frequently asked investigation questions
Sterling Investigations provides a wide range of investigation services, experiences, and training required by legal professionals, businesses or individuals anywhere in the state of Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Located in the heart of Memphis, we are within easy reach of any customer who needs our services. We are one of the only agencies in Tennessee to staff two Certified Fraud Examiners.
What's the difference between a "legal investigator" and a "private investigator"?
We adhere to the standards of The National Association of Legal InvestigatorsTM. On their website they offer the following description of a “legal investigator”: “Legal investigators are licensed private investigators or law firm staff investigators who specialize in preparing cases for trial for attorneys. Their job is to gather information and evidence which advance legal theories to benefit the client’s case. The legal investigator must possess knowledge of statutory and case law, local rules of court, civil procedure, forensic sciences, techniques of evidence collection, and its preservation and admissibility.
Legal investigators assist attorneys by reviewing police reports and discovery materials, analyzing and photographing crime or accident scenes, interviewing parties and witnesses, performing background investigations, preparing documentary and demonstrative evidence, recommending experts, and testifying in court. Legal investigators must exhibit the highest standards or professional and ethical conduct.”
(From the National Association of Legal InvestigatorsTM website at www.nalionline.org,”Legal Investigator Defined”.)
“Although many of the tasks that a person knowledgeable of legal investigations can be done by a private investigator, the legal investigator has a more refined knowledge and experiences of what is necessary in the legal community.”
Can you really find someone? How?
Yes, we can. We’ve had some pretty remarkable cases with really good results. Finding someone is not a science, it’s an art. Our staff has a unique ability to find small, seemingly inconsequential bits of information and put them together into a bigger picture. Every case is different and the methods we use are closely guarded. We never rely on one method and we use the “Check, recheck and then verify” principle. We access over 23 different databases that are designed specifically to find people, and we access data that’s not available to you on the internet. We use a variety of tools, including: proprietary databases, subscription services, cell phone records, locating people who have new (or recently changed) cell phones, cell phone data analysis, and many sources which may not have occurred to you.
How long does an investigation take?
Clients are updated with interim reports, e-mails, and telephone calls, as necessary. Attorneys are encouraged to contact our office or our field investigators at any time they have a question or new information. Our investigators are encouraged to contact the client from the field when new and important information is developed.
Does a single investigator do everything?
Does your agency serve process or do surveillance?
How do I get in touch with you?
See Contact Us for our phone and office address. We are available 24-hours-a day and can be reached by phone at any hour. Each staff member has an individual e-mail address. Our investigators have cell phones and can be immediately available. We know this is unusual but we feel that if there is a question in your mind that is bothering you late at night, then it’s important enough for us to answer.
Do you work directly for an attorney or for the client?
Do you find assets that someone is trying to hide?
What kind of background investigations do you conduct?
What is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
Can you guarantee you will get results?
I don’t want anyone to find out that I hired an investigator. How do you handle this?
How are you paid?
What are your fees?
- We do not charge for initial consultations.
- Each case is unique. As such, our total fees vary case by case.
- All investigative services are estimated based on the facts and circumstances of your case. We don’t guarantee or quote exact pricing because we have found that most cases change at some point during the process. We have found that our estimates are generally within 10% (plus or minus) of the eventual price. Please call for details.