Client Expectations when Investigating Non-Compete Agreement Violations

Managing client expectations when investigating non-compete agreement violations can be a major concern for attorneys. Lets face it, clients, and in particular business owners, take a former employee’s violation of a non-compete agreement very personally. Emotions run high and, unfortunately, so can imaginations. As their attorney, you are placed in difficult position when investigating non-compete agreement violations. The clients truly believe that the agreement has been violated, but often lack actual proof for you to use. You are rightly concerned about bringing a suit without adequate proofs and sending a threatening letter may lead to the alleged violator calling your bluff or working diligently to erase their footprints. investigating non-compete agreement violations

As professional investigators who are experienced at investigating non-compete agreement violations, we can appreciate that what a client “believes” may not always be real. When a false or unverifiable belief is matched up with high client expectations, the lawyer usually pays the price when reality and disappointment arrive. That leaves the attorney with a tough decision at the onset. Like it or not, your client will expect that you have a solid, go-to investigator who has extensive experience investigating non-compete agreement violations who can help. Who should you turn to? You can hope to get a reliable referral to a private investigator that has worked out previously or you can look for an expert private investigator on your on. The problem is that no private investigator will want to pass up your case, so all profess to be “experts”. This includes those who will simply subcontract your case to the cheapest investigator they can find to those who have little or no real experience investigating non-compete agreement violations, but tell you otherwise. In short, the PI is not interested in the preservation of your relationship with your client. They simply want a case.

At ASG, we have a team of professionals who focus on investigating non-compete agreement violations and we have an active book of business which allows us to become true practicing experts. If you or your client is in need of a professional private investigator to assist you in investigating non-compete agreement violations, please visit our service page and contact one of our team members to discuss how we can add value.

Locating Lost or Unresponsive Witnesses and Clients

unresponsive witnesses

unresponsive witnessesLet’s face it, in today’s day and age, everyone is a little more suspicious of people they don’t know. There are constant news stories about scams, fraud, and people being taken advantage of; many of these issues involve suspicious telephone calls (sometimes of the Nigerian Prince variety). Add into the mix the number of people with financial and legal issues who are regularly on the lookout for collections calls, bill collectors or legal representatives; finding and talking to people over the phone can become a real challenge.

It is very common for our clients to come to us looking for help getting ahold of their own clients, witnesses, and even various hired experts involved in their cases.

Sometimes this is a direct result of call screening. A law firm coming up on your caller ID might mean a number of different things and even if the number is “unknown” to your phone provider, a quick Google search usually reveals the name of the large anonymous law firm that can scare people into avoiding their phones. Sometimes attorneys simply don’t have the current telephone number for the person they are trying to contact.  Even more frequently, the number from that police report from two years ago is now disconnected. 

Data Matters, But It’s Only The Start

There is no question that as Licensed Professional Investigators, we have access to a tremendous amount of data that is not available to the general public or legal professionals. Yes, there are times where this data alone can get us in contact with a witness relatively quickly, but the majority of the time, these investigations require more than just a couple of clicks of the mouse. Our trained investigators don’t just stop with one telephone number or address, we often look into various avenues that can be used to contact someone in order to confirm their personal information, relay a message or take a statement. This may include reaching out to relatives, neighbors or close associates. We also deploy a method of “consistent” contact, which may include multiple calls from various phone numbers, text messages, and even social media contact.

Is Seeing a PI Company on Your Caller ID Really Any Better? 

That all depends of course if we want them to see our name on their caller ID. Using various outbound telephone numbers, usually masking our identity, we have a better chance of getting people to pick up the phone. If that doesn’t work, we have the option to reach out to people that are familiar with the person we are trying to speak with. This helps tremendously when we are trying to get a message to someone that we need to speak with them. It allows us to relay what the conversation will be about and that the person we seek is not in any trouble, regardless of whatever else they may have going on in life. Imagine getting a call from your neighbor, friend, brother or parents that a friendly investigator needs to speak with you about the accident you witnessed a couple of years back. Very specific messages can be left with trusting associates of the person we are looking to speak with, which is usually more successful than leaving voice messages at just one phone number that may or may not still belong to that witness.  Armed with complete information about their involvement in a case, an investigator can tactfully explain the entirety of the situation and work to confirm their best contact information and setup a call between our client (usually an attorney) and the people they need to speak with.

Top Tips of Locating Witnesses:

  • Ensure we have the best available phone numbers for the target we are looking to speak with.
  • Regular calls from various outbound telephone numbers, ensuring maximum likelihood of someone picking up the phone.
  • List of people close to the target that we can speak with to help relay a message.
  • The ability to text those millennial targets who prefer to communicate in that fashion.
  •  Social Media messages for additional points of contact.
  • Utilization of Field Investigators for in-person contact if necessary.