Do you work only for attorneys and businesses?
No. We take cases from the public at large, but only after careful consultation with you about your need for our services. We may recommend that your situation should first be addressed by an attorney, and we will gladly refer you to one. If you already have an attorney, then we will recommend that we work with him or her.
What is your turnaround time for cases?
As soon as possible. We strive to complete assignments in a timely, efficient and effective manner. We understand that our attorney clients are often faced with their own impending deadlines on a serious matter and need investigative assistance right away. In those instances we are usually able to assign an investigator to work that case immediately. However, there are instances when we can’t control the time factor; such as witness interviews, which depend on the availability of others. That may also hold true for gathering court records and other documentation; we are dependent on access factors. On corporate cases, they normally write their own script as far as completion dates are concerned.
What’s the difference between a “legal” investigator and a “private” investigator?
Legal investigators are those men and women who provide litigation support for attorneys, usually in a personal injury case or on a criminal defense matter. However, as the late Anthony M. Golec wrote in his landmark text, Techniques of Legal Investigation (1): “The legal investigator is the trained professional who searches out the facts to which an attorney can apply the law.” You will also find legal investigators involved in the courts of equity, including family law cases, estate and probate matters and contractual disputes. There are legal investigators on the staff of law firms and serving as investigators with public defender agencies, but most of us are in private practice, licensed in our respective jurisdictions. Most licensing codes refer to us as private or professional investigators. The “private detective” appellation of old is fading from use. Trace Investigations employs legal investigators.
Does a single investigator do everything, able to handle any kind of assignment?
No, of course not. The Trace team includes an intelligence analyst and research specialists, who support our investigative staff. Our president and founder is a veteran and Indiana’s only Certified Legal Investigator™ (2) and we have on staff two women who hold Masters degrees, a man and woman who hold Bachelor degrees in criminal justice, and a legal investigator with a Bachelor degree in journalism. While our staff investigators and research analysts are all trained and experienced as professional “fact gatherers,” there are assignments that require the service of a specialist, such as a computer forensic examiner or an accident re-constructionist. We have relationships with specialists who are certified and court-tested in these areas.
How much do you charge?
It depends. Most of our cases are billed by the hour plus expenses. Once we consult with the client about the nature of the case, we can set an initial budget. We understand resources may be limited for some cases and will work closely with our client to obtain favorable results. Some assignments can be worked on a flat fee arrangement, such as service of process and asset investigation. For new clients, we require a retainer arrangement.
How do we contact you?
You can always call our office from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday (phone 812-334-8857). Our investigators have cell phone numbers and email addresses printed on their business cards, and often communicate directly with clients during cases. You can also go to our contact page on this web site and send us a message. If you have a legal matter you think an investigator can help you with, we want to hear from you.
(1) Golec, Anthony M., Techniques of Legal Investigation, Charles C. Thomas, Publisher; Second Edition 2002, page 3. Mr. Golec was a founding member of the National Association of Legal Investigators and a Certified Legal Investigator™.
(2) Certified Legal Investigator™ is a professional certification awarded by the National Association of Legal Investigators. There are less than 100 CLIs in the United States. For details, go to www.NALI.com/cli.php. Trace Investigations founder Don C. Johnson, CLI currently serves as NALI’s Assistant National Director.
To eliminate doubt that could jeopardize the outcome of a serious matter please call us at 812-334-8857 for a FREE consultation.