The Basics of Investigative Searches: Going Beyond Westlaw and LexisNexis

We are constantly asked by the do-it-yourselfers and budget-conscious why they should hire a professional investigative firm to conduct their searched. They want to know if the databases we access are different than Westlaw and LexisNexis.  Perspective clients wonder if the information we supply is all that different from what they can find online.  What they really want to know is whether our services provide additional value and if we’re worth it.

The bottom line…

The information that attorneys and the legal community have access to, such as Westlaw, is great for basic searches and legal research.  Keep in mind that the data in those reports is not verified and is not comprehensive.  For example, the credit header data is typically from one or two sources and does not include complete social security numbers or dates of birth.  Additionally, the court records are not as comprehensive since not all county and state court records are available for electronic data scraping.

Why the extra effort matters

A professional and licensed investigation firm with secure facilities, such as Santoni Investigations, should maintain investigative level accounts with several (7-10) commercial data provides. This means they have real time access to robust data with information including complete social security numbers and other proprietary data.

Real Estate Records

An investigation firm that works with attorneys should have an account with a provider of real time, up-to-date property records, (commercial & residential) that include access to title records where available.

Telecommunications Searches

Useful data is found in many ways and experienced investigative firms will access databases that contain information on residential (landline) and cellular phone numbers.  Theses searches include obtaining subscriber information (name and address) from a landline or cell phone.  Also, having the ability to obtain phone numbers associated with certain utilities including (Internet, Cable & Satellite Television) is useful in searches.

Court Records Revealed

When conducting searches of civil court records, which are indexed by name only, an experienced investigator will work to limit the number of records to those that actually pertain to the subject. Santoni investigations work with court runners to review and examine actual court cases to insure that copies of only actual cases pertaining to a subject are obtained and reported on.

While criminal records are indexed by name and date of birth, not all counties and states maintain full or partial dates of birth. Santoni Investigations has a working knowledge and understanding of the system of record working with onsite court researchers to provide a comprehensive and verified search.

Santoni investigators are trained in effective online searches to review profiles without leaving a digital footprint so that the subject does not know who is looking at their profile(s).

Verified Facts, Comprehensive Reports

All investigations should be verified with third-party sources whenever possible to insure that the facts presented in the report are accurate.

Santoni Investigations prepares a summarized report which gives the client a high level an executive summary of findings without having to review pages and pages of data that contains duplicate records and unverified findings.

Recommend Reading: