“With a good investigator any attorney will do”, F. Lee Bailey, Texas Association of Licensed Investigators Conference, 2016.
F. Lee Bailey said it best at the conference when he discussed his use of professional investigators in the defense team.
Mr. Bailey discussed that when he started practicing law that you needed to know what the witness was going to say and not from him.
One needs to have all the facts in play before ever stepping foot in the courthouse. All perceptions aside its hard to be impartial especially in difficult cases when there is a lot of raw emotion. You need the facts. Professional Investigators are a crucial part of a defense team.
An investigator is an impartial third party. The job of an investigator is to gather and collect the facts of the case for careful review.
I recently worked on the defense side of a murder case, the case was difficult and emotional because a life was lost. However, the reality of the situation is that the state presented absolutely no evidence that the defendant, who was charged with murder had even been at the location. If your facing the loss of your freedom you kind of want to know someone is out there to point that out.
My favorite part was the attorney asked the witness “you know that there is absolutely no physical evidence in this case?” Without an investigator to confirm through interviews, legal resources, and weeding through the states evidence, the defendant may have been persuaded to enter a plea.
There are not enough hours in the day. Attorneys spend eight, ten, twelve hours in the office/court and other venues bogged down drafting various legal documents, reading case law, meeting with clients etc. The professional investigator can take some of that pressure off whether its meeting the client in jail to obtain facts, doing courthouse research, or locating and interviewing those who have some input into the case.
I recently worked on a case that required a number of visits to the jail, as an investigator I can block the amount of time to speak with the client and perhaps obtain a case history. Often, one or two hours on a complex case.
Investigators can often bring about additional information, additional witnesses, or mitigating factors that can be explored.
The discovery materials are exhausting and repetitive. A good investigator can review the discovery and give you a good case summary.
Investigators can often review all of the states evidence, witnesses, and create a time line of events, catalogue every image, and locate expert witnesses, so that you can focus on successfully defending case in trial or identifying mitigating factors for a plea agreement.
Sometimes you just need an additional set of eyes. It’s true that our perception may not be the same way someone else sees the evidence or timeline of events. A good investigator has the ability to locate and interview witnesses and provide a brief of the different viewpoints of those involved in the case.
Having an investigators input during trial can be useful. Professional investigators are very adept to reading body language and can be helpful to the legal team before, during, and after the trial. Investigators often will have developed rapport with witnesses, know what experts will testify, and can observe and document the jury demeanor.