January 2013

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What They Saw and How They Saw It: Recorded Witness Statements
Missing No More: The Art of Finding Witnesses

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January 15, 2013 - Palm Beach County Bar Association, Solo & Small Firm Luncheon; Ethics, Advertising & Marketing

 

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Greetings!

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: What They Saw and How They Saw It: Recorded Witness Statements and Missing No More: The Art of Finding Witnesses.

We want to write about topics that you can use in your day-to-day practice. Please e-mail us your topics of interest at
InvestigativeReport@completelegalinv.com.

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

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Team at Complete Legal Investigations

 

 

What They Saw and How They Saw It: Recorded Witness Statements        

 

In the quest for useful, legal witness testimony, recorded statements offer distinct advantages over written statements. Although both written and recorded witness statements provide the attorney a narrative of the events in the witness' own words, only a recording captures the sometimes subtle nuances of what the witness saw and how they saw it. If not successfully preserved, that unique perspective - and the attorney's opportunity to use it - is lost forever.

 

Witness statements help establish liability, but a recorded witness statement is far more than a simple catalogue of events given in the witness' own words. It also serves as a kind of witness of the witness, preserving his or her accent, vocal inflection, and strength and volume of voice. A witness' patterns of speech, such as hesitation, pressured speech, and erratic changes in pitch or volume, may inform an attorney's impressions of the witness, but only if those patterns are available for review in a recorded format.    

 

There is a right way, a wrong way, and a best way to capture recorded witness statements. Some witnesses become nervous or distracted once they know they are being recorded. Poor audio equipment or excessive background noise can ruin the quality of a recorded statement, and interviewee's skills at using audio equipment are highly variable.  

 

 

Click here to learn the questions to ask when choosing a professional to record your witness statements 

 

  

Missing No More: The Art of Finding Witnesses         

 

Missing witnesses create delays, which cost money, aggravation, and time. The longer a witness is missing, the more is lost - in depositions, hearings, settlements, and trials, due to postponements. Some witnesses work hard to stay missing and many have a network of sympathizers to help them remain "hidden." Others are missing by omission, either because they are no longer at the address provided in the police or incident report, or because they never provided an address at all.  

 

Therefore, the scope and intensity of a witness search is highly variable, ranging from a simple phone call, to an intensive search of public records, or to surveillance. Sometimes all elements of search protocol are exhausted in the effort to locate a "hard to find" witness.  

 

The most obvious first step in finding a witness is to check the telephone directory. Although many people now use non-listed numbers, the telephone directory still contains tens of thousands of names and addresses, making it a reasonable first step in a witness search.  

 

If a witness is not found in the telephone directory, a search of non-proprietary databases, such as www.Google.com, is free, fairly quick, and can be fruitful if the witness is not particularly "hard to find."  

 

Many attorneys have access to proprietary databases, but oftentimes the... Read More 

 

  

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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