Mitigating Risks of Defamation Litigations: Best Practices for Internal Investigations
Disclosing a company’s internal investigation to government investigators is always risky as is the danger of waiving attorney-client privilege and work product protections. Less well known is the risk of defamation claims filed by employees identified as having violated company rules or participated in illegal activities. Yet, in recent years, defamation claims have resulted in multimillion dollar verdicts and the cases are not limited to media defendants.
Defamation damages are notoriously difficult to quantify, thereby increasing the risk and uncertainty of defending defamation claims in court. Basically, there are three main types of damages: harm to reputation, other special damages; and punitive damages.
Some pre-litigation decisions can be advantageous in Mitigating Risks of Defamation Litigation and the related costs. It is important to learn as much as possible, as soon as possible about the alleged offending statement and to ask for a retraction. Like any other victim of a tort, in some cases a defamation plaintiff must be urged to mitigate its damages. Whether to retract a statement can be critical and a not an easy decision.
Companies need to be aware that communicating something critical about an employee to anyone other than the person poses a defamation risks. Nuanced issues such as a tort of injurious falsehood are also of concern.
In this two-hour LIVE Webcast, a panel of distinguished professionals and thought leaders assembled by The Knowledge Group will help corporate lawyers, internal counsel, prosecutors, regulators, employers and employees understand the important aspects of internal investigation for pre-litigation for defamation. The speakers will provide an in-depth discussion of the fundamentals to mitigate defamation risks. The speakers will also offer best practices in developing and implementing an effective strategy in Internal Investigation.
Key topics include:
- Internal Investigation - Key Insights
- Defamation Risks
- Effects of Defamation to Business Activities
- Impact and Implications to Employees
- Risks and Pitfalls in Internal Investigation
- Internal Investigation Process
- Possible Sanctions
- The "Writt" Litigation Case
- Purpose of Internal Investigation
- Investigation of Defamation Claims
Albert J. Soler, Partner
Soler & Partners LLP
- General Principles of Freedom of Speech
- Limitations on Speech: Defamation
- Avoiding Ethical Problems in Internal Investigations
- Tort Risks of Internal Investigation
- Latest Trend: The Writt Case
- Catch 22 of Cooperating with FCPA Investigations
- Best Practices to Mitigate Risk Legal Action by Employees
Nathan Zipperian, Partner
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
- Structuring The Investigation
- Use of Internal Personnel Or Outside Investigators
- Identifying Prior Existing Relationships/Conflicts Between The Parties
- Creating The Report
- Risk Mitigation By Diffusion Of Responsibilities - Separation Of Investigators And Decisionmakers
- The Decision Maker(s) - Internal Decisionmaking/Use Of Ombudsperson/Other Alternatives
James E. Miller, Partner
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
- Communicating/Publishing The Results Of The Investigation (Required And Otherwise)
- Applicable Privileges - Absolute, Qualified And Other
- Legal Tests Arising From Privileges and Non-Privileged Statements
- Other Strategies To Mitigate Risks Associated With Internal Investigations And Defamation Actions
- Examples And Case Studies Of Internal Investigations Resulting In Significant Defamation Liability
- Lessons Learned From Case Studies
Who Should Attend:
- Corporate Lawyers
- Attorneys General
- General Counsel
- Internal Counsel
- Prosecutors and Regulators
- Risks Professionals
- Top Level Management
- Other Related/Interested Professionals and Organizations
James E. Miller is one of the founding partners of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah, LLP. He is admitted to practice law in the States of California, Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and numerous federal courts, including the Southern, Central and Northern Districts of California, District of Connecticut, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, District of New Jersey, Eastern District of Wisconsin, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Miller earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University (B.S. 1988) and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (J.D. 1991). While at Penn Law School, he was awarded the Edwin R. Keedy Cup and was Editor of the Comparative Labor Law Journal. Following graduation, he served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Miller concentrates his practice on securities, corporate governance and employee benefirs litigation, as well as significant employment, defamation and wage/hour cases. He also serves as outside general counsel for certain select clients of the Firm, most of which are based subsidiaries of corporations based in Europe and India. During his career, he has supervised a number of internal corporate investigations and has litigated numerous defamation cases, both on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. Mr. Miller has tried over twenty (20) cases to successful verdict or judgment during his career, including class action, defamation, employee benefits, employment and whistleblower matters. In defamation proceedings on behalf of plaintiffs, Mr. Miller has secured a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and arbitration awards.
James E. Miller is one of the founding partners of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah, LLP. He is admitted to …
Nathan Zipperian is a partner of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”). He is admitted to practice law in the States of Arizona, Florida, New Jersey and Oregon, as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and numerous federal courts, including the District of Arizona, Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, the District of New Jersey, the District of Oregon, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Zipperian earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon (B.A. 1995) and his law degree from Temple University School of Law (J.D. 1998). While at Temple Law School, he was an Editor of the Environmental Law and Technology Journal. Following graduation, he practiced in Arizona and Oregon before joining SFMS. Mr. Zipperian is a member of the American Bar Association and resides with his family in Weston, Florida.
Mr. Zipperian concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation and corporate counseling, as well as significant employment, defamation and wage/hour cases. He also serves as outside general counsel for certain select clients of the Firm, most of which are subsidiaries of corporations based in Europe. During his career, he has supervised a number of internal corporate investigations and has litigated several significant defamation cases on behalf of defendants.
Nathan Zipperian is a partner of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”). He is admitted to practice law in …
Albert is a founding partner of Soler & Partners LLP and represents a variety of clients, including businesses, individuals, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in commercial and business transactions, litigation, intellectual property, licensing, merchandising, marketing, internet, rights of celebrity and publicity, and other areas. Albert regularly counsels clients in the music, fashion, art, and entertainment industries. Representative matters include breach of contract and commercial disputes, federal and state unfair competition, defamation, product disparagement, prosecution and enforcement of intellectual property rights worldwide, licensing and merchandising collaborations between prominent fashion designers, pop-stars, and iconic brands; global enforcement of intellectual property rights, negotiation of music, publishing, and recording deals, and general civil and intellectual property litigation.
Prior to forming S&P, Albert was a litigation attorney at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious law firms. Albert’s practice included corporate, commercial and securities litigation, intellectual property prosecution, enforcement, and protection, as well as investigations by governmental and regulatory agencies. Representative engagements included advising pharmaceutical companies in breach of contract suits, defending an international beverage giant in a breach of contract suit, representing an international bank in connection with inquiries by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York State Attorney General's Office, and represented a global oil services company in connection with internal investigations and compliance reviews.
Albert received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997 and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2003. Albert is fluent in English and Spanish and is a member of the New York State Bar, the Pennsylvania State Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Albert is a founding partner of Soler & Partners LLP and represents a variety of clients, including businesses, individuals, start-ups, …
Print and review course materials
Method of Presentation:
NASBA Field of Study:
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Unlock All The Knowledge and Credit You Need
Leading Provider of Online Continuing Education
It's As Easy as 1, 2, 3
Get Your 1-Year All Access Pass For Only $199
About Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP is an established law firm with an international reach and reputation. Founded by alumni of large firms, SFMS began as a litigation boutique over ten years ago and has grown into a full-service firm with offices located strategically throughout the United States and strong international affiliations. Since SFMS was founded in 2002, the Firm’s lawyers have recovered more the $1 billion for clients in securities arbitrations, class action litigation, qui tam lawsuits and other matters. The Firm’s client base is diverse and eclectic, and includes small and midsize business entities, multinational corporations, institutional investors, broker-dealers, benefit funds and plan administrators, financial institutions, governmental entities, labor unions and individuals, including corporate executives, employees, consumers, retirees and whistleblowers. SFMS maintains offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as an affiliate office in London, England. The Firm also is an active member of Integrated Advisory Group (iaginternational.org), a highly respected network of attorneys, fiduciary trust and tax advisors that provide the firm's clients with access to high quality advice at reasonable costs in almost any jurisdiction around the world.
About Soler & Partners LLP
Soler & Partners LLP (S&P) provides excellence in legal counseling in a variety of practice areas, including: Federal & State Litigation, Corporate & Business Law, Intellectual Property (Trademark, Copyright, Patent), Internet & Advertising Law, Defamation, Right of Publicity & Disparagement, Licensing, Branding & Merchandising, Immigration and Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning
We share a passion for the law and are committed to forming long-standing relationships with clients by providing an effective, entrepreneurial, and business-minded approach to legal counseling. At S&P our clients' needs are handled efficiently, effectively, and in a strategic manner. S&P is proud to offer client-focused excellence in legal representation.
S&P is also committed to making a difference in our communities through public service, pro bono, and charitable endeavors.