Our good friend Sarah Hall wrote an excellent article in the ABA’s Criminal Justice Magazine with Zachary Taylor about the investigation of allegations of abuse in women’s professional soccer conducted by Sally Yates for the U.S. Soccer Federation. The investigation was unusual in that the Federation authorized the release of the report at the same time it was completed. You can find the article here.
I’m a sucker for a good chart and this article contains one that compares certain investigative methodology decisions across investigations. Ultimately, they conclude:
Although no two internal investigations are the same, common themes run through many workplace culture investigations. Given the near-full disclosure provided by the 200-plus-page Yates report, this report allows the professional community a deeper look into methods, techniques, and outcomes, and allows a comparison with other recent internal investigative reports in the public domain.
The article includes:
1. A summary of the Yates investigation and its methodology
2. Some “lessons learned” for companies illustrated by the Yates investigation, including the use of an all-women, inter-generational investigative team
3. An incredibly useful chart that compares high-profile internal investigations across several comparators:
• How did complainants articulate concerns?
• What type of report was released to the public?
• How were witnesses identified in the report?
• Did the investigation set up a public reporting hotline?
• Did the investigation interview or obtain documents from third parties?
• Did the investigation review cell phone data?
• Were there any follow-on legal consequences from report?
4. List of best practices for investigations
If you conduct internal investigations—in any field—this is an extremely helpful article to understand how an investigation’s methodology can affect its credibility, particularly when the subject to the investigation is of public interest.