Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

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Posts Tagged ‘law firms using PIs’

Part 2: Interview with Steven Brown, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating”

Posted by Writing PIs on December 29, 2019

Today is part 2 of our interview with former FBI agent, private investigator and author Steven Kerry Brown where we discuss the world of real-life private eyes and their fictional counterparts.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES: Some people view private investigations as a “recession-proof” business.  Do you agree?  If not, how has the economy affected private investigation businesses, and in what areas of investigative work?

STEVEN: All of the private investigators I know are suffering from loss of business. I would guess there are some that might be prospering, those doing process service with mortgage related clients perhaps. But while we too, do serve process, I don’t consider process serving as “real PI work.” It doesn’t require a PI license to serve process.

My criminal defense workload is up, so maybe there’s an upside to the downturn in the economy. More crime, more criminal defense cases. A lot of those are “indigent for expenses” so I get paid, but less than my normal rate. Generally my family law clients have less money to spend. I’ve had several that wanted to continue with their cases but were forced to stop because their own businesses were losing money and they couldn’t afford us. The pre-employment background screening business is way down as you can imagine. Fewer people being hired so there’s less need for background screening. So if there are some PIs whose business profits are up, I’d like to know their secrets.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES: You’re also a “writing PI.” How long have you been writing fiction? And please tell us about your PI fiction novel that’s currently being shopped to publishers.

STEVEN: Just because I enjoy listening to classical music doesn’t mean I can write a concerto. Likewise, because I can read and write English, it doesn’t mean I can craft a novel. There is a craft to writing fiction that must be learned before your writing is going to be publishable. I’m a slow learner. I’ve been writing fiction for 15 years and haven’t made the grade yet. I have a mentor that says you have to write at least a million words before you can produce a well-worked novel.

People ask me how long it took me to write The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating. With tongue in cheek I tell them 20 years. Non-fiction I find much easier to write. I wrote the CIG to PI in about 3 months. The Second Edition (which you said you don’t have and you need to buy it) took me less time. It has about 40 percent new and different material than the first edition.

My first novel was about an ex-FBI agent working a one-sailboat charter business in the Bahamas. It was pretty damn good if I say so myself and it was good enough to land me a fine literary agent. We’re both surprised that book didn’t sell. It took me eight years to write it.

The second novel, a Mormon PI murder mystery set in St. Augustine, Florida is being shopped now by my agent. It took me about three years to write it so I guess I’m getting faster. In this novel, the PI, Winchester Young, risks jail time, fights though a midnight tropical storm, and explores ancient Timucuan ruins to expose the genesis behind multiple murders. We’ll just have to wait and see if it sells. Winchester, by the way was one of the few “gun” names I could come up with that hadn’t been used already. Magnum, Beretta, Cannon, Remington.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES:  In your fiction writing, do you feel it’s necessary to portray, down to the “last scrap” so to speak, the work of private investigators?

STEVEN: I had a fellow PI call me yesterday and wanted to know if it was difficult to find a publisher. I asked him if he was writing fiction or non-fiction. The book he had in mind was really a novel but with “actual details” of how he went about working his cases. But he said it was both fiction and non-fiction. I told him he had to choose unless it was a memoir which is really a bit of both. Bottom line was he didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing.

In the PI novel that is being shopped now, I tried to include as many “real life” PI details as possible. I think one of the joys of reading is entering and learning about a world that the reader knows nothing about. So I tried to let my readers enter the PI world. One of the great things about writing is you can condense time, so it doesn’t take four hours to read about a four hour surveillance. But other than that, I think it pretty well immerses the reader in the world of this PI who has to solve a present day murder in order to solve one from twenty-five years ago.

