This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.
By Melissa L. Watkins, Esq.
Polygraphs are a mysterious notion for individuals considering exploring careers that require high levels of clearance.
For those who have never taken a polygraph, most of the procedures and protocols surrounding them are unknown. And for those who have already participated in one, they likely understand the potential pitfalls that lie in the process.
What many individuals do not know is that most agencies requiring polygraphs have policies in place allowing legal counsel to attend. For instance, the Department of Defense’s policy provides that you “have a right to talk privately with a lawyer before, during, and after the polygraph examination.” Individuals are almost always required to complete a consent form prior to the polygraph examination.
Keep in mind that in most polygraphs, legal counsel is not necessary. However, in a minority of cases, legal counsel may be recommended for individuals that have previously had polygraph issues or who may end up disclosing information that could be adverse.
When is Polygraph Representation a Good Idea
It isn’t always necessary to have legal counsel during a polygraph examination. However, there are a number of situations where it may be a good idea. Such might include:
- An individual has had a difficult time with earlier polygraph exams and needs reassurance during the examination.
- If there are unique legal issues that could come up during a polygraph which might require immediate legal advice.
- An individual has engaged in conduct that could raise criminal liability concerns.
What Can Lawyers Do During a Polygraph?
In certain situations you may want to consider bringing legal counsel to the examination. While legal counsel cannot stop the examination or provide your answers for you, legal counsel can be present for you to speak with before, during breaks, and after the examination. In our experience, it is helpful to have experienced counsel there to discuss the information being disclosed and how to potentially mitigate any concerns when circumstances dictate.
The mere presence of legal counsel also may cause polygraphers to adhere to the normal bounds of polygraph practice. For most agencies, you will arrive at the testing location and would be able to meet with your attorney beforehand. During the examination, your attorney may sit either right outside the examination room, or in a separate room where a video of the ongoing exam would be viewable by the attorney.
Each agency has different polygraph procedures. When needed, at any point during the exam, you would be able to request to speak with your attorney privately to obtain guidance or counsel for your questions or concerns.
If you are an employee in need of security clearance or polygraph representation, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road