Ethical Internal Investigations: Protecting the Company, the Individual and Yourself

Streams live on Thursday, December 03, 2020 at 01:00pm EST

$ 99 Ethics In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics

Course Description

This program, taught by a panel of veteran litigators with a broad range of experience, will explore best practices in conducting internal investigations under conditions that limit travel and face-to-face contact. The course will also discuss different types of internal investigations, including those arising out of allegations of discrimination and harassment, and those driven by government enforcement actions; how to manage various stakeholders in these investigations; and how each scenario can provide opportunities for the individual’s counsel to ensure the best outcome for their client. The discussion of strategy for internal investigations will also be informed by developments in attorney-client and work-product privileges, Upjohn warnings, joint defense agreements, and “hot documents”.

This program will benefit attorneys who conduct internal investigations, as well as general counsel, labor and employment attorneys, and attorneys who practice white-collar criminal defense. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the relevant Model Rules of Professional Conduct applicable to conducting internal investigations
  2. Discuss the impact of the remote practice on the ethical conduct of internal investigations
  3. Review best practices when advising corporate counsel as well as individual clients
  4. Avoid ethical pitfalls when representing individuals and corporate boards 

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Ellen C. Brotman


Ellen C. Brotman began her career as a law clerk in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. She has served as an Assistant Federal Defender in Philadelphia, PA and practiced in small, medium and large firms with a focus on criminal defense, appellate advocacy, professional responsibility and ethics. She has defended a wide variety of high-profile criminal cases, including political and public corruption, securities fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, currency structuring and other white-collar crimes involving complex trial, sentencing and appellate issues. Ms. Brotman also has extensive experience representing lawyers before the Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania. She is the founder and owner of BrotmanLaw, Philadelphia, PA.

Preston L. Pugh

Crowell & Moring LLP

Preston L. Pugh is a trial and investigations lawyer with extensive prosecutorial, complex internal and government-initiated investigations and high profile court-appointed monitor experience. Preston represents corporations in multiple stages of crisis management, often in cases that have a complex employment component. He has extensive experience handling matters involving the civil False Claims Act (FCA), misstatements of financials, workplace violence, trade secrets disputes, regulatory inspections, the full range of employment discrimination litigation, and insider threats. He joins the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as a partner and will work across the firm’s Government Contracts, White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement, Labor and Employment, and Health Care groups. Preston is also a member of the FCA Steering Committee

As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, senior compliance investigations counsel at GE Healthcare responsible for global investigations and commercial litigation, and a seasoned compliance monitor, Preston uses his diverse experience to assist clients operating in competitive and complex markets. He helps clients understand not only whether "noncompliance" occurred, but also the root cause of the concern – not just "putting out fires," but finding an efficient, effective solution that resonates with regulators, eliminates excessive risk in specific areas, and constructs enduring cultural change.

He was appointed by a federal district court in one of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) largest monitorships to date involving racial discrimination and harassment. At the conclusion of the monitorship, the district court observed, "You're that outsider coming in... Not easy to do, but you did it well...." He was also the first monitor appointed by the Waterfront Commission of New York and New Jersey Harbors, overseeing a stevedore's efforts to root out organized crime. 

Preston is a known advocate in both trial and appellate courts. He has successfully tried a wide variety of federal cases, and has argued civil appeals in the First, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. He has succeeded in two cases of first impression: one in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and another, as amicus counsel, in the Illinois Supreme Court.

Previously, he was a partner at a well-respected Washington, D.C. firm and a prominent trial boutique in Chicago. He was recognized as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" from 2011 to 2017 and received multiple Special Service Awards during his time at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago. For 10 years, he served as part of the national faculty for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and has been an adjunct professor in appellate advocacy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Representative Matters

  • Led a top-to-bottom risk assessment of a global manufacturer in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, U.S., and Asia Pacific covering anti-corruption, third-party due diligence, cartels, government contracts, trade controls, and the use, availability, and structure of its whistleblower reporting channels.
  • Represented the second largest hospital in Wisconsin after the tragic onsite homicide of a nurse-practitioner. Led a team to conduct internal investigation of the homicide and hospital security protocols. Advised the hospital regarding communications and discussions with internal and external stakeholders. Represented the hospital in associated OSHA investigation, which resulted in no adverse findings against the hospital.
  • Jointly led investigation into allegations by a whistleblower regarding accounting and internal governance/compliance issues into $5B non-U.S. headquartered company and its U.S. subsidiary, reporting results to external auditor.
  • Jointly led the internal investigation of an airline in an industry-wide False Claims Act (FCA) and false statements investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The investigation was both domestic and global, took place over several years, and involved dozens of witnesses.
  • Defended FCA and criminal false statement allegations against a Division I university following a well-publicized 2013 dawn raid by 54 federal and state law enforcement agents. Advised university regarding communications, discussions with law enforcement, internal and external stakeholders, and internal investigation of the issues. After several years, the DOJ closed the investigation with no charges filed.
  • Jointly led an independent investigation of alleged conduct by coaches on a Big Ten sports team, including highly publicized allegations by student-athletes of abuse, favoritism, and racism. Public report issued to all University alumni.
  • Defended three executives of a large Wall Street financial institution in a nationally publicized trade secrets and non-solicitation lawsuit filed by the executives’ former employer/financial institution. The case was litigated in both the Illinois Chancery Court and FINRA. The allegations were not sustained.
  • Retained by a board of directors to investigate numerous code of conduct complaints against the CEO of a large hospital, including conflicts of interest and other allegations.
  • On behalf of a large corporation, investigated the company's Deputy Chief of Human Resources for numerous alleged code of conduct breaches.
  • Investigated transportation executive for allegedly rigging a hiring process for senior managers seeking promotion.
  • Conducted a nine-month internal investigation of a health care medical device company regarding allegations of kickbacks, off-label marketing, and other health care compliance issues.
  • Defended a bank accused of widespread racial discrimination against its customers. Arbitrated the case in 2018, showed allegations had no merit and ultimately achieved a complete victory on the merits of the case.
  • Wrote the successful argument in one of the leading FCA implied certification qui tam cases in the Seventh Circuit, U.S. ex rel. Bragg v. SCR, part of the circuit split that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia; Illinois; New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuits

