As professional investigators, R C Ranno Investigative Services primary function is to gather facts. One of R C Ranno Investigative Services primary forms of fact-gathering are witness statements. Witness statements, of course, take many forms. Affidavits, Handwritten Statements and Recorded Statements. Each of those are all widely used in the context of civil and criminal litigation. However, regardless of the form of the statement, they all have three primary purposes.
1. SETTLEMENT – to develop information and “investigate” a case in the classic sense for purposes of settlement;
2. PRESERVATION – to serve as a recorded recollection of a witness whose memory might fade legitimately with the passage of time;
3. IMPEACHMENT – to document testimony and provide a reliable standard against which a potentially hostile witness might later be held with regard to testimony from the witness stand.
One of the most difficult situations presented to an investigator is that of dealing with an uncooperative or hostile witness who may be critical in terms of testimony to the outcome of a case. In this type of statement taking, the investigator must walk a thin line between the investigation role of statement taking and the documentary function it serves because if a statement cannot be potentially used in court, it is essentially of no value. Additionally, if a statement is used at all in court, the court will usually insist that the statement be read in its entirety, including those portions of the statement that may not necessarily be favorable to the investigator’s client’s position. The attorney cannot pick and choose parts of a statement to present in court. It is perhaps stating the obvious that a statement does no good if only part of it is helpful while another part of it is so potentially harmful to the case that the statement cannot be introduced. To cope with this problem, the trained and experienced investigator can orchestrate the taking of statements to a great extent and both “investigate” a case and simultaneously preserve the work product for use at trial later on.
If you need a statement from someone that you know has information that will help with your Child Custody Case, your Infidelity Case, If you’re an attorney that needs statements for Personal Injury Cases, Criminal Defense Cases or any other reason, please email us or contact one of our investigators at (800) 572-8806.