained throughout the investigation is of great importance. If it’s not preserved, any information discovered during the process may be disclosed in the following proceedings. Also, communications between the external counsel and company insiders may become compromised. And if a company risks being held liable for the wrongdoing, the situation may result in dire repercussions. Here at Oberheiden P.C., the attorney-client privilege is a matter we pay keen attention to, to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact the investigations and the subsequent proceedings.
6. Reporting Our Findings and Providing Practical Recommendations
In the course of the investigation, our lawyers are always in constant communication with the company leaders to inform them about the progress and new intelligence pieces. After completing the investigations, we offer thorough and practical solutions on how the company should proceed from there onwards.
Depending on the exact situation and the nature of the investigation, recommendations may include:
- Litigating the matter
- Preparing appropriate defense against a civil lawsuit
- Self-reporting a compliance issue or issues to the relevant federal authorities
- Preparing to defend against claims in a federal investigation or audit
- Updating the compliance documentation of the company and other recommendations
If the specific circumstances allow, we may also recommend preserving the status quo. The internal investigation is not aimed at steering the process towards one specific result; its objective is determining what’s necessary and suitable depending on the facts at hand.
7. Taking Suitable Responsive or Remedial Actions
Finally, if the situation and the investigation’s results deem it necessary, we’ll represent your company when it comes to taking suitable responsive or restorative actions. We can confidently handle all aspects of federal litigation as well as defense, and our attorneys are always prepared to represent businesses in federal jurisdictions nationwide. We can get emergency injunctive relief or defend you against civil claims in federal district court. We’re greatly experienced in representing various clients in prosecutions, investigations, and audits involving agencies such as the FBI, the Department of Justice, and many others.
Q&A with Dr. Nick Oberheiden, a Dallas Corporate Investigations Attorney
Q: How do I know it’s the right time to launch an internal corporate investigation?
Even though this question is very important, there isn’t a definite answer to it. If you’re asking the question, then most likely your company requires an internal investigation. The scope of the investigation can be determined when the process starts, but as a company head or in-house lawyer, know that assumptions or reliance on incomplete information can be detrimental.
Here is an analysis of 7 hypothetical internal investigation examples. These are potential real-life situations and can help you understand better about the investigative process.
Q: Which route should I take during my internal investigation? Transparency from the outset or covertness?
The isn’t also a definite answer to this question; it depends on the specific situation at hand. While transparency may seem like the best choice in some situations, disclosing an internal investigation should be done after thoroughly evaluating all the legal risks involved. Covertness can be the best route to take for various reasons, and our team here at Oberheiden P.C. has the necessary experience in handling highly sensitive and confidential issues discreetly.
Q: Is hiring external counsel important, or can I let my in-house team handle the internal investigation process?
Hiring external counsel is vital for various reasons, and sometimes it’s not all about maintaining the attorney-client privilege. An external team that is well-resourced and has handled many investigations in the past is the right choice for increased efficiency. If your company risks being held liable, you need an experienced team that knows how to act every step of the way to protect it, and that’s precisely what you’ll get by hiring Oberheiden P.C.
Contact Oberheiden Today to Speak to a Dallas Corporate Investigations Attorney
Do you have more questions or concerns and would like to get the answers directly from an experienced corporate investigations attorney? Contact us here at Oberheiden P.C. today; we’re available 24/7 to address any of your questions whether you’re an existing or potential client. You can either call us through 214-692-2171 or fill out this online form to let us know how we can reach you.