Filing 52


Download PDF
Murray v. Wal-Mart Stores Deposition of: Brandie Patton 30(b)(6) 1 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * EXHIBIT C UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT District of Maine Case No. 2:15-cv-00484-DBH DAVID E. MURRAY, ] Plaintiff ] vs. ] WAL-MART STORES, ] Defendant ] TELECONFERENCE DEPOSITION OF: BRANDIE PATTON 30(b)(6) Taken before Melinda Gay Simon, Notary Public, in and for the State of Maine, on December 6, 2016, at the offices of Bernstein Shur, 100 Middle Street, Portland, Maine, commencing at 10:41 a.m., pursuant to notice given. APPEARANCES: FOR THE PLAINTIFF: MAX I. BROOKS, ESQ. FOR THE DEFENDANT: RONALD W. SCHNEIDER, JR., ESQ. AMY SELLARS, ESQ. Also present: 1 of 47 sheets David Murray Page 1 to 1 of 123 PIESKE REPORTING SERVICE Deposition of: Brandie Patton 30(b)(6) Murray v. Wal-Mart Stores 39 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 for one second. (Discussion off the record.) BY MR. BROOKS: Q. So I'm directing you to Exhibit 61, and I'm going to direct you to the second page of that. So what we're looking at is an e-mail from Deltrinae Tucker to David Murray. A. Deltrinae. Q. How do you pronounce it? A. Deltrinae. Q. And for the court reporter, that's spelled D-E as in elephant L-T-R-I-N-A-E. This is an e-mail where she's telling Mr. Murray that she feels, "as if your concerns should be best addressed by your divisional human resource director. I have already spoken to him this morning and provided him with your initial concerns and the notes from our conversation yesterday". So what she is saying is that without asking Mr. Murray she has brought the details of his complaint to someone in the divisional level. Is that how you understand this e-mail as well? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. A. Yes. BY MR. BROOKS: Q. Now -40 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * A. Sorry. Q. So that is a breach of the confidentiality policy for open-door communications, correct? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. A. I don't know that it's a breach of confidentiality, but I would say that it is a misstep and probably not how I would have proceeded. Q. Okay. So it did not follow Wal-Mart policy to send this e-mail, is that correct? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. A. That's not what I said. I said that according to this e-mail it went to somebody within his division, which is not what he would have preferred, but it was still sent to someone who's in HR, and that wouldn't have necessarily been a breach of confidentiality in as much as a misstep in the best possible way to handle it. MR. SCHNEIDER: Max, I don't want to stop you too soon. MR. BROOKS: Do you need -MR. SCHNEIDER: Can we take a quick break? MR. BROOKS: Sure. MR. SCHNEIDER: Are you guys okay with a quick break? MS. SELLARS: Yeah, yeah. PIESKE REPORTING SERVICE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 41 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * (A recess was taken.) BY MR. BROOKS: Q. So I'm going to -- we actually broke at a good point because I wanted to also ask some questions about kind of the investigations and investigators, generally. Now some of the documents related to the investigation, Brandie, list you as Brandie Patton, CFI global investigator II, and I was wondering if you could tell me what CFI means first. A. It means certified forensic interviewer. Q. Got it. So what does that mean, you are certified by who? A. By the CFI organization, which is ran by Wicklander and Zulawski. Q. So is that some sort of -- what do you have to do to get the certification? A. Take a course and then pass a test. Q. Okay. And what does it mean that you're a global investigator II? A. In global investigations we have three levels of investigator, investigator I, investigator II and senior investigator. Q. And can you explain how you moved from global investigator to global investigator II? A. Your supervisor has to recommend you for a promotion 42 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * and then it goes through a committee and they have to determine whether or not they feel like you are at the level to be progressed from a I to a II. That's how it worked in 2013. Q. So how long have you been -- how long have you been an investigator at Wal-Mart? A. About six years. Q. About six years. And what other kind of qualifications do you have, do you have a B.A.? A. I do. Q. And do you have any post-baccalaureate -- I don't know how you say that -- do you have any advanced degree beyond a B.A.? A. I do, I have a juris doctor. Q. Okay. Got it. Now on some of the documents that were provided related to your investigation there is an entry that says "date of interview" and then there will be a date, and then there will be an entry that says "date of transcription" and then there will be a date, and in most of those documents I will represent to you it's a different date. Can you -- is there a recording made and then later it's transcribed? A. No, sir, it's hand-typed or handwritten notes that are later put into a report of interview. Page 39 to 42 of 123 12 of 47 sheets Murray v. Wal-Mart Stores 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Deposition of: Brandie Patton 30(b)(6) 43 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * Q. So there's no recording made of any of these interviews? A. That is correct. Q. Now is it important to have a witness when you're doing an interview? A. Our protocol is to have a witness present for anybody who is a reporter or who is the subject of an investigation. Q. So a reporter would be the person who made the complaint? A. Yes, sir. Q. And the subject of the investigation would be not somebody who's going to support it with some evidence but somebody who actually might be implicated as a so-called wrongdoer. Is that fair to say? A. Yes. Q. Okay. And the protocol otherwise does not call for a witness to be present? A. Correct. Q. Why would you not tape record these interviews, can you just explain that? A. Because our protocol within global investigations is that we do not record interviews. Q. And do you know why that's the protocol? 44 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * A. I do not. Q. Does it seem strange to you? