As Licensed Professional Investigators we like to offer suggestions and recommendations to our clients to insure a successful outcome for their case. The following are tips we have for attorneys.
- When an attorney hires a Private Investigator the investigator becomes part of the legal staff and as such written reports containing their opinions, theories and conclusions are considered “Attorney work product”
- Check your client’s social media sites and have them take down any posts or listing that may be used against them by the prosecutor. Recently a NY Judge ruled that Facebook posts can be used in court as evidence, even if they are private.
- Get the investigator involved in the case as soon as possible so that witnesses can be located, photos taken and evidence recovered in a timely manner. The sooner the investigator can get to the scene of the incident the better the chance of obtaining positive results.
In criminal defense cases it’s imperative to detail the backgrounds of all key players as the first step, know who you’re working with beyond the cursory background check. A private investigator will go far beyond the background check and dig deep into each person, their affiliations and prior statements.
Information from a series of sources can be analyzed, compiled and presented to attorneys. If all aspects of each player is fully investigated it can often alter the outcome of the case as well as whether or not the case has merit to go to trial.
Is an Expert Really an Expert?
In criminal defense cases the prosecution may call a series of expert witnesses who are hired to give an opinion on certain aspects of evidence. The testimony of an expert witness oftentimes can sway jurors or discredit key pieces of evidence.
A private investigator can go well beyond a simple Google search of a hired expert witness, verify their credentials, and get a complete picture through their affiliations. At the same time they can uncover any conflict of interest that may not be favorable to the client or the case.
Another way private investigators can scrutinize an expert witness is through examining their prior statements in other court cases. If an expert testifies one way in one case, and another in a subsequent case, there may be grounds to recuse that expert as a witness in a criminal defense case.
When the attorney hires the investigator as opposed to the client, the investigator becomes part of the attorney’s legal staff and as such written reports containing the investigators opinions, theories, strategy and conclusions are considered “Attorney Work Product.”
Information gathered by private investigators is not protected under attorney/client privilege unless the investigator is hired by the attorney. Depending on the nature of a case, it’s wise to hire an attorney and let them hire the private investigator, thus protecting anything that may be turned up as evidence in the case.
An attorney is the expert in the law and when in partnership with good private investigators they can leverage the collected information to reach the best outcome available for the client.
A good investigator isn’t simply a good locator of information, but someone who excels at creating a rapport with others and getting them to open up. Private investigators become a highly valued part of the legal team, who will assist the attorney with case strategy.
Management Resources Ltd of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey. . Management Resources is a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence, and are available for interviews or speaking engagements. Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org