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The Anatomy of an Investigation (9 Sessions up to 8.5 CPE's)

Investigations are happening everywhere. They cover any topic; harassment in the work place, cyber-bullying, fraud, expense account abuse, conflict of interest, theft of product, irresponsible conduct. Everyone is becoming an investigator.  But, to be a good investigator, you need to know the fundamentals. The body of work required is always made of the same parts. If you examine the anatomy of an investigation, certain principles exist, certain steps are necessary, certain rules apply. This seminar studies that body of work.

How do you actually know when there is something to investigate? .. What kind of investigative team is appropriate? ... What does the Company environment tell you? ... How do you collect evidence properly?... Can you expect employees to participate in the process? ...  How do you interview well? ... Does a respondent have any rights?... What does a good investigation report look like? ... What role do experts play? ... How do you use the end product?

Lawyer Ross Dunsmore and a team of experienced investigators and counsel will answer these questions. If you take this anatomy course, you will be well on your way to understanding the components of a good investigation.

Report Writing - Doing It Right (1 CPE)

Summary and What You Will Learn:

Starting with discussion of literacy, communication, and critical thinking, this condensed writing course explains the writing essentials such as clarity, conciseness, and using plain language. Particularly to the investigative writing, the presenter talks about applying greater efforts to your texts due to wider reading audience including hostile readers. Investigators must be mindful of subtle meanings of words they chose, and of different inference that can be drawn from an ambiguous sentence.

Tools for evaluating your writing are further exemplified. To effectively deliver a message, use shorter sentences and paragraphs, easy-to-read font and size, avoid passive voice. Investigation report writing is examined in further details. A useful chart on vetting reports concludes the presentation.

Report Writing - What Must Be Included & Using The Report (1 CPE)

The collection of everything has been compiled and the investigator writes the report as in Part I. Depending on how this report maybe used it can be quite informal or highly detailed. In almost every case, the words should be well expressed. Particularly if the report is to be used in a formal proceeding. It must meet proper standards of analysis and explanation. Learn from Canadian legal experts who will supply a checklist for you to use. Once the report is prepared, the client must decide how to use it. Depending whether or not it is privileged or publicized, the manner of preparation may vary. Consequently early in the investigation process the end point must be planned so proper preparation occurs.

Included is a Checklist.

Derek Knights

Derek recently retired from 40+ years in the security and investigation industry.  His last posting was with TD Bank, where he spent his time writing briefing notes, and in general developing a reporting regime.  Before TD he worked Sun Life Financial, OPG--Ontario Power Generation, and in the former Metro Toronto Housing Authority (now Toronto Community Housing).

At OPG Derek spent time with a tutor to develop his writing skills for senior audiences in business and government, and he maintains those skills he learned to this day.  This fall he is starting his own small consultancy to assist others in the security and investigation world by writing for them, or delivering training and tutoring for staff.  You can reach him for further information at

Ethical Issues In An Investigation (1 Ethics CPE)

Part I

This seminar discusses the ethical scope of an investigation, the necessity to understand its legal context and the possible liability of the investigator in the event of non –compliance with the code of ethics related to his/her own profession. It demonstrates the importance of having a clear mandate and to discuss any amendments to it, as needed and as per the investigator’s ethical duty.

Part II

The presentation deals with confidentiality as an ethical concern in the course of investigations.

Confidentiality is different from privacy. An investigation has to comply with certain statutory and legal rules governing privacy rights. Examples of privacy interests are outlined, particularly, expectations of privacy when investigating social media are discussed. The presenter further shows limits of confidentiality within an investigation, confers balancing rights of the involved people to know the allegations with preserving confidentiality, and considers information disclosure without breaching confidentiality of a witness.

Peigi Ross

Peigi Ross attended Windsor Law School.  Then, she practiced at a large boutique labour and employment firm until 2003, when she became Employment Law Counsel to the Scotiabank Group of Companies.  This gave her special experience with executive and incentive-based contracts of employment.  Peigi joined Dunsmore Law in 2006 and has been senior counsel. Presently, Peigi is Vice Chair at Ontario Labour Relations Board.  She has extensive experience in human resources management, collective agreement negotiations, arbitrations, adjudications, wrongful dismissal litigation, labour board proceedings, human rights, and workplace investigations.

Peigi bargains on behalf of various clients, conducts municipal interest arbitrations and has a significant practice involving plaintiff litigation.  She trains employers on workplace investigations in the collective bargaining setting and with respect to employment standards and workplace compliance with Human Rights Code and Occupational Health and Safety matters.  With her extensive Bank experience, her practice crosses federal and provincial jurisdictions, as required.

She is an engaging speaker with an imaginative and practical perspective.  Among her colleagues, she is well-known for her determination to cut-to-the-chase.

When not consumed in the law, Peigi is either renovating her home, planning a voyage to a far flung, often obscure, destination or awaiting the delivery of her next Bernese puppy.

