What Do Private Investigators Do For Attorneys?

Attorneys often find themselves fighting an uphill battle against both their own clients’ interests, and the case subject’s deceptive behavior or uncooperative nature. Whether you’re trying to serve a subject, locate a witness or seeking expert testimony, a private investigator can perform all of the above to both expedite your case and solidify your success in court. However, finding the right private investigator for you and your clients’ needs can prove difficult. At FYI, we’ve compiled a variety of resources to help you find a private investigator near you that’s experienced enough to meet your needs and expectations. First, however, it’s crucial to understand what a PI can and cannot do for attorneys.

Service of Process

Service of process is one of the most common tasks a private investigator performs. Many attorneys and clients assume a cheap process server or sheriff’s office will suffice – this almost always leads to an unsuccessful serve that scares the subject into hiding. After a failed serve attempt, the next individual charged with the task (typically a PI) will have significant challenges ahead of them that usually result in the process taking much longer – stretching your/your client’s budget, and decreasing the chance of success. Placing a private investigator in charge of process serves for you or your firm is an ideal way to ensure that every process serve goes off without a hitch.


The core service of every private investigator is surveillance. However, while surveillance may seem straightforward, hiring a private investigator with a proven record of successful surveillance is crucial, as some PIs only perform their surveillance during business hours! Before hiring a PI, discuss the subject at length first – if a subject is in hiding or never seen during the day, for example, your selected PI should immediately understand the necessity of nighttime surveillance. The ability to think critically and creatively when faced with a seemingly impossible situation is the mark of a truly professional private investigator. As an attorney, it’s essential to engage with your PI prior to hiring them – if you’re not comfortable with their level of confidence, professionalism and find it difficult to work with them, look elsewhere. For all surveillance needs, however, a private investigator is an attorney’s best resource!

Additional surveillance-based services PIs can provide for attorneys are:

  • Missing Person Locates
  • Personal Injury Investigations
  • Workers’ Compensation Investigations

Background Checks

PIs are capable of performing in-depth background checks in a fast and accurate manner. If your client or case needs a background check performed, a private investigator will be able to scour the databases for all required information and deliver it to you in an easy-to-read, professional format.

Intellectual Property Theft Investigations

IP theft cases are rapidly increasing in frequency across the nation – acquiring all information needed to properly approach these cases, however, is an immensely difficult task. Combining digital surveillance with traditional methods, a private investigator is capable of obtaining crucial information in any IP case. Attorneys facing intellectual property theft cases will likely require the assistance of a private investigator in order to properly serve their client in court.

Witness Statement Acquisition

Attorneys spend countless hours preparing for court and responding to their clients’ needs – leaving little time to delegate essential tasks like obtaining witness statement. With the help of a private investigator, either on retainer or for single cases, an attorney can simply provide the information of the witness statements needed to the investigator, and get back to preparing for court without concern! The time and money saved with the assistance of a PI, in conjunction with the added value to your case, often reveals PIs as invaluable team members for attorneys’ cases.

Attorneys & PIs – A Crucial Partnership

The collaboration between PIs and attorneys has resulted in billions of dollars collectively saved by clients across the nation. A private investigator’s ability to furnish indisputable evidence in a timely manner allows attorneys to spend their time and effort where it matters most, resulting in an airtight case any client will find satisfactory. Learn more about what a private investigator can do for attorneys by contacting a reputable private investigator near you!