AWI Webinar: Be Your Own Boss: Building and Managing Your Own Investigations Practice
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When: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
11:00 am PT, noon MT, 1:00 pm CT, 2:00 pm ET
Where: Online
Contact: 844-422-2294

Online registration is closed.
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Webinars are 1 hour long.

Session Description

Our panel of experienced investigation firm owners and business operations experts will offer their insights and knowledge about how to start and manage your own investigations practice. The panel will also discuss strategies for developing business, what technologies firm owners should consider using, and how best to operate your own firm.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand how to effectively build your own investigations practice
  • Learn about software and other tools to help manage an investigations practice
  • Understand the financial resources needed to launch an investigations practice
  • Learn about marketing and business development strategies for sustaining an investigations practice


Members & Sustaining Members: FREE
Non-Members: $50


Brittny Bottorff

Brittny Bottorff

Brittny Bottorff is an attorney workplace investigator. Brittny founded her own workplace investigations practice in 2019. Prior to that, Brittny was a partner with Maier Law Group and practiced employment law, advising employers on legal matters relating to the workplace. Brittny also supervised the Maier Law Group investigations team, and in this role, Brittny oversaw numerous workplace investigations in addition to conducting her own investigations for the firm. Before moving to California, Brittny worked as in-house counsel with a non-profit children’s hospital in Texas, and in this role, she oversaw all legal employment-related matters for the hospital. Before that, Brittny worked as a litigator for a Houston law firm. Brittny serves as a co-convener for the downtown San Francisco meeting of the AWI SF Bay Area Local Circle. Brittny earned her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Andrea Kelly Smethurst

Andrea Kelly Smethurst

Andrea Kelly Smethurst has conducted hundreds of investigations for both public and private employers in response to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and alleged misconduct. Andrea speaks Spanish fluently and regularly conducts witness interviews in Spanish. Andrea serves as an expert on workplace investigations, training, and other employment-related matters. Andrea has also served as an Equal Employment Opportunity Monitor and Decree Monitor for employers required to implement a monitoring program. As a monitor, Andrea has overseen employer compliance with harassment and discrimination training requirements, developed complaint procedure policies and procedures, and overseen employer response and investigation of employee complaints. Andrea has trained supervisors, human resource professionals and employment attorneys through various organizations including the State Bar of California, the Bar Association of San Francisco, AWI, the Practising Law Institute, the Northern California Human Resources Association, the Council on Education in Management, the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), Northern California Employers’ Roundtable, and the California Employers’ Advisory Council. Her articles have been published in the California Labor & Employment Law Review (an official publication of the State Bar of California), the California Business Law Practitioner, the Contra Costa Lawyer, and in the HR Bulletin. Before forming her firm, Andrea was associated as an employment attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and Dillingham & Murphy. Andrea received her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

Theresa Phillips

Theresa Phillips

Theresa Phillips has over 20 years’ experience in several areas of human resources including performance management, coaching, training, and has served as the Lead Investigator in over 700 investigations. Theresa has worked in both the high-tech industry and healthcare.

Theresa has held several leadership roles in the business sector. Most recently Theresa developed and implemented the investigation program at Kaiser Permanente for National Functions as Senior Investigator Specialist. Prior to this, Theresa served as the Lead Investigator at Symantec, where she developed the investigation program, provided training and materials to the core team of HR Business Partners and HR Consultants. During her tenure at Hewlett-Packard, Theresa contributed to the foundation of the company’s employee relations practice.

Theresa’s expertise is focused on delivering a consistent, leveraged approach to conducting investigations in working with Legal, IT Forensics, Security and Ethics and Compliance. Theresa regularly conducts investigations to address employee allegations of misconduct, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, inappropriate and/or poor management practices, bullying, threats of violence, whistle blowing and violations of company policies. Theresa’s demonstrated skills equally address and assess everyday workplace issues, clearly defining problems and exploring/facilitating practical solutions.

Theresa earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco with an emphasis in Human Resources. Theresa holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification, Human Resources Management Certification from UC Santa Cruz and completed the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Training Institute. Theresa is also a private investigator (State of California Private Investigator License #188739).

Gabrielle Handler Marks

Gabrielle Handler Marks focuses her practice on conducting independent workplace investigations, Title IX investigations in college environments, and investigations at elementary, middle and high schools. She is a knowledgeable, perceptive and engaging interviewer who communicates effectively with the full spectrum of individuals in workplace and school environments, and takes pride in crafting articulate, neutral and thorough investigation reports. With over 15 years of litigation experience before founding Hulst & Handler LLP, Gabi draws on her expertise investigating and evaluating claims in a variety of contexts to conduct fair and effective investigations. She has investigated claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and assault, hostile work environment, retaliation, bullying/abusive conduct and ethical violations. Gabi is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, a member of AWI’s Editorial Board, and completed AWI’s Training Institute for Workplace Investigators. Gabi also completed training in conducting Title IX investigations. Before founding Hulst & Handler LLP, Gabi honed her legal skills at the San Francisco office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP and subsequently at a well-regarded San Francisco employment law boutique. Gabi earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Gabi enjoys giving travel advice to all who wish to soak up the wonders of sunny South Africa.

Disclaimer: The contents of this webinar and the positions taken are those of the presenter only, may be time sensitive, and are not warranted, endorsed or otherwise recommended by AWI and are not intended to provide legal advice.

If you must cancel your webinar registration and do so before Monday, April 20, your webinar registration fee will be refunded. To cancel your registration, email Julia Renner at There will be no refunds for cancellations received after Monday, April 20.


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