I also tried to stay away from the stereotypic PIs, ex-cops, ex-military etc. My guy is ex-nothing and inherited the agency from his uncle. He is smart and resourceful but he’s not ex-CIA. I also tried to stay away from a lot of gunplay in the book. This PI doesn’t shoot anyone. There is a lot of action and the body count is pretty high but he is not directly responsible for any deaths. Really, how many real-life PIs do you know that have shot someone? I’ve been in the PI business for 25 years and I don’t know any. I do have some real-life clients that have committed multiple murders though. I’m a frequent visitor to death row at the Florida State Prison so I think I have a pretty good idea of how to portray crime and those who commit it. I guess we’ll see if any publishers agree.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES: We look forward to reading about Winchester Young in your to-be-published novel because some smart publisher will snap it up. Thank you, Steven, for being part of Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes.

Amazon link to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating:


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Answering Writer’s Questions about Surveillance Video

Posted by Writing PIs on November 22, 2014


Updated Nov 22 2014

We originally wrote this post in 2010, then updated it in 2012. A note we want to add today is that by 2011-2012, we were exclusively using equipment that recorded digitally, from digital recorders to digital video cameras. A funny story: After we had “gone digital,”  a P.I. contacted us and asked what tape recording equipment we had used for an insurance company client several years prior because they had just hired him, and they insisted he only record with tape! He was frustrated, but had no choice if he wanted to conduct insurance investigations for them.

We figure that the insurance company has gone digital by now. If you’re writing a story set around 2012, that could be a funny predicament to put a PI character in (forced to use near-obsolete equipment).

And now, the post from 2012…

We’re answering a writer’s questions about surveillance video vs. tape, the inclusion of sound, and terms referring to viewing and monitoring video.

WRITER’S QUESTION:  Do PIs/police/etc still refer to surveillance video as surveillance TAPES (even though info could be on disks,sticks, etc)?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: In our work, we say “surveillance video.” We thought about this, asking ourselves if we still hear other PIs loosely refer to surveillance video as tapes, but we can’t recall hearing that in a long time (several years at least).

WRITER’S QUESTION:  Do surveillance videos normally include sound?

surveillance female hanging out of car with camera

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER:  With our equipment, yes, and we expect that’s pretty standard for other PIs. We often don’t like it for our surveillance work, and invariably we’ll be using the camera and realize it’s recording our comments to each other, etc., and we need to shut down the sound. We have an entire surveillance video with the sound of our dog panting in the backseat (which strikes a soft spot with us as we’ve since lost that beloved dog). More than you wanted to know, but possibly fodder for stories.

WRITER’S QUESTION:  Are there special (industry specific) terms associated with reviewing and monitoring surveillance video?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER:  Not that we’re aware of. In speaking with our clients, be they attorneys or civilians, we’ll use pretty generic verbs (reviewing video, downloading video [from video hard-drive to main computer, for example], “photoshopping” video [in our office, photoshop’s become a verb much like Google–let’s Google that address, for example], editing video, burning video to a CD [we’ll burn video segment/s to a CD, which we’ll drop off at attorney’s/other’s offices], shooting video).

Click on image to go to Amazon page

Click on image to go to Amazon page

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When a PI Might Be Involved with a Homicide Investigation

Posted by Writing PIs on July 13, 2010

This article is now available in How Do Private Eyes Do That? available on Kindle and Nook.

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Answering Writers’ Questions: Overseas Assets and Finding People

Posted by Writing PIs on March 21, 2010

Today we’re posting questions from writers about assets and finding people, and our answers.

WRITER’S QUESTION: Regarding PIs searching for assets.  What if these assets are set up in countries outside the US?  What if your client lives in the US, but the account is in Switzerland or the Isle of Man?  Actually, I thought tax-free accounts were supposed to be cracked down on by the IRS.  How could a wife find out if her husband was hiding money during a nasty divorce?  Can it be undetected without a bank number?  I don’t think those types of banks use regular name and account numbers like here, but I’m not sure.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: This question applies to finding overseas assets.  A lot of countries now participate in reporting offshore bank accounts.  To the best of our knowledge, Guernsey, England is still very private (i.e., not reporting offshore accounts), but in this case a U.S. citizen could hire a local U.K. attorney to open an account in Guernsey and act as an agent in that country.   Bahamas, once a popular place in reality and many fiction stories as a place to hide assets, is no longer such a financial haven–after the U.S. threatened them with trade restraints, they agreed to disclose information about bank accounts.  There are probably other countries/regions that are also private, but one would need to research that.

