Private investigators and attorneys often cross each other’s path in the line of work. Since both parties can benefit from a symbiotic relationship, developing said relationship can be an important professional move. However, similar to social circumstances, finding the proper fit is a crucial step that will then determine the effectiveness of the pairing.
Much like the initial meeting or interaction with a potential client, an investigator and lawyer will go through a feeling out process. In a typical friendship, people often find common ground over shared interests. This professional friendship will rely on a similar test. If both parties share similar specialties in terms of the cases each takes on, a budding coexistence may develop.
However, an equally important factor in this development is the meshing of personalities/character. While individuals may share a common interest or expertise, that is only the seed for potential growth. Because communication is of the utmost importance, particularly when legal ramifications are involved, a lawyer and investigator must grow to trust each other for their partnership to be successful.
Once again, akin to the client/investigator relationship, setting expectations and checking to make certain that both are on the same page is critical in this scenario. In the ideal situation, a private investigator and attorney can work together toward achieving the ultimate goal — developing a strong case for a mutual client.
Here lies a subtle, yet vital point. While the lawyer and investigator work independently serving different roles, they are essentially working together for the common interest of the client. The lawyer and the investigator must respect one another’s role.
It is not the attorney who develops the investigative strategy nor is it the attorney who gathers/obtains the proof/evidence rather it is the investigator. The investigator lays the foundation to the success of every case because it is actually the evidence that the judges are looking for and it is the video evidence that the opposed counsel cannot refute. Although an attorney may have input it is ultimately the decision of the investigator on how best to build the case.
Upon completion of the investigation the lawyer will take over; the attorney will best decide which proofs to utilize and when; the attorney will present the investigative proof to the court in a manner that will best benefit the client.
When executed effectively the relationship between a lawyer and investigator is mutually beneficial, building sound and steady cases for their mutual clients resulting in a partnership that can make both jobs easier.