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By James W. Harbert CLI, FCI
With An Introduction
By Jack Murray, MBA, CLI, CFE, CCDI


The Ultimate Guide For
Conducting Better Personal
Injury Investigations

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The Ultimate Guide For Conducting Better Personal Injury Investigations!
New Directions In Legal Investigation!
By James W. Harbert CLI, FCI
Hardcopy $45.00 - Ebook Only $25.00

Legal Investigation is changing! Every once in a while an outstanding hallmark manual emerges that ends up becoming the bible on a given subject. In the area of conducting personal injury and civil death investigations, that manual is Complex Legal Investigations By James W. Harbert CLI, FCI. In 350 plus pages, Mr. Harbert reveals the complex investigative techniques needed to make such an investigation highly successful. There are now new directions in legal investigation that every investigator needs to have knowledge of. This finely detailed work arms you with the know-how and investigative techniques for highly successful development of evidence .It goes way beyond the typical current material on the subject. This extensive work reveals the latest cutting edge methods for developing, preserving and presenting evidence and exhibits in a highly successful manner for courtroom presentation.

This is one manual that needs to be part of every investigative library when your practice involves investigations for law firms. Mr. Harbert, having worked for attorneys for over 25 years and preparing cases for record civil verdicts, knows what attorneys’ need in an investigator. This textbook presents to you an amazing array of cutting-edge investigative techniques any investigator can use for multimillion dollar cases. No other manual on the market gives you the type of expertise and the range and scope of investigative techniques that you will need to excel in this complex area of investigations.

Massive Table Of Contents

Introduction: By Jack Murray, MBA, CLI, CFE, CCDI

Introduction: New Directions in Legal Investigations

Chapter 1:
Investigating the case

a. An Attorney’s duty to investigate
b. Who should investigate?
c. How to find the Investigator
d. Recorded vs. written statements
e. Give him the facts
f. Don’t fence him in
g. Networking and investigation
h. Role of photography in Technical Investigations
i. Digital vs. negatives
j. Power Point and other presentation models.

Chapter 2:
Screening workers compensation cases for Third Party cases

a. Introduction
b. Third parties
c. Product Liability
d. Guarding cases
e. Contractor Liability
f. Medical Malpractice
g. Designers and contractors

Chapter 3:
The hiring and use of experts in complex civil litigation

a. Why do we need experts?
b. What is the latest on the use of experts in civil cases?
c. The various experts, their traits and mannerisms. The unqualified expert, lazy expert, pontificating expert, expert that you don’t get to talk to, expensive expert, inexperienced expert, waffling expert, negative expert and the whore.
d. Types of experts, engineer, accident reconstructionist, engineering specialists, engineering generalist, experienced/qualified reconstructionist, dirty fingernails expert, bio-mechanical engineer, physician, attorney experts
e. Sources of experts
f. Research on an expert
g. One last thought about experts in general
To do and not to do with experts

Chapter 4:
Products Liability Investigations

Introduction to Product Liability Investigations:
Product Liability and the State of the Art
Product Liability and the Attorneys duty to Investigate
Product Liability and Workmen’s Compensation
Product Liability and Experts
Basic Intro to Product Liability Investigation
Investigation and Investigation Techniques
The Regulatory Problem

What does product liability involve?
Keeping ahead of the files
General Direction of a Product Liability Investigation
How to Conduct a Products Liability Investigation
Basic Questions for the ClientChapter

Chapter 5:
Crane Investigations

Crane Introduction
a. Crane Investigations
Crane Accident Facts
Theories of liability
Causes of Crane Accidents
Two blocking accidents
Crane accident investigation
b. Crane Electrocutions
What safety equipment should be on a crane?
Investigating crane electrocution cases
Sources of information on crane electrocutions
c. Lifting personnel with a crane
Who is responsible for what?
Special rules in lifting personnel
Safety procedures
What equipment should be used?
In conclusion
d. Two blocking
The Phenomenon of two blocking in Hydraulic cranes
Mobile cranes
Crane Nomenclature
The Crane
The Accident
History of limit switches
Anti-two-block devices
Operator error

Chapter 6:
Machine Guarding Investigations

Introduction to Machine guarding cases
a. Machine guarding
History of machine guarding
Principles of machine guarding
Guarding hazards
Rotating, reciprocating and transverse motions
In-running nip points
Cutting actions
Punching, shearing, and bending actions
How to guard
Enclosure guard (or shield)
Interlocking guard
Automatic guards
Remote control, placement, feeding and ejecting
Guarded by location
Case Studies: Deep Fat Fryer Filter
Meat Grinder
Chicken Processor
b. Grease Filters
A matter of self-protection
Always a hazard
c. Rotating shaft injuries
Example of a rough rotating shaft in a cotton gin
Rotating shaft power point presentation
d. Fan Guarding
Example of injury as a result of no fan guard on Front end loader
e. Wire Brush Cases
Example of eye injury as a result of the use of a wire bush around shop customers.
The shop
The liability

