How do Investigators Determine the Truth?: Lisa Talbot Interviewed by CBC

May 14, 2018

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, companies called to investigate allegations of harassment often request the aid of third-party investigators in order to avoid the claims of bias that can stem from internal investigations. However, some question whether it is appropriate that lawyers assume this role.

The CBC sat down with partner Lisa Talbot to discuss the rise of these investigations and the process of the investigations themselves. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Talbot says investigators are "not behavioural analysts" and instead must look for inconsistencies in the stories being gathered.

"We've gone back to someone and gone over the same sort of factual ground: Are there any changes in the person's story that might cause concern that that can't be explained?"

She said they will also take into account non-verbal cues that might address credibility issues.

"Just the nature of being in an investigation itself can be daunting and nerve-racking. We know that. And then we're conscious of the fact that may lead to a certain lack of comfort in presenting one story. But we do look at things like eye contact and fidgeting and so on."

Talbot said it's relatively rare — at least in her own experience — that investigators are dealing with a true he said/she said, with nothing else corroborating the claims.

You can learn more about Torys’ Pensions and Employment Practice by heading to the practice page.

Lisa has co-authored articles on the #MeToo movement which were released as a part of the Q2 edition of the Torys Quarterly. They are “Class Actions in Canada—Part 3: Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Class Actions” and “#MeToo Readiness: Practical Advice for Corporate Leaders.”

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