Oh, one more country that is private.  It’s a small country named Nevis (an island nation in the West Indies) that has extremely tight privacy laws.  Check out, which is located there.

WRITER’S QUESTION: Regarding Skips.  What if a person skips while out on bail and somehow manages to leave the country?  Could a family hire you to find them before the FBI does?  Of course, if you were hunting for a criminal, you would have to turn them in if you found them, wouldn’t you?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: We’ve been hired by families and attorneys to find people in other countries.  However, we’ve never tracked someone who had skipped out on bail (this is what bounty hunters, like Dog, are hired to do).  So if a bounty hunter is tracking someone who’s skipped bail and there’s indications this person is in another country, the bounty hunter would have to work closely with that country’s local and national enforcement, the U.S. Embassey, and any private individuals who also specialize in bail/skip recapture.  This is an extremely technical area, bound up in a mess of treaties concerning extradition, as well as that country’s local law and international law (including the Hague Convention).  Remember all the trouble Dog got into a few years ago (for those who might not know, Google Dog the Bounty Hunter and Mexico)?  In that scenario, one man’s bounty hunter was another man’s kidnapper.

WRITER’S QUESTION: Under a similar scenario:  Suppose a woman hired you to find a long lost love and you were able to locate him, but unbeknown to her, he had a criminal record and was wanted.  Are you obligated to tell her this information?  Are you obligated to turn him in?  I think this could make for a great book.

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: We would tell her, and we would tell law enforcement.

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Answering Writer’s Question: Why Do Lawyers/Others Ask PIs to Surveil People?

Posted by Writing PIs on February 14, 2010

Today we’re answering a writer’s question about why attorneys and others might hire private investigators to surveil people.

WRITER’S QUESTION: What are some reasons lawyers or others have asked you to surveil people? In my story, I have a cop asking a PI who’s a retired cop to surveil a girl he believes is in danger, but she doesn’t know she’s being surveilled. Is that realistic?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: We think your scenario is realistic, especially with the PI being a retired cop (sounds as though he and the cop are/were friends?). Although neither of us at Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes are retired law enforcement, we have had a patrol supervisor (a friend) contact us with a request to follow up with a civilian who wanted surveillance.

As to reasons lawyers/others have asked us to surveil people, here are a few: cheating spouse, child custody issues (for example, a parent suspected of using drugs), skiptrace, process service, employment locate (in a judgement recovery or child support context), to confirm opposing parties’s whereabouts and activities when they’ve made claims that can be contradicted through continuing surveillance and insurance fraud surveillance.

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority.

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A Day in the Life of a Legal Investigator

Posted by Writing PIs on February 10, 2010

Because some people have asked, “What’s a legal investigator?” and because in our PI agency that’s what we primarily do (legal investigations), I thought I’d break down a day in the life of a couple of legal investigators.  We have an extra dimension to our work lately because my business partner is once again studying for the bar exam (in 2 weeks). 

First, here’s the National Association of Legal Investigators’ (NALI) definition 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.

Now we’ll look at yesterday in “a day in the life of a couple of legal investigators.”

4:30 a.m.: Partner is up, studying (getting the hours in before the work day starts).  Gotta hand it to him, he’s been studying at all hours while juggling other work coming into the office. Sometimes he’s up at 3:30 a.m., other times he “sleeps in” until 6 a.m.

8 a.m – 9 a.m.: Phone calls start. Reminder from a law firm that we have legal papers to serve a bank in the afternoon. New client is driving into Denver, wants to meet for coffee in the a.m.  Paralegal calls, wants to know if an elusive subject has been served yet.  Woman calls, says someone stole her truck from in front of her house. Yes, she’d left the keys in the truck, but only her best friends, a few neighbors, a business acquaintance and her family knew she always left her keys in the truck.  We suggest she discuss this with all those people first, then call us back if the truck is still missing.

