Listen to me explain why putting people at ease is the best way to elicit information from them. I don’t have a badge or a subpoena, so the key is to be nice to them and be interested in what they do, think, and feel. Get the podcast chat on Ernie Sander’s “You Said What?”
Can Your Investigator Interview Your Opponent’s Ex-Employees? A Good Test for Your Investigator Before You Hire
Any litigator tasking interviews of potential witnesses needs to know about the no-contact rule (ABA Model Rule 4.2), which forbids talking to represented people on the other side of a case. This also goes for most current employees of the other side — certainly any employee senior enough to make critical decisions or…
Artificial Intelligence in Law: The Challenge of the Unlimited-Document Universe
Anyone following artificial intelligence in law knows that its first great cost saving has been in the area of document discovery. Machines can sort through duplicates so that associates don’t have to read the same document seven times, and they can string together thousands of emails to put together a quick-to-read series of a dozen…
Artificial Intelligence at Law Firms: The New Standard for “Smart” Lawyers
By now, if a lawyer isn’t thinking hard about how automation is going transform the business of law, that lawyer is a laggard.
You see the way computers upended the taxi, hotel, book and shopping mall businesses? It’s already started in law too. As firms face resistance over pricing and are looking to get more…
The Best Picture Mix-Up and Artificial Intelligence
What will it take for artificial intelligence to surpass us humans? After the Oscars fiasco last night, it doesn’t look like much.
As a person who thinks a lot about the power of human thought versus that of machines, what is striking is not that the mix-up of the Best Picture award was the product…
The Yelp Defense: Internet Garbage Isn’t Our Problem
When your defense is that the law allows you to publish garbage without fear of prosecution, one takeaway is simple: the internet is filled with garbage that needs to be well verified before you rely on it.
This blog thinks the Ninth Circuit got it right in exonerating Yelp this week from the lawsuit by…
Ne-Yo to Testify in Sports Drink Fraud Trial
Expert witnesses: Does Anyone Ever Check These People Out?
We have been asked in recent months to look at an uncommonly large number of expert witnesses, both for clients thinking of hiring experts and by people checking out the other side’s experts.
What an eye-opener. Nearly half of these people turned out to have something in their backgrounds that would give someone pause before…
The Half-Life of Facts: Required Reading for Lawyers
A wonderful new book called The Half-Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman makes riveting reading for anyone in the business of gathering information. Don’t let the fact that the author is an applied mathematician scare you off.
Arbesman keeps his examples mostly in the realms of science and general knowledge, and leaves the law alone.
Local Public Records: Offline and On Foot
On Election Day, it’s useful to remember that Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s famous assertion that “All politics is local” can apply to investigations as well.
When we’re tasked with a public records search, our clients expect that we’ll review federal and state government records. What they may not realize, though, is that an exhaustive public records search also requires digging through local public records, which may be a treasure trove of offline information unavailable elsewhere. Remember, though: There’s local and then there’s local. Think of it as gradually smaller geographic circles until you hone in on where the person you’re investigating actually lives or works.
Continue Reading Local Public Records: Offline and On Foot