The Utah Gumshoe: Information Private Investigators Provide Attorneys
- July 11, 2016
- by Scott Fulmer
- Business Tips
Listen: Information Private Investigators Provide Attorneys
The variety of information private investigators provide attorneys is legion. It is only limited by the client’s imagination. That having been said, a professional, ethical private investigator should only provide information that he or she can legally provide. For purposes of my podcast today I will not address what is legal versus illegal. I’ll leave that discussion for another day. Suffice it to say, phone records, bank records and credit reports are the big three. Unless you have a court order or a signed release from the subject don’t go near them. With regards to the following examples, you should consult legal counsel first to ensure that you’re in compliance with federal and state law. So what kind of information can private investigators provide attorneys?
911 Calls to a Specific Address
These records detail the date, time, location, case number and reason for a police call to a specific address. They’re sometimes called police surveys and they can be conducted by address, by street block or even by a specific neighborhood. With the case number in hand you can then get a copy of the police report and discover witnesses, the names and badge numbers of the police officers that responded and other details about the incident. You can find out how many times the police have been called out to a particular address and why.
Depending on the circumstances, a private investigator can liberate your subject’s trash. A trash run can provide a treasure trove of data, some of which, you may or may not be information private investigators provide attorneys to use. A trash run can reveal alcohol and illegal drug use, dietary habits, prescription drug use or misuse, spending habits, employment status, finances, debts, evidence of infidelity, and the list goes on and on. But bring some latex gloves because it’s going to get pretty nasty.
Never underestimate the value of surveillance. Private investigators can find out where your subject goes, who they meet and what they do. This includes covert video capabilities, which means obtaining video of the subject in bars, restaurants, gyms, retail stores, public events and just about anyplace they go.
A private investigator can determine whether or not the subject owns property. How much is the property worth? Is there a tax lien on the property?
It’s also important to note that information private investigators provide attorneys falls under attorney-client privilege. As long as the private investigator is working directly for the attorney he is considered an agent of the attorney.
Not only can a private investigator provide you a current address for your subject, they can also provide a historical list of past addresses. This is of particular value if you’re trying to locate witnesses, neighbors or friends of the subject or trying to reestablish a timeline.
Private investigators provide attorneys with accident reports, photographs of the scene, measurements, witnesses, witness statements, news footage, and they can determine the events that led up to the accident.
Security Surveys and Risk Management Training
In-house lawyers can retain investigators to conduct a security survey of their company. These types of surveys look at several things, such as lighting, employee badges, locks, building access, safety, inventory shrinkage and security measures, to name just a few. They also take into consideration issues such as premises liability and potential hazards. When is the last time you had a security survey? Well, it’s been too long ago. Private investigators can also provide valuable training seminars to supervisors and human resource departments. Topics include workers compensation fraud and liability claims issues. And finally,
A private investigator can find out if your subject is licensed and if that license is in good standing. I’m talking about being licensed as a doctor, nurse, realtor, even a private investigator.
When it comes to the kinds of information private investigators provide attorneys, this list is certainly not all-inclusive. It’s not even the tip of the iceberg. But it’s a start. Every lawyer should have a private investigator on retainer. The information is out there. You just need to know how to find it.
Until next time,
This is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you the game…if afoot!
About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast
The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of Utah Gumshoe, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.
He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.
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