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Home < Tips for Hiring a Private Investigator < Why Do Lawyers Hire Private Investigators

Why Do Lawyers Hire Private Investigators?

Why Do Lawyers Hire Private Investigators

Private investigators are hired by a variety of industries and one of the most prominent is the legal profession. It is common for legal professionals, including lawyers, to hire private investigators. But why do lawyers hire private investigators and should they? What are the benefits?

First and most importantly, lawyers and attorneys are experts in law. While they vary in their fields of legal expertise, whether it be as a divorce attorney, personal injury or criminal lawyer, they are dedicated to their position as someone who works in the legal field.

Private investigators on the other hand, are trained and experienced in creative and efficient ways to investigate various arenas. Consulting and working with a professional private investigator can help almost any attorney’s leverage when they are representing a case.

Why It Is Important for Law Firms to Hire Private Investigators

No matter how experienced, skilled or efficient an attorney is, it is often almost impossible to get all of the work done that crosses the desk. An attorney can’t be in the office cross-checking facts and do surveillance on a suspect at the same time. A private investigator can take quite a load off of a lawyer or attorney, as well as help them present a solid case.

Although larger law firms may have their own in-house legal investigator, smaller firms or single-man law practices do not have the capability of conducting their own thorough investigations and so may use a private investigator to work on certain aspects of their client's case. It's not necessary with every case for a lawyer to hire a private investigator but they will retain one when it is beneficial to do so.

What Types of Lawyers Hire Private Investigators

Private investigators work with many different types of lawyers, attorneys and legal professionals but more so with:

  • Lawyers: employed in law firms or private practices who help their clients on legal issues and how to move a case forward.
  • Attorneys: who consult with clients in much the same way as lawyers, but are more likely to represent clients in courtroom proceedings.
  • Counsels: lawyers who are employed by a company or organization and conduct legal issues solely for the entities behalf.

A strong argument can be made in hiring private investigators for most types of legal practice, but the following are a few types of legal professionals that investigators work with:

  • Civil litigation lawyers and attorneys
  • Criminal defense lawyers and attorneys
  • Corporate counsels
  • Probate and real estate attorneys and lawyers
  • Family law attorneys and lawyers
  • Personal injury claims lawyers and attorneys

Advantages and Benefits for Law Firms Hiring Private Investigators

Understandably, law firms on both sides of a legal dispute want to be able to prove their side of a legal argument so that their client wins. A law firm will need to show a judge or jury the proper evidence and enough of it to convince them that their case holds more weight than the opposition. An attorney will have the legal knowledge of what evidence they require to prove their case in court but if they don't have the level of evidence needed, the attorney will need to find it.

Although every case is unique, an attorney or lawyer can hire a private investigator to improve their client's chance of winning. It creates a distinct advantage when attorneys retain private investigators for gathering information that goes well beyond pretrial evidence. Conversely, not using an investigator can put a case at a disadvantage, especially if the opposing law firm does hire one.

Some benefits when a lawyer hires a private investigator:

  • It saves on time and resources
  • There is greater potential of uncovering crucial evidence
  • It allows for an objective analysis of a case
  • Finding details in a case that may have been overlooked
  • Provides expert testimony
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What Do Private Investigators Do For Attorneys?

Private investigators serve many important functions quite distinct from those of an attorney, though an investigator's services dovetail well with an attorney's own services. Due to the variety of services that a private investigator can provide, many lawyers and attorneys keep PIs on retainer or hire them frequently to do certain tasks.

Some of the best tasks private investigators do for attorneys include:

Locating People, Witnesses, Heirs

Attorneys and lawyers hire private investigators to locate people for a wide variety of reasons. A private investigator will have the experience in locating potential witnesses. An attorney who practices family law may be searching for an heir to an estate or to locate a defendant who is evading service. A criminal defense attorney may hire a private investigator to locate witnesses to a serious crime.

Finding Hidden Assets

Private investigators can help attorneys locate hidden assets that may be relevant to a case, such as hidden bank accounts or real estate. This can be particularly important in cases where the attorney needs to determine the financial situation of a party or locate assets that can be used to satisfy a judgement.

Preparation for Cross Examination

One of the most common reasons why attorneys hire private investigators is for gathering pertinent information for an upcoming trial. For example, a private investigator can discreetly follow a witness or a suspect to gather and report detailed information about their background, behavior and associations. This type of investigation can be extremely valuable for identifying information that may protect a client and/or provide the information necessary to prove a person’s guilt.

Depositions and Public Records Research

The role of a private investigator is continually evolving. Previously, the bulk of a private investigator’s duties involved following subjects to learn their habits. The current role of a private investigator includes much more detail, such as interviewing witnesses or digging through public records for information that may be used in a deposition. Private investigators are extremely creative, analytical, and they know how to obtain information; all of which can benefit law firms and their cases.

Insurance Claims

When someone is claiming to receive medical treatment for an injury, whether it be work related or from an auto-accident, proving an injury actually exists can sometimes be difficult. One of the benefits of utilizing the experience of private investigators is their ability of discreetly staking people out who may not have a true injury claim. For example, if an individual is receiving worker’s compensation for an injured leg, yet it has come to the attention of the employer and/or insurance adjuster that the individual goes for a two-mile daily run. This type of information can be recorded by a private investigator and presented as evidence against a false claim.

Surveillance and Digital Research

Before a divorce attorney draws up and serves divorce papers to a cheating partner, their goal is to first try to prove infidelity. One of the most common reasons lawyers hire private investigators, is for cheating spouse investigations to determine if indeed a spouse is cheating. This can typically be accomplished in a variety of ways, including online investigating, interviewing witnesses, and surveillance. The information recorded by the private investigator can be extremely valuable, especially in family law cases that involve cheating spouses and/or hidden assets.

In Conclusion

Above is a somewhat limited scope of what private investigators do for attorneys and why lawyers hire private investigators, but overall, investigators work alongside law firms to find and verify information and provide legally obtained evidence pertaining to the law firm's cases, so they can assist their own clients in winning their cases in court.
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