Joanne Parrent began her career as a private investigator at the behest of two California law firms, one in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco, that were seeking information for a potentially high-profile national lawsuit. For this assignment, she traveled to a Southern state where she interviewed scores of people and researched public documents in order to uncover the necessary evidence for the firms. During her investigation, she was joined by another private investigator, Alex Kline, of Alex Kline Investigation and Research in San Francisco. Mr. Kline was impressed with Parrent's work, and he subsequently hired her on Los Angeles area cases. Mr. Kline also introduced Parrent to Nichols Smith, then Director of Forensic Investigations at Enviroforensics. Mr. Smith hired Parrent as a field investgator with Enviroforensics. Later, Parrent and Smith both joined Adverus, Inc., forming that company's investigative team. Finally, feeling that they could better serve their clients in a company devoted exclusively to investigations and research, they formed PSI.
Prior to her investigative career, Ms. Parrent worked as a freelance writer, author, journalist, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker for 20 years. She contributed feature and investigative articles to national and local magazines and newspapers and was the author of six non-fiction books, including two best-sellers. Ms. Parrent also produced, wrote and directed dozens of non-fiction films. This prior experience gave her an excellent eye for detail and honed her creative abilities, communication skills and investigative and research skills necessary for her work at PSI.
Ms. Parrent specializes in complex-litigation investigations, environmental historical research, database research, public records research and witness interviews. She also has experience in undercover contact with individuals.
California Licensed Private Investigator, Lic# 24108
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, American Culture.
University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Communication Studies, '82.
Current Position: Partner, Parrent Smith Investigations & Research
Investigative Manager, Adverus, Inc.
Activities included : Management of investigative services including environmental historical research, asset searches and recovery, witness location and interviewing, locating and documenting activities of potentially responsible parties, preparation of exhibits to be used in legal proceedings and expert testimony regarding investigative procedures and standards. Specialized in complex-litigation investigations for attorney clients, database research, public records research and witness interviews.
Investigator, Environmental Forensic Investigations, Inc.
Performed investigative duties including locating potentially responsible parties to environmental litigation, toxic tort defense, private party cost recovery actions and assorted complex civil litigation matters.
Author, Co-Author or Editor, Published Books:
CIG to Filmmaking, Alpha Books, Indianapolis, IN, 2002. A non-fiction guide to all aspects of the filmmaking process.
The Courage to Care, A Caregiver's Guide Through Each Stage of Alzheimer's, MacMillan, New York, NY, 2001. A non-fiction book about Alzheimer's disease, focusing on information for family members who are caring for Alzheimer's patients.
How They Achieved: Stories of Personal Achievement and Business Success, Wiley, New York, NY, 2000. Edited book of original interviews by Lucinda Watson with highly successful CEOs, entrepreneurs and visionaries, including renowned chef, Alice Waters, founder of the GAP clothing chain, Donald Fisher and former IBM Chairman, Frank T. Cary.
Shanghai Remembrance, Noble House, Baltimore, MD, August 2000. As told to memoir by Frank Lee about his childhood in pre-Communist China, the experiences of his wealthy family during the revolution and his subsequent emigration to the United States.
Once More With Feeling, Dove Books, Los Angeles, CA, 1997
As told to sequel to You'll Never Make Love in this Town Again (below), about the experiences of six women in Hollywood, including four who become prostitutes and two who tried to make it without resorting to prostitution
You'll Never Make Love in this Town Again, Dove Books, Los Angeles, CA, 1996
As told to book chronicling the stories of four women who tried to make it in Hollywood but ended up as party girls or prostitutes. Gloria Steinem described the book in the cover blurb: "The powerless always know the powerful better than vice-versa - which is why they're pressured to be silent. In You'll Never Make Love in This Town Again four women break that code and tell us what the Emperor is really like - with no clothes on." On the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-seller lists for over four months.
Life After Johnnie Cochran, HarperCollins, New York, NY, 1995
As told to memoir by Barbara Cochran Berry about her life with the flamboyant lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, who became a household name when he defended O.J. Simpson in the 1995 murder trial.