11 a.m.: I’m finishing writing several reports. Partner is heading out the door to meet with the new client who’s just arrived in Denver.  It’s going to be a complex, difficult case that will require a lot of travel. We’re already scheduling the travel, where we’ll stay, the interviews, and so on.

noon: Partner’s back, had a good meeting with the new client.  Feels good about client’s character, how he comes across (important elements as we’re expecting this case to go to trial). The coffee shop they met at is one of local haunts–one of the kids who works there knows my partner is studying for the bar and drinking a lot of coffee, so he gifts us a bag of our favorite coffee beans.

Afternoon: Spent driving all over the city. Picking up discovery at one law firm, picking up legal papers at another, serving same papers to the bank, picking up a new case while visiting another law firm, checking addresses for a person we’re trying to locate.  Every time there’s a break, I sit in the car and read through police & EMT reports for another case.

4 p.m.: Home to catch up on phone calls, emails, life stuff.  Partner tells me that after we go out again (for a difficult serve), he plans to spend the rest of the evening studying for the bar exam. I do a “locate” (finding someone) for a law firm. Not easy as the person is using all kinds of addresses–trying to figure out which one is the most relevant.

5:30 p.m.: We head out for the difficult serve. It’s in a bad part of town, serving legal papers to a person who has a history of violence (we’re working on behalf of the law firm who’s representing one of the people who was beaten up by this person). Partner brings his big, black metal flashlight. And good thing he did as it came in handy.

6 p.m.: We find the person’s house. Metal fence around yard that has two overly excited dogs. Partner gets out, tries to talk to them. One turns friendly, the other has an issue with partner trying to get to the front door. Partner turns on flashlight (by now, it’s dark outside), and holds it in front of him. I’m holding my breath inside the car, watching the dog butt its head against the flashlight, growling and barking. Partner keeps walking toward the front door, which suddenly opens. There’s our guy, who has trouble controlling the more aggressive dog. This works in our favor, however, as he readily accepts the papers to get us to leave so he can corral the dog back into the house.

6:45 p.m.: Back at office. We write down our time for the day on the different cases. Partner calls attorney about mid-day interview with new client, gives verbal report. Partner begins studying again for the bar exam.


7-8 p.m.: Watching The Tudors, season two. King Henry VIII is battling with those fighting the Reformation, Anne Boleyn is realizing her days are numbered, Cromwell is driving the suppression, characters are sneaking around, spying on each other.  All that bad faith, legal wrangling, and high drama reminds me of law firms, nasty litigation, and the work of legal investigators.


8:30 p.m.: Woman calls. Found her truck. Seems a neighbor borrowed it without telling her.  We thank her for calling, wish her a good night.

Posted in Legal Investigations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Links to articles on catching cheaters, ordering background reports & safeguarding your Internet ID

Posted by Writing PIs on November 1, 2009

Today we’re posting links to articles we’ve recently written on catching cheaters, ordering tailored background reports, and protecting your identity on the Internet.   The techniques are good for real-world application as well as fictional stories.   Have a great week!



How to Outwit Your Cheating Spouse and Catch Him/Her in the Act:


couple dating

How to Check if Your Date Is Telling the Truth:


reportHow to Select a Tailored Background Report:



woman at computerHow to Safeguard Your Identity on the Internet:




Online Class: Quick Studies on the Shady Side: Tips and Techniques for Writers Developing Sleuths and Villains

November 16-23, 2009: Surfing the Web & Digging for Dirt
Ways a sleuth uncovers data, from Internet/database searches to getting down and dirty in someone’s trash. One week, 2 classes, questions answered by email in-between.

To register, go to

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Bored to Death: Tips from a Couple of PIs Who’re Also Writers

Posted by Writing PIs on October 16, 2009

private eyeWe’re hooked on Bored to Death, the new HBO series about a writer moonlighting as an unlicensed private eye in a state that requires licensing (ahem).  The latter point is a stickler with us because no way a person in any state that requires PIs to be licensed can simply place a craigslist ad that says “Hey, I’m unlicensed, hire me” as though that makes it all okay.  Sooner or later (more like sooner) a real PI, or someone associated with the regulatory agency, will see that ad or hear about the unlicensed PI’s activities, and the moonlighting will come to a cold-hearted, screeching halt.