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. A. No, because -- sorry. MR. SCHNEIDER: That's okay. A. No, because it's been that way since I started within global investigations. BY MR. BROOKS: Q. Have you ever done investigations for any other company? A. I have not. Q. So you don't know if any other company has a policy where they don't make recordings of important interviews? A. I do not. Q. All right. There are a couple of different kinds of documents that seem to come out of an interview, as I understand the documents that were provided to us. There's a document that seems to be created called a report of interview and then there is a separate document that seems to come out of the same interview that's generally titled Investigating Manager Interview Notes. Can you describe why those two separate documents are created and what the difference is between them? 13 of 47 sheets 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 45 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * A. The interview notes are taken during the interview. Q. Okay. A. The report of interview -- we call them different things now so bear with me. The report of interview is transcribed later into a paragraph-like transcription. Q. Now you said that the interview notes are hand -well, maybe you didn't. Strike that. Are the interview notes, the investigating manager interview notes, are they typed or handwritten? A. They can be both. Q. They can be both. A. I believe the ones for this investigation I typed. Q. So you typed, and then this word transcribing or transcription in this case, it's not what I would think of necessarily as transcribing audio to an exact transcript, instead it's, if I understand you correctly, a process of kind of consolidating and making a narrative out of raw notes. Is that a fair characterization? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. A. I would say that, yes, it is. Q. Okay. Now there are -- when a document is created that's called investigating manager interview notes, can you say with confidence that that would record 46 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * the entirety of the conversation or are there cases where you go off the record or there might be conversations at the beginning and the end that are not captured in the document titled Investigating Manager Interview Notes? A. That is correct. Q. So which -- sorry, why don't you read back my question again and maybe instead of saying that's correct, if you could explain what you mean. She will ask the question again. (Pending question read back.) MR. SCHNEIDER: And I'm going to object to the question. BY MR. BROOKS: Q. So my question now is you said that's correct. It was an either or question. If you could just explain what you meant by yes, correct. A. So, sorry, I forgot the first half of your question and just answered the second half. Yes, there are conversations before and after that aren't necessarily recorded in the interview notes. Q. Now are there times when you might go off the record in the middle of the interview that wouldn't be reflected in the notes? A. Yes, yes, there are. Page 43 to 46 of 123 PIESKE REPORTING SERVICE Deposition of: Brandie Patton 30(b)(6) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Murray v. Wal-Mart Stores 47 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * Q. Are there cases where things that are said off the record -- strike that. So the report of interview, which is I think -- I'm going to start over one more time, sorry. The report of interview would reflect only what's in the investigating manager interview notes, not what would be said off the record before, after or during the interview, is that correct? A. No, that is not correct. Q. So can you explain that -- why that is not correct? A. Because we would also use the investigator -- or the witnessing manager's notes as well. Q. But is it fair to say -- okay, strike that. You would not consider, however, things that were not taken down in notes but were said off the record before, after or during the interview, is that correct? A. That is not correct. I would consider everything that occurred during the interview. Q. And when you're saying you would consider that, you say you would consider that when you create the report of interview or you would consider it when reaching your conclusions at the end of the investigation? A. I would consider it whenever I'm writing up the report of interview. 48 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * Q. So why do you go off the record? A. I don't understand what you mean by off the record. Q. Okay. That's a fair point. So why are there things that happen before, after and in the middle of an interview that in this otherwise very comprehensive looking document you would not put down in your investigating manager interview notes? A. So in the beginning I give a preamble to everybody that we talk with and we talk about confidentiality, we talk about our retaliation policy and we talk about the importance of keeping our conversation confidential. Then in the end I normally thank them for their time, that sort of thing. I don't write those things down. In the middle, I'm hoping that I'm able to capture everything. It's not always possible. The other hope is that if I don't actually write it down that I have remembered it between the time that I did the interview and wrote the report of interview or that it's in my witnessing manager's notes. Q. And this problem would go away, this memory problem, if the protocol allowed you to record the interview, is that correct? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. BY MR. BROOKS: PIESKE REPORTING SERVICE 1 Q. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 A. 13 14 15 16 17 18 Q. 19 20 21 22 23 A. 24 25 1 2 3 Q. 4 5 6 A. Q. 7 8 9 10 A. 11 12 13 Q. 14 A. Q. A. 15 16 17 18 19 20 Q. 21 A. Q. 22 23 A. 24 25 Q. Page 47 to 50 of 123 49 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * I'm not sure what memory problem you're referring to. Well, you were saying that you may sometimes leave things out accidentally and you hope you remember them later or maybe they're captured in the other person's notes. From where I stand, that sounds like a big workaround for just recording the whole thing, so I'm saying none of these things would exist as far as accurately capturing what was said if you just recorded the interview, is that correct? MR. SCHNEIDER: Objection. I don't recall saying that there was a big memory issue. What I recall saying was that as I am typing it down sometimes I am not physically quick enough to get everything and that if I don't get it, our hope is that it's in our witnessing manager's interview notes. Now what did you do other than conduct interviews to gather information for this investigation? When I say you, I don't mean you personally, but what did Wal-Mart do other than conduct interviews to investigate this issue? I also requested some ESI, which is electronically stored information, through our ISD department, and what I requested was Paul Busby's e-mails. I 50 * * CONFIDENTIAL * * believe I also requested his text messages from his work-issued phone. And you said something about ISD. MS. SELLARS: Information. Our Information System Services Division, ISD. Information Services Division. Okay. Now did you just request all of Paul Busby's e-mails and text messages or did you request a certain subset of his e-mails and text messages? I requested a time period of his e-mails and text messages. And you requested all e-mails and text messages within that time period? I did. And what was that time period? I don't remember what the time period was listed on the request. Is that something you would be able to follow up on and find out? Yes, that will be recorded on the request. So there's some sort of ESI request that you made to ISD on some sort of form? I believe that's what we were doing at the time, yes. Okay. 14 of 47 sheets

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?