Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

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Posts Tagged ‘private eye’

Private Investigators: News, Resources and Some Fun Stuff

Posted by Writing PIs on May 13, 2012

Here at Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes, we write a lot about serious issues.  Today, we’d like to offer a smattering of items, from investigation news, handy resources and even some fun stuff.  Yeah, fun stuff.  It’s Mother’s Day.  Time to smile a little.

Private Investigators in the News

Click on a link to read article:

Private Eyes Spy on Staff (The Portside Messenger)

Private Eyes Spy on Exam Sheets: Private Detectives May Be Called in to Catch Any Internet Cheats (The Connexion)

Piles of junk prompt St. John’s to hire private eyes (CTV News)

Private investigators are selling access to financial and criminal records (The Guardian)

Handy Resources

Click on link to read more about service/product.

Read-Notify: Track your email. Know when emails you’ve sent get read, even from what city.

Convoflow: Harvest real-time social media conversations. Be automatically notified when any web page changes.

Google Keyword Tool: Evaluate the usefulness of keywords before using them in websites and blogs.

Fun Stuff

Click on a link to check it out:

Quick Quiz: Check Your Knowledge of the FBI in Pop Culture (Brought to you by the FBI)

FBI Widgets (Want “10 Most Wanted” on your Cell? An “FBI History” widget? A “Wanted by the FBI” module?…All brought to you again by the FBI, who’re showing you they can be fun, sorta, too).

Inside Private Eye: A video look at the inner work of the satirical UK publication Private Eye

“Another Whacko Process Service: Is It Time to Quit?” On a sister site, one of the Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes’s PIs debates the process-serving biz after escaping a woman wielding a frying pan.

Have a great Mother’s Day, Writing PIs

Posted in Handy Resources for Private Investigators, PI Topics, Private Eyes in the News | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Private Investigators: News, Resources and Some Fun Stuff

Private Eyes: How They Handle Non-Paying Attorney-Clients

Posted by Writing PIs on March 11, 2011

You might be thinking, “What’s with attorneys?  What about if anybody doesn’t pay?”

Okay, if anybody doesn’t pay after we’ve made several polite, documented inquiries, we threaten a lawsuit.  That particular threat doesn’t work as well on attorneys because they’re, well, attorneys.

Many PIs depend on attorneys for the bulk of their work. Legal investigators, who specialize in trial preparation and other related tasks, might rely solely on their attorney-clients for their income.  To be fair, most attorneys pay promptly, or so’s been our experience.  However, every now and then an attorney gets a little slow…or a lot slow…or so slow it’s obvious that payment ain’t gonna come unless the PI assertively takes action.

Recently, a group of our PI-peers were talking about what steps they take when an attorney doesn’t pay an investigator’s bill.  Below’s a smattering of PIs’ responses (paraphrased by Writing PIs), from reasonable to bulldog tactics.

Reasonable.  “I call the attorney’s paralegal, explain the payment is late, ask if they’d like me to re-send the invoice.”  (This is our typical approach–hey, things get lost or misplaced.  Strange as it may seem, attorneys are human, too.)

Still Reasonable.  “I contact the attorney directly, explain the payment is late, would appreciate it if he/she would take care of it as soon as possible.”  (Yeah, we’ve done this, too.  Once an attorney realized she’d been carrying our invoice in the bottom of her purse for several months, felt embarrassed, promptly mailed the payment.)

Assertive.  “I write a letter to the attorney, explain the late payment situation, and demand payment immediately.”  (We’ve done this a few times with out-of-state attorneys, and it’s produced a prompt payment.  Okay, we add a few “legalese” words in the letter that hint of “Bordering on Bulldog Tactic,” below, which gets things rolling quickly.)

Bordering on Bulldog. “I write the attorney a letter, tell him/her I’ll be filing a grievance against them with the attorney regulatory agency unless they pay my bill immediately.”  (This is getting heavy-handed–we’ve done this once in our 8 years in business.  It was for an out-of-state attorney who’d gotten exceptional service from us, but because the outcome wasn’t want he wanted — hey, we offer quality investigative work, not guarantees as to what we’ll find! — he tried to stiff us.  No attorney wants to be “grieved,” meaning have a complaint lodged against him/her with the regulatory agency because it’s that attorney’s license that’s on the line, so threatening a grievance should really only be done when other, more reasonable, attempts have first been made).

Bulldog.  “I’m going to sue you.”  (We’ve never done this.  That a PI would threaten this seems over the top as threatening to lodge a grievance is far more effective.)

Are you writing a PI who has trouble collecting payments?  What does he/she do?  Maybe they have someone else play the heavy and collect unpaid invoices.  Maybe they use a small collections agency to handle all outstanding bills.  Maybe they have a set routine, from reasonable to bordering on bulldog, that they follow sequentially for any outstanding invoices.  Maybe they always go the bulldog route, but if they do, we’re guessing they don’t have a lot of attorney-clients.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

Posted in PI Topics | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Private Eyes and Crime Scenes

Posted by Writing PIs on August 10, 2009

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

Posted in Private Eyes and Crime Scenes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Private Eyes and Crime Scenes

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