But that aside, we love the show.  Love the goofy premises, love the pot-smoking magazine-editor boss George Christopher (played by Ted Danson, who steals the show), dig the PI’s sidekick pal Ray (played by Zach Galifianakis of The Hangover).  Being a couple of PIs who also write, we emphathize with the PI-protagonist who steals time from his writing to sleuth.  But being real-life PIs, we have to offer him these tips on being more professional:

Stop drinking with clients.   Most of your clients need PIs because they got themselves into a mess if not completely because of alcohol/drugs, at least partly.  Maybe Sam Spade drank with his clients, but why get fuzzy-brained when you need your brains the most?  And, oh by the way, don’t carry weed on your investigations.  The smell attracts more trouble than it’s worth.  Of course, this is part of the charm and funk of your fictional world–and where would that Ted Danson character be without that skunk?

Stop viewing clients as potential girlfriends.  Entanglements with troubled women will only drag you down.  Cases are tough enough to work, you don’t need the extra baggage of your heart on your sleeve.  Saying that, your fooling around with fair-haired damsel clients harkens back to the fictional greats (Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe), although it’d be nice if your writers let you occasionally score like the fictional greats, too.

Lose the trench coat.  It worked for Columbo back in the 70s, but this is the digital age.  Pitch it to the Salvation Army.  Try camel hair or a nice Gor-Tex.  But then, this is an offbeat comedy, and a trench coat is so cliche, it’s funny.

Try getting a retainer that reflects the difficulty of the work.  You’re going for desperate retainers–a hundred bucks on a whim, or a freebie because you got a crush on the client.  Thought you were moonlighting to make money, bud.  Fix an hourly rate, figure the hours and expenses to be worked, and get that upfront in cash, not kisses. 

Buy a camera.  So far, we’ve only seen you documenting cases with your eyes–that’s not convincing proof.  A visit to a pawn shop for a digital camera can go a long way toward convincing a judge or anyone else that your claims are truthful.

Speaking of a judge, back to your licensure situation.  You got a problem proving any case because you’re openly breaking New York state law.  If you work a case that goes to court, you’d be in a pickle.  The court may report you to the police or even disregard the evidence you’re presenting.  After all, New York state has a very active lobby for licensed private investigators and they don’t like interlopers, even cute ones with surfer boy haircuts.  On the other hand, you’re building some great conflict for future stories–can’t wait to see how you handle explaining to the judge that being unlicensed is just part of your charm as a character.

But fiction is fiction, not reality, so we’ll be back next week, watching our favorite new fictional unlicensed PI cavorting with babes, haggling for retainers, and dressing like a surfer-boy Columbo.  Here’s watching you, kid.


Posted in Bored to Death: Tips from a Couple of PIs, Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Answering Writers’ Questions about PIs: Crime Scenes, Naming Sources

Posted by Writing PIs on October 13, 2009


This post, we’re answering writers’ questions about crime scenes and naming sources.

Crime Scenes

Writer’s Question:  Is there a time frame that an area remains a crime scene? I’m picturing the yellow caution tape in a public place and wondering how long that remains up.  What kind of time frame might apply to a crime scene in a residence (for example, if someone is found dead in a family room, how long do the residents of the house need to stay out of the room?)  I’m thinking that from the time the police leave to when a PI shows up, a lot could happen in that room if a family member so desires.

Guns Gams and Gumshoes’s Answer::  A police crime scene excludes all but those who are trained to respect procedures for preservation and collection of evidence.  Generally speaking, after a period of approximately 1-24 hours, the area is returned to normal use.

Regarding a crime scene in a residence, specifically (per your question) a dead body found therein: Be mindful that police will remove those parts of the family room that they consider important evidence (for example, blood-stained carpeting and drywall spattered with blood).  Also, police will photograph/videotape the family room in the exact state in which they found it.  In other words, by the time the family returns and changes anything, the PI will have copies of police photographs as well as access to physical evidence that’s within police custody.  There are certainly instances where PIs would still seek access to the home (for example, to photograph the layout, measurements, etc.) but that is accomplished through court order or consent of the victim’s family.

