Detecting bad apples before you bite
In one case an employee was fired after an outside investigator determined that the employee fabricated emails to several customers to make it appear like he was forwarding derogatory emails from senior leaders at his company. He adamantly denied this accusation and claimed that he was actually fired because of age discrimination. As the emails—if it could be proven he actually sent them—would certainly be justified grounds for his termination, his attorneys engaged our firm to find out what really happened.
We began by getting a signed release from the potential plaintiff and conducting a background check. While the background check was underway, one of our investigators interviewed him about his litigation and criminal history, and about the circumstances surrounding his termination, all while paying careful attention to his verbal responses as well as his paralinguistic and nonverbal behavior during the interview. The man claimed to have no idea how the emails were sent from his account, but his denials were inappropriately qualified and were punctuated by significant postural shifts, latent responses, apparent memory suppression, and other possible indicators of deception.
Had the law firm not done an investigation and simply taken the client’s story at face value the case very likely would have ended in a summary judgment against their client.
Furthermore, the background check determined that he had lied about prior convictions for embezzlement, forgery, and uttering. Confronted with the inconsistencies about his criminal history, which he explicitly failed to disclose to us during the interview, he admitted that he had lied but stated that he only did so because he believed we would not find the records. In other words, he lied because he believed nobody would bother checking.
Based on the results of our forensic interview and background check, we recommended to the law firm that they not accept this case. Had the law firm not done an investigation and simply taken the client’s story at face value the case very likely would have ended in a summary judgment against their client.