Investigations

Jenner & Block has conducted sensitive investigations for media and entertainment industry clients including major studios, sports entities, and media companies, and technology companies. The firm is adept at leveraging the deep industry knowledge of our Content, Media and Entertainment Practice (named Law360’s “Media and Entertainment Practice Group of the Year” in 2022 for the eighth time), with the firm’s more than 60-year track record as one of the country’s premier practices in the field of internal investigations, to provide insightful and meaningful results in a wide variety of contexts.

Our background and experience with many federal and state government enforcement agencies – including having held senior leadership roles at the US Department of Justice – enables us to provide sound advice concerning the best course of action if wrongdoing is alleged or identified. We understand how to deal with victims, whistleblowers, unions, law enforcement, and other critical stakeholders. When government agencies do get involved, we have the credibility and experience to effectively handle potential disclosures to and negotiations with authorities.

Finally, we have vast experience with corporate compliance and counseling. We have created compliance programs designed to minimize wrongdoing and satisfy the expectations of government agencies, and we have counseled media and entertainment clients who wish to upgrade or modify existing programs. We have also assisted clients in remediating problems that are identified during the course of internal or government investigations.

Representative Experience

  • Conducted an investigation of the high-profile fatal shooting during the production of the Rust film, including determining how live ammunition appeared on the set and how a live round was loaded into the revolver. Within hours of the firm’s retention, Jenner & Block attorneys were on the ground ready to investigate. The team conducted dozens of interviews within the first week, despite challenges such as the tragic and emotional environment, intense public scrutiny, ongoing law enforcement investigation, and involvement of witnesses’ attorneys and representatives. The engagement was widely reported by business press outlets and industry trades including CNBC,Reuters,Law360,The New York Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline. In the coverage, Reuters noted that “Jenner is known for conducting high-profile investigations” and the New York Post referred to Jenner & Block as a “powerhouse law firm.”
  • Conducted a significant internal review and produced a public report for the Chicago Blackhawks, investigating allegations that in 2010 a player was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach who was later and separately criminally convicted of sexually abusing a minor. As detailed in the report’s executive summary, over the course of four months, the Jenner & Block team investigated the conduct of the former coach as well as the Blackhawks’ internal response after learning, during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoff run, of certain allegations raised by the former player. The investigation involved interviews with more than 100 people, including the former player who made the accusation, the former coach accused of the assault, and current and former players affiliated with the Blackhawks. The investigation and report were widely covered by news outlets internationally, including The New York Times, The Guardian,Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and others, with widespread praise for the report’s independence, objectivity, and thorough fact-finding.
  • Conducted investigations and defended government enforcement related to incidents involving fatalities and serious injuries at multiple film and television production sites across the country, including fatalities occurring during set breakdowns and production and demolition, as well as serious non-fatal injuries and alleged rule violations occurring during production.
  • Conducted internal investigation for digital media company regarding alleged workplace harassment and intimidation by the CEO.
  • Conducted internal investigation for global media company regarding alleged inappropriate conduct on social media by employees.
  • Conducted internal investigation for advertising and marketing data company regarding alleged inappropriate relationships among managers and subordinates.
  • On behalf of university, conducted investigation into potential bribery violations by coaches in recruitment of a basketball player.
  • Acted for British newspapers (including News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee) in relation to various phone hacking and corruption investigations. Work included conducting internal investigations, representations before criminal authorities, preparing witnesses for UK Parliamentary Select Committees and the UK Public Inquiry led by Lord Leveson, and advising in the context of civil litigation.

COMPLIANCE

The firm also provides compliance counseling and advice to our entertainment and media clients, such as:

  • Advice to a sporting organization on governance and public policy issues for a future international athletic event in Los Angeles.
  • Compliance review for a large national soccer organization.
  • Advice on complying with federal and state OSHA workplace regulations, guidance, and best practices, including developing California Injury and Illness Prevention Program templates for use for multiple production subsidiaries and related companies.
  • Counseling on Federal Aviation Administration requirements regarding shipping of electronic goods to production sets and other offices.
  • Advice on environmental regulations on a broad range of matters, from asbestos and lead exposure during studio and location set construction and demolition to California Proposition 65 claims arising from live performances.