Conducting Interviews

Our investigators are adept at interviewing witnesses about any subject matter. We have worked on thousands of civil and criminal cases, from fraud and whistleblowing cases to numerous serious criminal investigations. We have years of experience conducting complex investigations in just about every field, including finance, education, government, medical, and many other specialized areas. Irrespective of the type of case, we know how to identify salient legal issues amid technical jargon, and we ask the right questions to uncover evidence vital to each case.

We do interviews in person or over the phone. Interviews in internal investigations are typically scheduled in advance, but in many other cases we do interviews without notice, either by cold calling the witness or by simply showing up at their home or office. The strategy for each case depends on the interview’s purpose, the witness’s whereabouts and perceived likelihood of cooperation, the deadline, and the budget.

Case study

In one case we were hired by plaintiff’s counsel in an accident case. The plaintiff was a woman who was severely injured after she was rear-ended on a rural road by a commercial truck. While there was little doubt about who was at fault in this case, the truck driver essentially claimed he had a medical condition that caused him to suddenly lose consciousness behind the wheel and that the condition was unknown to him until the accident. The driver’s employer, who was also named in the lawsuit, was using the driver’s supposedly-theretofore-unknown medical condition as a defense, essentially claiming there was no way they could have prevented the accident and therefore should not be liable.

Our private investigator decided the best way to learn about the driver’s medical history (short of subpoenaing his medical records) was to talk to his ex-wife. The investigator identified the ex-wife’s home address using an investigative database and drove to her home to speak with her without giving her advance notice that he was coming. When the investigator spoke to the witness he fully introduced himself and described the circumstance of the investigation, and she agreed to talk freely about her ex-husband’s medical and driving history.

What she told our investigator was very surprising: her ex-husband had frequently fallen asleep while driving—including on at least two other occasions while driving his work truck. Further, her ex-husband’s employer knew perfectly well that he had a problem staying awake at the wheel, and he was known among his coworkers by a pejorative nickname that directly referred to the fact that he was prone to crashing his truck.

The witness declined to provide a written statement, but the investigator meticulously documented what she told him anyway. When she was later deposed, she tried to back off from some of what she told our investigator. But impeached with her own statements in our well-documented report, she ultimately admitted to everything under oath.

Faced with this damning testimony, the company settled the case, which gave the plaintiff some recompense for the serious injuries she received due to the company’s negligence allowing this truck driver to stay on the road, despite abundant warning signs that he was highly dangerous.

What We Do

Private Investigators
Washington, DC | Maryland | Virginia
Member Firm in London, UK*
Phone: 202-638-5000
Email: inquiry@dinolt.com




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