Sorry bad lawyers, you don’t use a private investigator, even when you need one, and your client is the one who loses in the end. The good news is, your client likely doesn’t know it.
This is a big statement and we will likely get knocked by some attorneys who don’t like this post, but it’s the truth and its based on a lot of real lessons and feedback. We talk to many clients and prospective clients who have engaged an attorney to help solve a problem that involves some unknown variable or information and a private investigator, the right professional to get that missing information, is never discussed let alone engaged. What does happen is that lawyer runs in circles for a while, wastes some time and frustrates the clients. Not optimal problem solving.
There are several reasons that a lawyer won’t utilize a private investigator when the should. Some are innocent enough, although as highly educated folks, they should be astute enough to understand the need. Other times, the reason is simply greed. The idea goes, why bring in, and pay, an expert to solve the problem when I can generate more billable hours for myself and keep the matter alive longer. (That’s not a great answer for your client)
Here are a handful of the reasons bad lawyers don’t use a private investigator:
- Have a paralegal or secretary do it. Some attorneys simply don’t understand that good private investigators are capable of getting far more information than their secretary or paralegal. Remember, Googling does not equal investigating.
- Just rely on discovery and papering things to death. This is even more narrow minded than leaving the investigation to the secretary. The idea is that the discovery process between the parties is the only place that information and answers come from. This approach is guaranteed to take way more time, give you less opportunity to win and cost your client a bunch. Good luck with that.
- Take a bunch of depositions without background research. How can you take a strategic deposition of someone you know little about? How can you lead them into disclosing their lies or disrupt their efforts to withhold information if you don’t know the truth already?
- They used the wrong a private investigator in the past and had bad experience. We get this one. It is easy to end up hiring someone who appeared valuable but proved to be underwhelming. That doesn’t mean that you should write off the entire industry. You learned from that bad experience. Use it to pick a better one next time.
- Thought a real private investigator would cost too much. Given legal fees these days, when compared to investigative rates, using a private investigator is a bargain.
These are just a few reasons that bad lawyers don’t use a private investigator. We’re sure you can think of even more. The point is, an expert PI, who can articular the value they can offer, can not only help an attorney, in many instances, they can make the case for you. Be a great lawyer, get a great PI to help.
To learn about some of the services that ASG provides that are tailored specifically for attorneys, visit our Attorney Services page. We believe that you find our services to be a valuable resource to enhance you practice and your client’s experience.