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Co-Chair, Global Anti-Corruption Committee, American Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Qui Tam Subcommittee, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association's Task Force on Corporate Monitors
  • Leadership Greater Chicago, Class of 2012
  • Former Member, Character and Fitness Committee, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee
  • Former Chair, Labor and Employment Committee, Chicago Bar Association

Client Alerts & Newsletters

Media Mentions

Firm News & Announcements

Aug.03.2020 Trusted Investigations Counsel and Court-Appointed Monitor Preston Pugh Joins Crowell & Moring



  • Department of Justice: United States Attorney's Office—Northern District of Illinois: Assistant United States Attorney (1999-2002)
  • National Labor Relations Board—Appellate Court Branch (1997-1999)


  • Cornell University, B.A. (1994)
  • New York University School of Law, J.D. (1997)


  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • New York

A. Nicole Phillips

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP

A. Nicole Phillips is a partner in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s White Collar and Government Investigations group. She focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, white collar crime and government investigations.

Prior to joining Montgomery McCracken, Nicole served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As an AUSA in the Narcotics Unit, Nicole prosecuted individuals for federal drug trafficking offenses, public corruption, tax and bank fraud conspiracies, and Hobbs Act robbery. Among her accomplishments as an AUSA, Nicole successfully prosecuted a tax matter resulting in the defendants pleading guilty and paying restitution to the IRS in excess of $5,000,000. Nicole also served as member of the Office’s hiring committee and co-chair of its summer intern program. While serving as an AUSA, Nicole instructed students on federal and criminal trial advocacy at Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Prior to serving as an AUSA, Nicole served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she litigated preliminary hearings, felony and misdemeanor bench trials, jury trials and various motions before the Municipal and Common Pleas Courts of Philadelphia, worked with members of the Philadelphia Police Department to investigate and prepare cases for trial, researched and prepared letter briefs to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in response to direct appeals and post-conviction relief appeals, and argued before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

In addition to her career as a practicing attorney, Nicole served as the Senior Director for Career Planning at Temple University Beasley School of Law.


Speaking Engagements

Community Involvement

Nicole, previously a volunteer and mentor, participates in the Supervision to Aid Re-Entry (“STAR”) Court and is a former volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Philadelphia READS. Nicole is also a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Academic Achievements

Nicole received her J.D. degree from Northeastern University. She earned her B.A. degree, cum laude, in Political Science from Spelman College.

Susan K. Bozorgi

Bozorgi Law PLLC

Susan Bozorgi is a founding partner of Bozorgi Law, PLLC formerly Marrero Bozorgi, PL, a firm dedicated to representing individuals and corporations under investigation or charged with criminal offenses or in regulatory matters, with an emphasis on white-collar matters.

Susan has extensive litigation experience and has litigated in both state and federal courts throughout the country. She has handled white-collar matters as lead counsel defending individuals charged by the United States Government with offenses including health care fraud, kickback schemes, pharmaceutical fraud, consumer fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, security fraud, insider trading, money laundering, money transmitting violations, and tax offenses. She has represented professionals from all business sectors, including lawyers, doctors, executives, and politicians who are facing either the possibility of a criminal charge or regulatory action or have been formally charged.

In addition to criminal matters, Susan Bozorgi represents corporations and individuals under investigation and facing charges by regulatory agencies.  She has represented executives and individuals who are targets of investigations being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and by other regulatory agencies in the health care industry.  

Susan is a board member of the prestigious National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and is Co-Chair of the Defense Function Committee, which serves as the voice of the defense bar for the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association. She has also proven to be a leader for women in the criminal defense field as the founder of the Women Criminal Defense Attorneys Blog, as a city leader for the Women White Collar Defense Association, and a former co-chair of the NACDL Women’s Initiative.

Susan is best known for her persistence and perseverance.  Many years ago she was noticed as a “Rising Star” in the area of “Criminal Defense: White-Collar” by Florida Super Lawyers, is AV-Rated by Martindale Hubbell, and proud to be recognized by the prestige Best Lawyers in a field that she continues to love and feels passionate about. 

Susan writes the Women Criminal Defense Attorneys blog, www.WomenCriminalDefenseAttorneys.com.