Chapter 7:
Utility Pole Case Investigation

First a little about wood poles
What are the markings on a wood pole?
Why is this important?
Pole inspection
Documents that can assist in a pole case

Chapter 8:
Carbon Monoxide Cases Investigations

About CO poisoning
What the investigator should look for

Chapter 9:
Crash Data Retrieval

A New Investigative Technique

Chapter 10:
Slip and Fall Case Investigation

Test for reasonableness
A list of musts
Telling photographs
Rest Rooms
Loose Ends
When Signs Deceive
Holes in the Ground
Parking lot hazards and sidewalks
Mobile Home Hazards
About falls
Grease pits
Construction holes

Chapter 11:
Filament Analysis And Investigation

Chain of custody
Removing bulbs from vehicles
Details of a recent filament examination case
The collection of evidence for filament analysis
Simple premise
What about the defendant’s vehicle
Packaging and preparing the evidence
Evidence recommendations
Do’s and Don’ts

Chapter 12:
Evidence and Documentary Photography

Camera and flash
Data back
Depth of field = Depth of focus
Flash photography
Copy photography
Use of Mirrors
Photo Tips for the Investigator
What to do and what not to do
Photography of skid marks and gouges
Photographing facial injuries and scars
Position and lighting
What to look for and what to photograph
Forehead and above the eye scaring
Loss of eyebrow alignment
Loss of muscle function
Eye injuries proper
Pebble like abrasions to the forehead
Anatomical Photography
Fractured clavicles
Midline Incisions
Knee, legs and para/quad injuries
Photography within the hospital
Off-limits areas
The right to photograph
Photographing the client’s vehicle
INA vs. Pasakarnis
Photographing the car
Night photography
Digital Photography 2002
Digital Photography 2003

Chapter 13:
Basic Techniques of Investigation

The court system
Get to the scene and photograph everything
Aerial photographs
Mark the area
Make a record of permanent objects
Photographing the vehicles
Buy the vehicles
What about witnesses
Other sources of information
Government and newspaper reports
Medical records
Background search
Put the Power in your investigations with Power Point

Chapter 14:
A Guide To Trial Preparation

The file, read every paper in the file, line by line, word by word.
Paralegal’s role in trial preparation
How to train a paralegal to do good trial work.
Anticipating what the attorney needs
Presentation of the case. Charts, power point, models, etc.
How the Personal Injury Trial should be structured:
a. Sequence
b. What’s important, What’s not
c. Preparation of a Personal Injury case for trial.
1. Judges order
2. Discovery cut off
3. Witness list
4. Exhibit list
5. Jury instructions
6. Special Jury instructions
7. Order of proof
8. Subpoenas for trial
9. Organization of the file
a. Witnesses in blue folders
b. Exhibits in Red folders
c. Multiple copies of all documents used in trial
10. Reading depositions should be marked and prepared with a list of what is to be read for the judge and defense.
11. Videos should be organized and ready to play
d. Check out the territory, the courthouse, the bailiffs, copy places etc.
e. Maintaining control of the court room
f. Things to bring to the trial
1. Trial bag
2. Easels
3. Evidence Manual
4. Jury Instructions
5. Rules of court
6. Video equipment if necessary, if not arrange for the use of the courts equipment with the clerk or the Security department.
7. Power point projector and necessary equipment to use it in court.
The witnesses, finding, contacting, and preparing them for trial. Arranging the trial for the witnesses.
Introduction and arrangement of evidence
The preparation of exhibits for trial.
The Preparation and use of models for trial.
The Use of Expert Witnesses, Damage Witnesses and the Police in a Personal Injury Trial.
The use of Focus Groups and/or Mock Trials to determine liability and damages in your Personal Injury case.
Trial Models and exhibits: The Bone Doctor, Dr. J. Michael Kerrigan
Use of models in litigation
How does the attorney obtain a model
Model retailer
Custom built models
Experience with focus groups
Philosophy of focus groups as they apply to trial attorneys
The mechanics of the focus group
Group questionnaire

Chapter 15:
Investigation Check Lists

General direction of a products liability Investigation
How to conduct a products liability investigation
Basic questions for the client
Questions in machine guarding and product liability cases
Questions for Carbon Monoxide cases
General direction of a crane accident investigation
Questions in Crane electrocutions.
Sources of information on crane electrocutions
Request for crane information
Questions for the crane owner
Questions for the crane rental company

The extensive checklists along are well worth the cost of this hallmark work. If you do any type of civil investigation for attorneys, we guarantee that the material in this book will hand you the complex knowledge and know-how you need to arm yourself with to conduct highly successful civil litigation investigations. No other work now in print with match the finely detailed techniques that are presented in this work. It's a must have volume for your investigative practice if you are serious about conducting complex legal investigations for attorneys. 8 1/2 X 11, 369 pages, photos.

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