Writer, Editor, Journalist:
- Staff Editor for Chrysalis Magazine, Los Angeles, California.
- A literary magazine focused on feminist art and literature.
- Staff Editor for Southern California Senior Life.
- A weekly newspaper aimed at Senior Citizens.
Contributor to national and local magazines and newspapers, including Ms. Magazine, Glamour, Los Angeles Times and Screen Actor Magazine.
Novel, Eye of the Heart, by Gabriella Lande. An as-yet unpublished novel about the life of a young Jewish woman in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, leading up to the changes that would take place for her family and herself during Gorbachev's Glasnost and Perostroika.
Memoir, Seen From the Wings, by Francesca Knittel. An as-yet unpublished memoir by the daughter of early movie star, Louise Rainer.
Web Design and Content:
Feigenlaw.com: Developed site, wrote and edited content for attorney.
NotOneoftheBoys.com: Developed site, wrote and edited content for book author.
ParrentWrites.com: Developed personal site. Maintained and updated above sites.
Contributed articles to other sites, particularly Adverus.com.
Wrote feature and television scripts for such companies as
Walt Disney Pictures, CBS "(Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Bette Midler's All Girl Productions and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Produced, wrote and directed over two-dozen non-fiction films for various companies, including Walt Disney Productions, MTI/Simon & Schuster, FilmFair, Aims Media, Churchill Films and the Encyclopedia Britannica Corporation. The most recent project is a video on breast cancer entitled, "Diagnosis: Breast Cancer." Received First Place, New York Film Festival and San Francisco Film Festival, 1980, for "The Workplace Hustle" (about sexual harassment) and New York Film Festival, 1982, for "The Healing Force" (about the late author, Norman Cousins)
As co-President of Feigen/Parrent Literary Management read and critiqued fiction, nonfiction and screenplay submissions. Worked with authors on writing, revising and editing fiction, nonfiction proposals and screenplays. Submitted completed manuscripts for placement with commercial and university publishers and scripts to film studios. Supervised assistants and interns.
As co-President of Reel Life Women, a development and production company, evaluated screenplay submissions from writers and agents, worked with screenwriters to develop projects, pitched material to studios and financing entities.
At the Screen Actors Guild, researched such issues as proposed legislation affecting members, civil rights of women and minorities, future directions of public broadcasting, cable television and other media. Position involved extensive contact with entertainment industry personnel, government officials and interest groups. Also wrote speeches and articles for the Guild President.
At the Los Angeles Woman's Building, a non-profit arts and educational organization, worked as a program developer and public relations consultant, working with several programs in the areas of planning, promotion and new program development.
Executive Director, Non-profit
Co-founder and executive director of the Feminist Federal Credit Union, Detroit, Michigan. Planned and directed overall operations, including publicity and public relations. Under her tenure, the credit union grew to from nothing to 4,000 members and assets of over a million dollars.
- Film Actors Studio, Los Angeles, '80-'82.
- Screenwriting Seminars: "John Truby's Story Structure Class";
- "Storytelling: Myth, Drama and Psychology" (instructors: T. Schlesinger, K. Cunningham);
- Advanced Seminar for selected WGA members
- California Association of Private Investigators, member
- Writers Guild of America, West, member
- Guest Speaker, Film/Television Dept., Smith College, Northhampton, MA
- Speaker, various Creative Coalition events, Los Angeles
- Guest Speaker, Actors in Management, Los Angeles
- Guest, "Woman Alive", national syndicated television show, New York
- Speaker with Barbara Cochran Berry at book signings in LA and Ojai, CA
- Guest, "American Journal" syndicated television show, Los Angeles
- Guest, "Inside Edition" syndicated television show, Los Angeles
- Guest speaker, several California Lawyers for the Arts seminars, Los Angeles
- Guest speaker, "LA Writes," PEN / Library Series
- Who's Who of American Women
- Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America
- Who's Who in Entertainment
- Who's Who in the West