A recent telephone call caused me to seriously question how our competitors deal with ethics in investigations. A client asked for a quote on a case and said that “everything has to be above board.” This led me to respond with a serious disclaimer that everything we do is above board. I went on the explain that we at MI:33 take pride in knowing that Federal judges all over the United States trust our testimony. This means that every single thing that we do or report can be demonstrated plainly and honestly to a judge and jury.
Throughout the years, when assigning work, we have had clients tell us “don't tell me how you got it”, or “I don't want to know”. Despite these attorneys' attempts to turn a blind eye to the law, we never, ever acquire our information in a way that cannot be demonstrated honestly in Federal Court. In one aspect, it is a compliment for the Intellectual Property industry to think that our results are so magical that they must have been obtained unethically. But on the other hand, knowing that so many peers must cut corners, it is paramount that we differentiate ourselves from the rest.
I am not sure if this is more of an indictment of the morals of the average client, or the ethics of other investigators. But, in the age of OSINT specialists and hackers, it is of extreme importance that ethics in investigations is pronounced and accented when cases are being filed. A competitor may provide some shady results, but can they explain their steps to a jury in a way that make them feel comfortable that you did your job fairly and ethically?
Trust is everything. Judges are juries are everything. That means ethics in investigations is also everything. Hire an agency that makes this their number one priority.
Here we are.