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Take notes. Taking notes both about what is going on at the job, as well as legal advice received, may help keep strategy on track. These notes and memoranda insure against memory losses and help future investigators. Many employees do not keep detailed records, because of the time involved, or out of a sense of loyalty to the agency or its practices, or because they fear the records will be used to make them look bad. Or they think the attorney is taking notes for them, only to be disillusioned months later. Whatever the cause, a lack of records has lost or closed many cases. So has a lack of corroborating witnesses. Some beleaguered whistleblowers write memos to themselves and then mail or e-mail them to themselves to document what is happening (not opening these envelopes is the key to this "poor-man's timestamp"). Others have friends and colleagues willing to witness.

Because of the amount of information being conveyed, and the limits of human memory, some bring a trusted friend, or a tape recorder, to an initial attorney interview. This may be a particularly good practice where the retaliation has been physical, such as after a verbal or physical confrontation, an office lockout or a computer seizure. The more emotionally charged the situation, generally, the greater the chance of miscommunication, even with a professionally detached person like an attorney. The best analogy may be to the medical context, where a doctor may suggest the patient bring a spouse or other trusted observer before breaking a diagnosis that a disease is life-threatening. Many minds react to devastatingly bad news (such as the abuse itself, or the prospect of a bureaucratic deck stacked against the whistleblower) by denying it. However, this normal mental reaction to an abnormal situation can continue to have side effects down the road, as the victim is unprepared for further and worse consequences. What you don't know or realize can hurt you. Another perspective.

At the risk of seeming paranoid and cynical, if anyone advises against taking notes, notes are probably very necessary and important. They just need to be made outside the view of that advisor. If an attorney gives no-notes advice, find another attorney before you are burned.