Wobbles From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 149 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1533 times:
I went thru an EEO investigation today with a lawyer hired by my company. I brought a complaint against the company due to the actions of a co worker. The meeting went ok, but could have been better. I prepared emails, poilicies and notes for 4 hours the night before and was going to read from the notes that I prepared for the hearing, so I could go, for the most part, off a script so my testimony would be more accurate. The investigator, as I was going off my notes since I was going to read my opening statement off those, told me, basically, that "I strongly prefer that you go from memory and not read the notes, unless positively neccessary." He told me this again 15 minutes later, when I was trying to refresh my memory on a point. The meeting lasted 2.5 hours and I was only, in reality, able to use my notes only for the last 10 minutes the closing statements. There was a court reporter and I was sworn in by the court reporter. Here is my question, in a legal sense: Were my rights violated by the discouragement/intimidation against using my notes? I forgot, even though I got most of my points in, 3 things that I thought were helpful to my story, which I did write on my notes. One of the people involved, I think, is going to testify from home. How can the investigator tell her, "please don't use notes.", even if he did, how could he enforce it? Any feedback anyone, any lawyers or law students out there? We were not in a courtroom, just a meeting room with 3 people, counting me.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11448 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1525 times:
Dude, two things.....
1. You can't use notes when giving testimony in a criminal trial.
2. Why the hell are you asking this forum for legal advice? Go ask a lawyer. Before you talk to anyone else. You are acting in an irresponsible manner posting this in a public forum, and if caught will damage your own case.
EA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 14246 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1521 times:
Quoting Wobbles (Thread starter): Here is my question, in a legal sense: Were my rights violated by the discouragement/intimidation against using my notes? We were not in a courtroom, just a meeting room with 3 people, counting me.
I'm not an attorney, but I'm unsure of what "rights" you have during an internal company investigation. As you said, you weren't in a courtroom so it wasn't a legal proceeding taking place, and even if it were I don't think anything was wrong here.
One reason the investigator would ask you to refrain from using notes is that when using notes, you're essentially reading from a prepared script. An investigator is likely to give less weight to prepared testimony - they'll want your recollection from memory, not a prepared statement.
Ultimately, I don't think your rights were violated. Think of it this way - would a judge in a murder trial allow a witness to read from notes? No chance.
[Edited 2005-08-17 03:27:55]
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan