Corporate- Internal Investigations and Defamation

Internal Investigations and Defamation

All businesses and corporations should be aware that, when conducting internal investigations, statements contained in those reports may be deemed defamatory by the company employee or official who is under investigation.  Although state laws vary, when internal investigations are being conducted in response to a reasonable belief of an impending government investigation and the resulting report containing allegedly defamatory statements about specific personnel is furnished to the government, such statements may be deemed “absolutely privileged” as “statements preliminary to a proposed judicial finding.”  Each case, of course, is fact specific.