A crucial aspect of any investigation is the witness interview. Witnesses are an important part of the discovery process, whether it is for a criminal or civil proceeding. The way the witness is dealt with early in the investigation has implications that can affect the entire proceeding.
Well-trained professional investigators help legal counsels because they can approach witnesses as objective third-party contacts. While it is true that the investigator is operating at the order of the client, the professional investigator’s mandate is to reveal and develop all of the facts in the case, not prove the client’s theory of how things happened.
The most productive interviews are usually conducted in the witness’ environment, often at their home, or at work if need be. This creates a more relaxed state of mind and the witness is usually less defensive. It also provides the investigator an opportunity to get a sense of the witness’ background and character from items present in the home or workspace.
Developing a level of trust with the witness is important to the process because often the investigator will be called upon to facilitate the witness’ appearance at deposition and afterward at trial. An increased level of trust also allows the investigator to gently examine for hidden agendas or bias in the witness’ description of events.
T.I.P.P. Investigations field investigators are trained in all aspects of interviewing witnesses and are permitted to carry out field interviews only once they have learned our specialized techniques and mastered the rigorous requirements.