What's the difference between a "legal investigator" and a "private investigator"?
We adhere to the standards of The National Association of Legal InvestigatorsTM. On their website they offer the following description of a “legal investigator”: “Legal investigators are licensed private investigators or law firm staff investigators who specialize in preparing cases for trial for attorneys. Their job is to gather information and evidence which advance legal theories to benefit the client’s case. The legal investigator must possess knowledge of statutory and case law, local rules of court, civil procedure, forensic sciences, techniques of evidence collection, and its preservation and admissibility.
Legal investigators assist attorneys by reviewing police reports and discovery materials, analyzing and photographing crime or accident scenes, interviewing parties and witnesses, performing background investigations, preparing documentary and demonstrative evidence, recommending experts, and testifying in court. Legal investigators must exhibit the highest standards or professional and ethical conduct.”
(From the National Association of Legal InvestigatorsTM website at www.nalionline.org,”Legal Investigator”
“Although many of the tasks that a person knowledgeable of legal investigations can be done by a private investigator, the legal investigator has a more refined knowledge and experiences of what is necessary in the legal community.”
Can you really find someone? How?
Yes, we can. We’ve had some pretty remarkable cases with really good results. Finding someone is not a science, it’s an art. Our staff has a unique ability to find small, seemingly inconsequential bits of information and put them together into a bigger picture. Every case is different and the methods we use are closely guarded. We never rely on one method and we use the “Check, recheck and then verify” principle. We access over 23 different databases that are designed specifically to find people, and we access data that’s not available to you on the internet. We use a variety of tools, including: proprietary databases, subscription services, cell phone records, locating people who have new (or recently changed) cell phones, cell phone data analysis, and many sources which may not have occurred to you.
What is the "turnaround time" for assignments?
All assignments are completed as quickly as possible, with the understanding that our attorney-clients operate under closely determined schedules for hearings, depositions, filing deadlines, and mediations. Each case is unique and requires a different strategy for completion. For instance, witness interviews are often dependent upon the availability and schedule of the witness(es); documents may not be immediately or locally available; collision or crime scenes may have been altered over time. Therefore, turnaround time is frequently determined by factors which are not always within our control. We are flexible enough to be able to work cases on short notice. Every case has its own issues and sometimes being limited on time is one of them. Give us a call and we will figure out a way to help. Regardless, all assignments are initiated on receipt. We strive for prompt completion of our cases and will do our very best to insure you get the quality responses you deserve.
Clients are updated with interim reports, e-mails, and telephone calls, as necessary. Attorneys are encouraged to contact our office or our field investigators at any time they have a question or new information. Our investigators are encouraged to contact the client from the field when new and important information is developed.
What experience does your staff have?
Get to know Arkansas’ most experienced investigators on our Team page.
Does a single investigator do everything?
No. While there is one primary investigator assigned for each case, we work as a team. Each of our experienced staff members fulfills a specific role in our organization to provide complete coverage and timely service to our attorney-clients. For instance, while a field investigator conducts interviews and locates witnesses, our researcher obtains court documents from out-of-state jurisdictions or police reports from a local municipalities. Arkansas Investigations delivers a level of service not offered by the “lone private eye,” or by the majority of small investigative agencies running a more generalized business.
Does your agency serve process or do surveillance?
We do both. We provide a wide range of services. Even with that wide range of capabilities, we insure that each client receives our undivided attention. We expect to be your ‘one stop’ investigative service center. We do not specialize in only one or two areas because we feel that our ability to provide a variety of services allows you to have the ability to get continued, quality services from one provider: us. We do many things well and if we do not do them, we can find someone who does. For instance, we don’t generally serve process unless it’s considered a ‘difficult serve’. Most process servers won’t sit and wait for extended periods to watch for a person in order to serve paper. We do a lot of surveillance work sitting for long hours and blending into the area. If you have a service that requires us to hunt down and locate a person that you MUST serve, then we are the people for you. Whether for business intelligence purposes, infidelity investigations, child custody cases, asset searches or any other reason you might have a need for covert surveillances, we are the people for you. We have a large array of covert video and photographic devices, body cameras, disguised cameras and other recording devices, vehicles, vans, and all sorts of other equipment used for these purposes. We are proud of the results we get for our clients.
How do I get in touch with you?
Call us at 1-501-372-2202 or email us at email@example.com. We are available 24-hours-a day, 7 days a week. We can be reached by phone at any hour. Each senior staff member has an individual email address. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our investigators have cell phones and can be immediately available. We know this is unusual but we feel that if there is a question in your mind that is bothering you late at night, then we feel it’s important enough for us to answer.
Do you work directly for an attorney or for the client?
It depends. We do both. Some situations make it tactically better that we are hired by and work directly for the attorney. That overcomes some issues with ‘work product’. Other times that protection may not be needed or maybe the client came to us first and we referred them to the attorney. We try to discuss the merits of each position before we formalize any relationship.
Do you find assets that someone is trying to hide?
Absolutely. Our staff is trained to focus on finding hidden assets and hidden financial information. Sometimes, this requires additional skills such as surveillance. Sometimes this can be of benefit in business-related investigations and sometime in marital investigations. We have also helped businesses who want to know if a company is solvent before they make a merger approach and we have located assets and bank accounts for clients to collect on judgements.
What services does your company provide to businesses and corporations?
Our agency conducts workplace investigations for businesses and corporations with issues including harassment, substance abuse, fraud and theft, workplace violence, and discrimination. We help employers identify problems like theft, embezzlement, and excessive turnover.
Our researchers conduct due diligence investigations for financial institutions or corporations considering a merger or acquisition. We can put “boots on the ground” in every country in the world except North Korea.
What kind of background investigations do you conduct?
Our background investigations cover a wide range of services. It really depends on your definition of ‘background investigation”. You might be trying to find out about that guy/gal you just started dating. To some people they simply want to know if someone else has ever been arrested. Or it might be to uncover financial irregularities. Some cases are in preparation for child custody court cases and they require a different approach. Some cases might mean complete verification of an employment application and resume. Still others require that we go and physically talk to acquaintances, neighbors, former employers, business references and anyone else who has ever known the target of the background investigation. We recommend you call us and explain what you are looking for and what your goals are so that we can better match our services with your needs.
What is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
Certified Fraud Examiners are financial investigators trained to detect and prevent fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFESM) awards the CFE® designation to individuals who complete a rigorous curriculum and pass a challenging examination that can take several months to complete. Fraud examiners help businesses protect themselves by uncovering unscrupulous employees, executives, or vendors who take advantage of inadequate company controls for their own gain. We help companies uncover “soft” controls to protect the business and become proactive instead of reactive. We specialize in difficult and complicated cases involving financial, economic and business practices.
We suspect an employee is stealing money from the company. How does your agency assist with problems of theft?
We provide discreet surveillance to show what is occurring if you already believe you are a victim. If you are not sure, but suspect something is wrong, we use an analysis of inventory logs and interviews of employees to disclose questionable behavior or provide an explanation for the shrinkage. A forensic accountant may identify embezzlement or misappropriation of company assets. Surveillance may determine that it is not a single employee, but rather a ring of conspirators who are diverting property from the company. When an employee is identified as participating in a theft, a carefully documented and controlled interview should produce a written admission of guilt, which can then be used as a basis for restitution, discipline or termination.
Don’t the police investigate employee theft?
Sometimes, but most often, employee theft is uncovered after an internal investigation is conducted by the employer to identify shortages or missing money. There are problems with calling law enforcement into an employment situation as investigations by police rarely identify fraud. As a matter of fact, less than 2.4% of frauds were uncovered by police (source: 2016 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners). We can even help you put together a plan on how to detect internal fraud.
First, any investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency that results in the arrest of a suspected employee will eventually find its way into the hands of a savvy defense lawyer. That lawyer will be allowed to interview the company’s owners, managers, and the suspect’s co-workers. In fact, it is even possible for the suspected employee to be acquitted of criminal charges related to the theft and then file suit against the employer for wrongful discharge and malicious prosecution! This scenario has played out thousands of times for unlucky employers who simply wanted justice.
We occasionally recommend to our clients that they focus on recovering their money and keep the information private rather than indulge their desire for justice. Because the employer has a much lower standard of proof than the criminal court (reasonable conclusion versus reasonable doubt), it is often more effective to obtain a written admission, without threat of criminal prosecution, from the suspect. The admission can then be used as a basis to obtain civil restitution, an enforceable agreement requiring the former employee to pay back the stolen money. Failure to comply with the obligation may result in a civil suit and judgment, which can be levied against the former employee. This tactic can be far more effective than pursuing a difficult and inconvenient criminal prosecution.
Can you guarantee you will get results?
Absolutely not. We never guarantee any kind of results. Our motto is “We Find AnswersTM” but we don’t ‘create’ answers. We will give 110% effort to get you the information you want and need and we’ll do everything in our power to help your case. We just can not and will not promise any specific outcome. We will not stretch or twist the facts we uncover in order to fit the client’s agenda. The facts are the facts.
How are you paid?
We prefer to be paid directly by the client but we are willing to discuss alternative arrangements, such as payment by the attorney. We require a retainer at the beginning of our services.
What are your fees?
- We do not charge for initial consultations.
- Some fees we can spell out pretty easily. Other times it’s more complicated than a simple cost and fee schedule. For instance:
Some of our database searches are based on the amount of information you want. For instance a basic search has one set price and it includes searches such as:
- United States Court Records
- County Real Estate Records
- County Criminal Court Records
- County Civil Courts Records
- County Domestic Court Records
- County Probate Records
- County Marriage License Records
- County Voter Registration Records
- Voter Registration Records Statewide
- State Police Crash Records
- Other people living at the address
- Possible Roommates
- Newspaper Archives
- Possible Fictitious Business Names
- Tax Liens
- Civil Judgments
- FAA Licensed Pilots
- Possible Aircraft Ownership
- Possible Significant Shareholders
- Possible DEA Controlled Substance Licenses
- Possible Federal Firearms and Explosives Licenses
- Sex Offender Records
- Death Index
- If you want more information we recommend our ‘prime’ search. It includes verifications of the information and not just reporting what our databases find.
- We do customized searches for selected purposes which go much greater into detail and the cost is proportionately higher.
- All investigative services are estimated based on the facts and circumstances of your case. We don’t guarantee or quote exact pricing because we have found that most cases change at some point during the process. We have found that our estimates are generally within 10% (plus or minus) of the eventual price. We are not a cookie cutter agency and each case is carefully evaluated in order for us to provide the services you need or expect. These services may not be the same services another client needs for a similar case. Please call for details.