In the investigative world, we often point out to clients and other investigators that our reputation is everything. An investigator with a damaged reputation will most likely not get very many cases. The same way the investigator may likely conduct a “mini-background” on the client prior to taking a case, so should the client gather information on the investigator. It is important to run a query on the investigator AND the agency name. Be sure to consider slight variations in the spelling of the investigator and/or agency’s name. The search engine results can also give you an indication if the memberships that the investigator claims on their web site are current and valid.
For private party cases that involve an attorney, a good start is to get a recommendation for an investigator from the attorney, especially since the investigator may be working alongside the attorney throughout the duration of the case. Certainly a recommendation for an investigator who has worked the same specific type of case, whether it’s from a friend or a family member, should be taken into consideration.
Asking the investigator/agency to provide references is also a wise idea. Several of the references should come from colleagues and/or attorneys, not just private parties. A good investigator is usually well-known and respected throughout the investigative and legal community. Also, several of the references should come from clients who have had similar cases to the one that the investigator will be hired for.