Attorneys know how to win. It takes a team. Lawyers want the best legal assistant researching case law, and the best experts on the witness stand. That’s why lawyers also need private investigators on their team. PI’s bring a fresh set of eyes, and uncover new evidence.
An attorney is an expert in the law. However, their job requires so much more including research, strategy, uncovering new evidence, and interviewing. After all that is complete, an attorney argues the law with the facts he or she uncovered. While an attorney’s in house legal team helps with the research, outside help is important too. A private investigator specializes in investigating people and facts using specialized legal techniques. That’s why a PI is a cost-effective tool to deliver results in less time.
5 Reasons An Attorney Needs a Private Investigator
1. Find New Leads / Evidence
When a private investigator looks at the people and circumstances of a legal case, he has a unique perspective. He doesn’t need to know all the legal issues surrounding the case. He knows the attorney is focusing on that. Since the PI is not intimately involved in the legalities of the case, he sees the case in a different light. Having a second set of eyes review a case, reveals new leads and new avenues for discovery.
A PI can review the police evidence and look for inconsistencies in the investigation. Did the police overlook a lead or piece of evidence? A private investigator is trained to look through police files to find evidence to help an attorney with their case.
Whether it’s a criminal or civil case, file review is important. There are important pieces of information buried in the black and white type of insurance applications, witness statements, text and email messages, claims, police reports, and medical records. The PI can find the buried clues.
With more evidence, an attorney’s legal arguments are stronger.
2. Find Assets
In a civil case, assets are important. Yet, they can be difficult to find. A PI specializes in finding hidden assets in a civil case like divorce or one with a judgment. Judgments are worthless to a victim if you can’t collect the money.
When legal action ensues, assets disappear. A private investigator knows where to find hidden assets and unreported income. This may include real estate, undisclosed corporations and trusts, and vehicles / boats.
Private investigators conduct public records searches and use surveillance to observe their lifestyle. These searches uncover money, bank locations, and other valuable hidden assets.
3. Computer Forensics / Electronic Equipment Analysis
We live in a digital age and our smartphones and computers are an integral part of our lives. A smartphone or computer analysis can locate a valuable nugget of information in a sea of digital information.
Think of how many texts, emails, and websites we visit on a daily basis. We leave behind a trail of digital footprints, that a private investigator knows how to find. A private investigator reviews an individual’s browsing history, downloads, purchases, photos, texts, emails, phone logs, online chats, and financial transactions. Even if the data is insignificant on its own, it may be valuable when pieced together.
Using sophisticated and legal tools, a private investigator also has the capability to find erased files and data. Hitting delete doesn’t completely remove the information. Traces of information are left behind, and knows where to look for these files on a computer.
Once all the electronic information is gathered, a timeline is created of an individual’s digital activity. That chain of events reveals new clues, and reveals personal patterns and habits that help legal cases.
Computer forensics are helpful in matrimonial disputes, employee theft of intellectual property, corruption, fraud, blackmail, copyright infringement, destruction of information, and sexual harassment cases.
4. Public / Social Media Profile
Public records are more readily available than ever before, so many people think they don’t need to hire someone to background a person. While anyone can track down a person, you’re only revealing a small snapshot of that person’s life. You need sophisticated tools to uncover a person’s true identity. A private investigator has powerful resources to create a comprehensive background on a person.
A PI only needs one piece of information to locate an individual. Whether it’s a phone number or an email address, it’s enough for PI to track down a person, his behaviors, and social media activity.
In the end, you’ll get a sophisticated public / social profile of an individual or company. PI’s connect the dots between all public and social records. That helps attorneys make stronger legal arguments and uncover the truth easier during depositions and witness interviews. A social profile gives a lawyer a better picture and understanding of the person or company.
5. Video Evidence of Fraud or Cheating
Surveillance takes a long time, but a video recording is compelling evidence in a legal case. Gathering that evidence may require working all hours of the day or night to capture the video. Whether it’s an insurance fraud investigation or a cheating case, video evidence can make or break your case.
It takes skill, patience, and time to capture quality video that will be the key piece of evidence. Anyone can capture video on an iPhone, but is it clear and is it indisputable? A private investigator makes sure the video evidence is exactly what an attorney needs in a case.
Video is key in legal cases involving worker’s compensation, insurance defense, cheating spouses, child custody issues, and employee theft.
A private investigator uses legal methods to document the problem. These tools include hidden cameras, GPS tracking devices, and undercover operatives.
A private investigator gives cases new life to a legal case because of their independent and specialized investigative perspective. Uncovering new leads, gathering video evidence, finding assets, developing a comprehensive character profile, and analyzing digital behavior are just five ways a private investigator helps an attorney. Attorneys use this new information to get to the truth faster in depositions, win negotiations, and get favorable court decisions.