So, maybe a woman tells a male investigator, "You can't understand my sexual harassment concerns because you're a man."
My sort of snide answer is: Well, if you can't explain it to me, you're not going to be able to explain it to a judge either.
You remember that you got thick skin, and you remember that it's not personal. Some people are just loud and, as they get agitated, they get louder. And some people really do mean to yell at you, not just for the sake of being loud, but because they're angry with you.
What do you do if a witness asks you for legal advice?
You don't give it to them. It's as simple as that. And this question goes to people who both are attorneys, as well as investigators who aren't attorneys.
I think you just acknowledge that you cannot control them. There are reasons that people don't participate. If they're hospitalized, they're in a coma – they're not going to participate. That seems awfully excusable. And I think you document that there was a legitimate physical medical reason that the person did not participate in an investigation. And you probably need to explain that if it's a glaring hole in your investigation.
This also comes up a lot, and sometimes it's innocuous and not ... They're not trying to be strategic. But you're having a conversation, and they'll be like, "Oh, well, if you talk to Bill, they'll tell you about this too. Are you talking to Bill?" They don't even think through what they're asking you.
So, sometimes the reporting party in particular will reach out to me. I do counsel my clients to circle back around with the reporting party when the investigation is done, but they don't always do that well – or consistently or timely.