Burke, Warren’s Institutional Risk Management & Internal Investigations Group


Every day, new allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination are leveled at well-known people from across the country and beyond, rocking industries from Hollywood to Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Washington and more, causing turmoil within many organizations and businesses not to mention the lives of the people involved. 

Workplace harassment and discrimination cases are no longer remote, but may arise in your own city, building or suite of offices. The days where most look the other way are gone. 

Organizations may be held indirectly liable for inappropriate workplace conduct, even when the conduct is virtually invisible to management at the time it occurs. Also, corporations across all industries can face burdensome allegations of fraud, inquiries from government and regulatory entities, and allegations of whistleblowers. Proactive and reactive policies must be established and disseminated throughout the organization. Everyone needs to be educated on workplace harassment and discrimination.

Attorneys in Burke, Warren’s Institutional Risk Management & Internal Investigations group have been assisting organizations and the individuals involved when allegations surface for more than thirty years. That experience includes working with educational institutions, government entities, religious and not-for-profit institutions, and corporations confronted with allegations of employee or student misconduct — including allegations of sexual or gender-based misconduct and sexual harassment.  

These measures serve to mitigate reputational, brand, and litigation exposure. For institutions and corporations facing such concerns, our attorneys’ extensive crisis management experience and their skill in managing the public relations component of investigations while maintaining the client’s privacy, ensure our clients’ ability to protect their reputations and brands while minimizing potential damages.

The Institutional Risk Management & Internal Investigations group is chaired by Joe Roddy, who prosecuted numerous jury trials and oversaw a multitude of criminal investigations while serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. In private practice, Mr. Roddy has coordinated and conducted internal investigations for Fortune 500 companies, closely held companies, and local municipalities.

“Workplace misconduct can negatively impact any organization. It is imperative that organizations promptly address the misconduct and follow through on remediating it,” says Roddy. “Regulatory bodies, juries, and the general public will understand that mistakes are made and people do foolish things. However, if it appears that the organization turned a blind eye or dragged its heels, all credibility will be lost and dire consequences will follow.”

The group’s work includes helping clients enact protective measures such as establishing policies to prevent employee misconduct, designing and implementing compliance procedures, and providing employee training and audit programs. The pervasive use of technology requires that risk management strategies and internal investigations encompass cyber platforms as well. 

Group attorneys represent and assist clients faced with threatened or pending criminal or civil proceedings, in their dealings with government agencies, state and local regulatory bodies, and grand juries, and they can advise on best practices for responding to a subpoena or a request for a face-to-face interview. Former prosecutors, seasoned civil litigators, and employment law specialists assist in advising clients until the best possible outcome is identified and achieved. 

Joseph Roddy can be reached at 312/840-7033 or jroddy@burkelaw.com

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