Truth Finders

by Nic Smith

Private Investigators have been part of life in the United States since its very beginnings and, in fact, private investigators date back to the days of Eugene Francois Vidocq, an 18th century French criminal turned crime solver, who became so successful at catching crooks that he was named the first chief of the Surete (Criminal Investigation Department) in 1811. His career served as a model for characters in the works of such authors as Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens and others.

The modern day Vidocq's of the world work in many areas of commerce and private life.

They can be found in surveillance vans attempting to uncover the truth or falsity of someone's claim of injury.

They are in courthouses or on the Internet looking for information that will establish the truth or falsity of loan applications, resumes and other information that is necessary in the day-to-day transaction of business or litigation.

They serve as the eyes and ears of defense lawyers defending people accused of committing crimes and civil attorneys representing companies and individuals in civil cases.

The really good investigators work quietly, behind the scenes providing true service to their clients without attempting to garner media coverage for themselves or their agencies.

At some point, they touch the lives of almost everyone in society who has a problem they can't solve on their own - whether it be a spouse seeking to find out if his or her partner is hiding assets from the divorce court, people trying to find assets to satisfy judgments they have secured against others, businesses trying to determine the truth of information supplied by other businesses or individuals with whom they wish to do business or people needing help to secure privacy for themselves in this every increasing "no privacy" society.

Despite the high-tech world we live in today, Private Investigators are still problem solvers very much in the same tradition of Messier Vidocq four hundred years ago.

Nic Smith (CA Lic # 5617) is a partner at Parrent Smith Investigtaions.

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