What’s the law regarding licensed legal investigators? Is your investigator a licensed legal investigator? The Internet is awash
with ‘private eye’ courses, touting ideas that all it takes to start a ‘detective’ firm is a notepad, a telephone, and a few easy online lessons. To the professional licensed legal investigator, this nonchalant disregard for the integrity and degradation of the occupation is an outrage.
The professional practice of investigation has come a long way since the days of Sam Spade.
In most states, private legal investigators are identified by statute. Most define the profession as engaging in the business of obtaining and furnishing information about the crimes, wrongs, threats, identity, habits, occupation, property or conduct of one person to another, generally for a fee. Requirements for each state are different but generally require some experience and testing.
Before and after an investigator is licensed, the law governs the actions he or she may take. Do you know what the restrictions are? Can an investigator carry a firearm? How about a taser? May she or he make an arrest? Deliver a summons, serve a subpoena or testify in court?
Whether you are an attorney, an injured party or the professional conducting the investigation, the legal viability of the investigative work-product is directly related to the investigator’s compliance with the law.
How does an investigator conduct a legal background check? May the evidence gathered by an investigator be submitted in court? And what about fees? Can an investigator charge on a contingency basis or does the law demand hourly billing? Is it a requirement to have a contract? And what are the consequences to your case if an investigator violates the law?
Rules apply to the ways and means of discovering hidden agendas, nefarious behaviors, and covert practices. Today’s professional legal investigator must be familiar with the laws and regulations relating not only to their contracted conduct but also with laws pertaining to stalking and harassment. Understanding the guidelines that govern certain activities is critical to everyone’s success.
Such comprehensive knowledge does not come without training, and UCMJ Investigations provides training that has been approved by the Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board. Our workshops are specifically designed to be presented at your office, for your convenience. Imagine a training day when your speaker comes to you and the program is free.
Professional legal investigators fill a critical void in the justice system.
We have developed a 1-hour CLE workshop — “Hiring and Utilizing a Private Investigator in Your Law Practice” — which trains attorneys to know when to use a private investigator and covers the licensing and utility laws which apply to investigative practices.
Attorneys and the clients they represent rely on this service. Make sure your knowledge is sufficient to meet this need. Know what to look for when hiring a legal investigator.
** If you have a case and are not sure if an investigator can help or contribute to your case, contact us for a free review. **