Brian Sartorelli

Brian Sartorelli is the founder of Investigative Risk Management, one of Ontario's leading and highly respected investigative companies.  He is an internationally recognized investigative executive with over 38 years of experience providing consultative and advisory services to Fortune 500 companies on insurance claims, corporate intelligence, environmental investigations, WSIB claims, criminal and civil litigation, undercover investigations, counter measures and other investigative services.

Jennifer Wootton

Jennifer Wootton, B.Comm. LL.B. has more than 25 years of experience in the workplace human rights law field.  She recently launched Optimal Resolution Method ( a program that teaches managers and human resources professionals how to effectively and respectfully handle workplace harassment complaints internally.

Jennifer’s law practice focuses on the proactive and compassionate resolution of internal workplace complaints through investigations, assessments, training and policy development.  Jennifer is a pioneer in the field of workplace harassment investigations and has investigated thousands of workplace harassment, bullying and violence allegations as an external investigator since 2000. She is regularly retained by public, private and not-for-profit employers to conduct workplace investigations of every level of complexity.  She has extensive experience in both unionized and non-unionized workplaces, and employers of all sizes also call on her to advise on their internally conducted investigations.

Interviewing Complainant & Third Party (1 CPE)

Part I: Interviewing a Complainant

The presenter addresses planning and logistics in interviewing complainants. The complainant interview is crucial to the process, thus the presentation discusses in detail strategies and tactics that should be considered. The important steps after the interview are further mentioned. A few illustrations of the complainant's interviews gone wrong are finalizing the presentation.

Part II: Interviewing a Third Party

This second part of the presentation details the logistics of an interview and details to be considered when interviewing a third party. How to create a setting that is non threatening. How to extract information, This presentation includes a handy checklist for your use.

Making The Plan & Use of Documents (1 CPE)

Part I: Making the Plan

This seminar discusses the steps to planning an investigation, which is an essential process for success. Often investigations will start without preparation and planning which can lead to inadequate results. This section will review how to begin addressing the appropriate length of an investigation by identifying the complexity of the project. Specific plan styles such as operational planning and strategic planning will be defined along with tracking methods to assure the investigator is achieving their objectives. Aligning a plan and investigation within the contexts of business objectives will benefit the investigator which the instructors will provide guidance on how to balance this accordingly. Terms and definitions are coupled with real-life practical examples of how investigations are planned and further conducted. How to Identifying the type of investigation required will be discussed which includes different resources that may be needed and certain challenges that may arise that would not have been foreseen without a robust plan.

Part II: Documents

This seminar discusses search of documents during an investigation. It reviews the important steps to follow prior to searching documents and while doing so; the importance of being organized from the very beginning and understand what you are looking for. What is your role, responsibilities and the legal context of the search (civil vs criminal; warrant vs consent, etc.) It discusses the essential role of recording the search and the use of Major Case Management in some instances.

Dorian Dwyer

Dorian Dwyer, Chief Investigator-Business Advisor at Gecko Investigations & Consulting

A specialist with over 17 years in investigation, case management, and training in the area of economic crime, health fraud, corruption, insurance, internal, regulatory, and corporate investigations. A dedicated professional with over 34 years of investigative and managerial experience in law enforcement and public sector investigations. An energetic, competent, and reliable person known for integrity and sound ethical decision-making skills who fosters excellent stakeholder relations. A person who leads by example with integrity and is passionate about contributing to an employer or client’s goals and objectives.

President & CEO - Association of Certified Fraud Examiners - Greater Toronto Area Chapter
Senior Investigator - Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)
Detective Staff Sergeant | Unit Commander - Ontario Provincial Police-Retired (Sep 2016)

As a Senior Investigator/Provincial Offences Officer with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario (WSIB) Dorian investigated allegations of wrongdoing against the WSIB and filed charges where appropriate for violations under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Prior to joining the WSIB, he was a Police Officer with the Ontario Provincial Police for thirty-one years and was a member of the Anti-Rackets Branch for 14 years. He joined the OPP in 1985 and worked as a uniform officer in a variety of capacities and locations for 17 years before his transfer to Anti-Rackets Branch in 2003. There he investigated economic crime and corruption cases and in 2008 joined the Health Fraud Investigations Unit. In 2014 he became the Commander of that Unit.

During his tenure in Anti-Rackets Branch he has investigated and/or case managed many major economic crime offences, corruption cases, and health fraud cases (including provincial offences) involving millions of dollars in losses.

Dorian graduated from the Law and Security program at Conestoga College in 1984 and in 2011 completed his BSc Criminal Justice, Economic Crime Investigation, with Syracuse University. In 2011 he became a Certified Fraud Examiner with the ACFE and joined the Board of Directors - Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Chapter in 2014. He was elected to the role of President in October 2019.