Naming Sources

Writer’s Question: Do PIs always need to name their sources? You know how reporters don’t need to name theirs?

Guns Gams and Gumshoes’s Answer: PIs working for attorneys cannot reveal sources without the attorney’s permission. If a PI isn’t working for an attorney, and there is no state statute protecting the PI (for instance, some state statutes create a legal privilege ensuring confidentiality for PIs and their investigative sources), then the PI can be ordered by the court to reveal her source. Under these circumstances, if a PI is on the stand and she refuses to identify how she obtained said information (the source), she could be held in contempt of court and jailed (similar to what’s happened to reporters).

holmes silhouette

October 19-26, 2009: We’re teaching Crime Scenes, Homicides, & DNA at  Class blurb below:

Crime Scenes, Homicides, & DNA: An introduction to crime scenes and homicide investigations (topics include key tasks covered by law enforcement, a general introduction to estimating time of death and types of wounds, and how a PI might be called upon to aid in a homicide investigation). Class concludes with a discussion of DNA, its testing, how it might be deposited by a suspect, and how it’s used in court proceedings. One week, 2 classes, questions answered by email in-between.

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Answering Writers’ Questions: Law Firms Using PIs and Needing to Know if a Subject Has a Lawyer

Posted by Writing PIs on August 23, 2009

Sam Spade

Today we’re posting some writers’ questions (and our responses) about law firms using PIs, the importance of PIs knowing if subjects are represented by counsel, and could a character retroactively claim attorney-client privilege.

Writer’s Question: Do all law firms have a need for PI’s? I realize the obvious ones do, but it sounds to me like they all do. Could you give some examples of not so common law practices that may need a PI’s services?

Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes Answer: There is a rule of law that says an attorney cannot testify in any matter about his/her own investigation and continue to act as an attorney in that case. So, in most cases, any law firm that presents facts in a disputed case will want to hire an investigator (the only other way to get facts on the stand is through testimony from those who actually saw/heard the events in dispute). It’s not that an attorney can’t do the latter (it’s done all the time), it’s that a PI can also present facts such as measurements, photographs, witness evaluation, background facts, data analysis, etc.

Having a PI present testimony also circumvents surprises such as a witness changing his/her story after they get on the stand. As far as not-so-common law practices that might need a PI’s services, here’s a few: water law, elder law, real estate and mining law, intellectual property and trademark infringement law, and cable TV piracy, to name a few.

Writer’s Question: Is it illegal for a PI to have contact with a subject who has an attorney? Why? Is it harrassment? Also, if they do, is it the PI’s attorney who gets ‘punished’ by losing his license rather than the PI? If the subject doesn’t have an attorney when he comes into contact with the PI, couldn’t he just go get an attorney and indicate he had been harrassed by the PI?

Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes Answer: The legal system has gone to great lengths to protect and enhance the institution and confidentiality of the lawyer-client relationship.  The reason that it is illegal for a PI who is working for Attorney A (and A’s client) to have contact with Attorney B’s client is this institution and confidentiality.

Why might an attorney be accountable for his/her PI contacting the client of an opposing attorney?  The legal idea behind this is simply that the boss is ultimately responsible for the employee’s actions.  In states where PIs are licensed, it may indeed be the case that both the attorney and the PI would be punished for intruding on another attorney-client relationship (one needs to check if this is the case with that state’s PI licensing statutes or that state’s attorney’s code of professional responsibility).

As to your last question–could a person hire an attorney after being contacted by a PI, and then claim harrassment: A person cannot retroactively create an attorney-client relationship, but anyone can claim harassment by another third party.  For the sake of a story, could a character talk to a PI, then afterward realize they said too much and not want what they said to that PI be admissible as evidence?  Again, this character couldn’t retroactively claim attorney-client privilege, but that character might accuse the PI of harrassment, which would cast doubt on the reliability of that prior interview as evidence.  In other words, a lawyer wouldn’t want to “dirty up” their case with evidence of an interview that has serious concerns about its reliability.


Posted in Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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