Our managing partner, Philip Becnel, published an article on Law.com called, “Do Lawyers Have a Legal Obligation to Warn PIs of Risks—Or Is It Just the Right Thing to Do?” The article discusses a Virginia Supreme Court decision concerning whether an attorney is liable for not warning his or her investigator about a specific risk related to an investigation. In the case at issue, a private investigator was murdered while attempting to serve a summons to a defendant in a divorce case.
Here is an excerpt of Philip’s article:
During my interview with [Peter Vieth of Virginia Lawyers Weekly], I conceded that I couldn’t recall ever being warned by an attorney about a potential danger I might encounter during an investigation, despite the fact that private investigators commonly find themselves in the middle of adverse legal parties who are desperate and furious at each other. However, after I read his article I felt a bit like a jilted lover.
‘I really thought our relationship was special,’ I thought. I don’t work for anyone else for whom I’d store evidence, including women’s underwear, in my file cabinet, or for whom I’d sit in an abandoned building all night with a video camera. I too have had guns drawn on me and a knife pulled on me once, and I’ve banged up my car doing surveillance. I’m willing to take these risks because I need to make a living, and because I love my job—but also because I love many of the attorneys who I work for. I respect them. Some of them are also my friends.
The rest of the article can be found here. Note that you have to either sign in using your LinkedIn account, or you have to create a free account on Law.com.