March 2012

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Case study: Don't Throw Away a $100,000 Case
Don't Always Trust a Database Report

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May 4, 2012
- Palm Beach County Bar Association Law Day Luncheon, featuring Elizabeth Smart, Marriott West Palm Beach


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"When life gives you a hundred reasons   to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile."





We bring you confidence through information.

Our job is to provide you the information you need. Whether it's through our investigative services or through our informative newsletters, we want you to have the latest and current information.   


In this edition, we have addressed two subjects:A Case study: Don't Throw Away a $100,000 Case and Don't Always Trust a Database Report.

We encourage you to share our e-newsletter with others in your sphere of influence.

Your Team at Complete Legal Investigations

Case study: Don't Throw Away a $100,000 Case 


The attorney represented a client who was seriously injured in a vehicle accident as the result of the defendant's negligence. The coverage was limited.   However, knowing that the driver's home address was in a northeast resort town, the attorney suspected the adverse had additional assets. Her paralegal utilized a proprietary database to identify potential attachable assets and found nothing but the home address and the defendant's vehicle, neither of which had a high value.


The attorney contacted CLI and provided us with a copy of her database report. On review, we determined that the report provided to the attorney contained much less information than was available to licensed investigators (see companion article, "Don't Always Trust a Database Report"). We obtained our own database report and researched public records to identify another property not disclosed in the attorney's report. This property appeared to be a second home in Florida, which was not homesteaded.


We also identified several properties that the defendant had owned in other states, mostly in resort areas. Two of these properties had been owned by...


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Don't Always Trust a Database Report    


Have you ever declined a substantial injury case because you felt the adverse party did not have sufficient coverage? Perhaps you're a busy trial lawyer who has delegated to your paralegal the task of running a proprietary database report (Accurint or Lexis/Nexis). A day or so later, the paralegal provides you with an incomprehensible report with lots of information organized into confusing categories. After a quick perusal of the identified assets (perhaps a car, a homesteaded property), you determine that there are insufficient assets to pursue litigation. Due to the policy limits, you make a determination that the adverse has no assets and you turn down the case.


You may be surprised to learn what you gave away. Attorneys who partner with licensed investigators often discover tantalizing clues to more substantial assets than those disclosed on the $25 report. For instance, the defendant driver has an address history in New York State that appears under the name of a corporation or some other entity. The defendant has several of these entities holding properties for him in resort areas along the east coast. One of the valuable properties that is not his homestead has been quit-claimed to a female whose identity you did not know. Additional searches might disclose... 

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About Us
At Complete Legal Investigations, Inc., we help our clients eliminate uncertainty by understanding the issues confronting them. We conduct interviews, research, and forensic analysis to clarify disputed facts and identify potential solutions.

Complete Legal Investigations, Inc. is comprised of talented and experienced investigators and researchers with over 80 years' combined experience in the legal system. Our staff is bilingual and comprised of former federal and state investigators, Certified Legal Investigators (CLI), Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE), and a Certified and Florida Registered Paralegal (CP). Working as a team, we provide an adjunct staff that works cooperatively with your law firm or business, so that you can offer your client the very best legal representation.  Learn more


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