Kwame Addo

Kwame Addo, presently as Ryerson University as Ombudsperson,  has spent the last years successfully conducting and managing administrative investigations, through his work at Ombudsman Toronto and before that, at Ombudsman Ontario.

One of the original members of the Ombudsman Toronto team, Kwame has held the position of Director, Investigations & Conflict Resolution since the office opened in April 2009.  As Director, he managed a team of seven, responsible for receiving and resolving complaints about City administration, and for conducting Enquiries and Investigations.

Respondent's Rights (1 Ethics CPE)

This seminar discusses the importance of a fair and ethical treatment of a respondent during the course of an investigation. Failing to treat a respondent with respect and dignity can have an impact on the respondent him/herself and on the outcome of an investigation. It provides key elements to take into account during an investigation pertaining to respondent's rights.

Solicitor-Client Privilege (0.50 CPE)

This session discusses the impact of retaining a lawyer early in the investigation process for the purpose of giving legal advice to the party sponsoring the investigation.  It reviews how legal privilege works to protect information shared between the client and the solicitor during the relationship.  It distinguishes between legal advice privilege and litigation privilege since confidentiality protection can apply in both circumstances.

The session explains that not all information is able to be protected.  The test is that the material be integral to the process of providing legal advice.  Reports prepared in advance of retaining counsel may not be privileged.  The way in which to approach investigations using counsel from the outset is discussed.  The value of a properly drafted retainer agreement is emphasized as a useful took in defending claims by other parties that confidential reports should be released at discovery.

The possibility of the retained solicitor retaining an investigator to assist in the collection of facts and their assessment is discussed.  The definition of roles and purpose are reviewed.  How solicitor-client privilege may apply to the activities of the investigator is covered.  Included are Draft Affidavit and other material aids including some case studies.

Ross Dunsmore

Ross Dunsmore has pretty much done everything a labour lawyer can do!  Generally, he helps employers get it right the first time, with preparation and strategy. He strongly believes that The Best Defense is a Good Offence. Over his career, he has been a leading advocate for municipalities across Ontario in their bargaining, particularly with fire fighters.

Ross has worked with many employers on proper procedures to avoid third party intervention. His practice encompasses analysis and resolution of work place disputes; from grievances and human rights complaints to wrongful dismissals. His focus is economical strategies to avoid expensive disputes.  Creative approaches to problems are a hallmark of his advice.

Ross obtained his Honours B.A. from McGill University in 1970 and his LL.B. from Queen's University in 1973. He joined Hicks Morley as their first law student in 1973 and was admitted to the bar in 1975. Throughout his distinguished career, Ross has practiced exclusively management labour relations law and is well-known in that field. He developed specialties in change management, reorganization, amalgamations and contracting out issues.

In 2006, Ross Dunsmore opened his own law practice, Dunsmore Law.  He continues to be a sought after lecturer across Ontario on Human Resource subjects like:

  • Master Bargaining
  • Police/Fire Compensation
  • Attendance Management Cost Control
  • Being Responsible!
  • What Small Employers Need to Know
  • Managing in a Union Environment

In 2013, he joined Paul Wearing in a partnership that brings together almost 100 years of management experience among the 5 lawyers involved.

Ross Dunsmore is counsel to the ACFE-GTA (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners - GTA) and
CPIO (Council of Professional Investigators of Ontario

Surveillance In An Investigation (1 CPE)

This seminar discusses the surveillance process. It reviews the importance of being prepared, and appropriately equipped to conduct a surveillance operation. In addition, it notably demonstrates that it is imperative to know what you are looking for, what are your client and/or counsel inquiry and the legal and/or contractual requirements regarding surveillance. Finally, it discusses the various ways of documenting the surveillance and provides key information about providing the surveillance findings into Court or other body.

Brian Sartorelli

Brian Sartorelli is the founder of Investigative Risk Management, one of Canada's leading and highly respected investigative companies.  He is an internationally recognized investigative executive with over 38 years of experience providing consultative and advisory services to Fortune 500 companies on insurance claims, corporate intelligence, environmental investigations, WSIB claims, criminal and civil litigation, undercover investigations, counter measures and other investigative services.

The Team & Use of Experts (1 CPE)

The Team

The presenters discuss the considerations on assembling an investigative team, outlining factors related to characteristics of the individuals, as well as the type of investigation. It is discussed how a systemic or individual types of investigation have a bearing on team composition. Particular roles of core and additional team members are further detailed. Specifically, team structure for a complex fraud type of investigations is reviewed.

Use of Experts

The presenter talks about what qualifies an expert for an assignment. An expert's role is unique as they can provide expert opinion evidence to the court. Emphasizing that facts are distinct from opinions, the presentation discusses how an expert opinion is formed, the relationship between experts, clients and counsel as well as the responsibility of experts in court and ethics to be followed by experts.



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