Investigation: An Attorney's Vicarious Liability
Play episode · 56 min
Private investigators must be aware of how their actions may impact others. The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Conduct sets forth directives for behavior not only for attorneys but for non-lawyers as well and are enforceable in all but eight states. Violations can result in sanctions or worse. Therefore. If a lawyer retains an investigator, that attorney is liable for the investigator’s actions. Certainly, there are gray areas in investigation tactics, but some, particularly when it applies to surveillance, pretexting, GPS tracking, and social media are mine-fields unless there is a clear understanding between the investigator and the attorney regarding the assigned tasks. Whose responsibility is it then? Ultimately it is counsel’s responsibility, but private investigators must also take the lead to ensure what techniques can be used for a particular assignment. Join PI’s Declassified and Attorney Forrest Plesko discuss strategies to avoid these ethical pitfalls.
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