Byron (not his real name) was sitting in his attorney's waiting room waiting to deliver some documentation relevant to a suit he was bringing against a former employee that required some computer forensics. As he waited he overheard a couple talk about the reason they were there regarding a problem about real estate assets and how those assets had been shifted from one owner to another and they suspected cell phone eavesdropping.
Less interested in the details of their private business, than how the two cases were so very different, Byron wondered how could one attorney adequately represent the interests of clients in such different areas and situations? Who could be expert enough in both areas as well as things like finding hidden assets in a divorce case, uncovering spyware using cell phone forensics in a stalking case or a case proving the use of phone tapping or electronic surveillance in corporate espionage?
There is a common statement that covers this situation for clients - and attorneys, it is:
An attorney is only as good as the information they have to work with.
What is really needed in an attorney is intelligence and resourcefulness. That's because Byron is right, an attorney can't be an expert on everything. Sure he can refer to the law library at his disposal, but there's a lot of help he needs that he won't find there. He needs to use all the resources available to him.
Most law firm budgets allow for paralegals, staff investigators and research departments. No matter what can be done in-house, there are limits to the scope of their investigations.
We know, because after they fail to come up with the information through their internal sources, attorneys turn to us and we can usually find it and provide it to them. Some of the attorneys we work with come to us right away because it is less expensive and faster to do so. Not to mention that all the information they get is verified and ready to go.
Because investigative work is all we do, we subscribe to proprietary data bases restricted to the highly qualified private investigators. It's too expensive for law firms to maintain the staff and budget to access those sorts of information sources.
An example of how those databases help comes from our case files. An attorney was trying to track down someone who got a patent 15 years ago that had not been commercialized. He had a client who wanted to get a patent for the same item. We were able to find the original patent holder within a few days.
So, when you need an attorney know that "An attorney is only as good as the information they have to work with," then ask what resources they will use to get the information they need to best represent you in your case.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations