NOVEMBER 2016
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Our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25, in celebration of Thanksgiving.
 
Our engaging and informative continuing legal education (CLE) program, approved by the State Bar of Texas, aims ensure your investigation adds value to your case.  Call us at 713/781-9040to arrange a complimentary and convenient presentation at your own offices.
Next Edition Topics:

Sneaking a Peek
:
Inappropriate surveillance techniques.
 
Consider the Source:
Unfounded fees for "confidential" information.

 

In this edition of VantagePoints, presented are two articles dealing with ethics in investigations. The first deals with invoicing practices regarding extensive surveillance operations, and the potential for overcharging.  
 
The second article deals with violations of the prohibition of direct contact with represented parties by investigators, which pose the potential for significant damage to the attorney's case and reputation.
 
The professional team at ResultQuest® has many years of experience in gathering evidence through surveillance and interviews. Call us to discuss how our ethical and measured approach to investigations can help you Achieve a Superior Position®.
 
Thank you for your comments about our newsletter. We hope you will recommend VantagePoints to your colleagues and we also welcome your input regarding topics of interest. Send your suggestions to   news@resultquestinc.com .
 
We wish you and yours and a happy and safe Thanksgiving.    
 
J.R.Skaggs
Founder, Owner, and Manager

Killing the Goose: Inflated invoices for investigative services
Investigations in support of legal disputes can be quite costly, especially when there is a need for intensive surveillance operations in order to gather essential evidence. Unfortunately, such a requirement can also be an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to submit billings inflated by unnecessary, or even fabricated, coverage periods. These types of unjustified charges can significantly impact the legal budget.
 
In most instances, a seasoned surveillance practitioner should be able to quickly deduce and cover the most logical times in which relevant activities are likely to occur, rather than merely whiling away unproductive hours. Sitting on a stakeout for extended, useless periods wastes the client's money, and can needlessly expose the operation to unwanted scrutiny.
 
Furthermore, an unprincipled investigator might charge for observation hours that were not actually worked by falsifying time sheets or other support records. Such falsification could be hard, if not impossible, to detect.  
 
At ResultQuest® we work truthfully and diligently to apply the client's resources with maximum effect. Over the years, we have often proposed modifications to the client's original surveillance directives that more efficiently allotted assets, yet still gained the desired results.
 
When faced with the decision to invest in an extensive surveillance operation, it is important that your investigator can be trusted to submit accurate and forthright billings. The ethical professionals of ResultQuest® pledge honesty in invoicing, and keep your best financial interests at heart.
 
Call us at 713/781-9040 when you need principled professionals to assist with your surveillance needs.
Over the Line: When investigators make unethical inquiries
Attorneys who retain investigators to assist with their evidentiary needs should be mindful that, in doing so, they could jeopardize their reputation and standing in the event of an ethical lapse.
 
One of the most problematic ethical violations by investigators is direct communication with parties who are represented by counsel in the matter being investigated. Sadly, there is little guidance in this matter by the bodies that govern private investigations companies. A lawyer who assumes that an investigator is familiar with prohibitions against such contact does so at his or her own peril.
 
The investigative specialists of ResultQuest® are well versed in the rules pertaining to represented parties. In one recent case, in which we were involved, an attorney requested interviews of opposing defendants who had been sued but not yet served with civil process. The defendants were, however, known by us to be represented by counsel in a related criminal action. Consequently, we opted to decline and made recommendations for interviews of other, unrepresented parties.
 
In another matter, we worked closely with the counsel for a plaintiff in a suit involving violation of a non-compete clause to devise and carry out a legally permissible undercover contact with a low-level employee of the defendant, who provided evidence that proved to be extremely beneficial to the plaintiff.
 
When using investigative firms to assist with evidence gathering, you need the assurance of knowing the process will stay within applicable rules and guidelines.
 
For almost thirty years the clients of ResultQuest® have relied on us to provide this assurance. It's Your Move - Make it Count.®   Call us at 713/781-9040.