CASE EXPERIENCE, CASE PHOTOGRAPHY
I would like nothing more than to list the name of every attorney I have worked with or for. But as you may know, Indiana attorney's are barred from advertising or posting information regarding past performance or statistics. Therefore, in the spirit of the law, names of attorney's have been withheld due to these restrictions. If you would like the name of an attorney I assisted in a specific case, please contact me and I will provide it
to you so that you may discuss my work with them at your discretion.
The information contained in my case experience has been summarized to some extent. If you would like to discuss any case for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of my background or for reference purposes, please contact me. You may do so by telephone or email and I will answer any questions you may have or furnish you with the contact information of the particular attorney's that I assisted. I welcome the opportunity to verify or confirm all of the information contained on this page.
Be advised that some of my attorney/law firm associations are due to personal and philosophical alignments. There are some companies and attorney's I will not work for if it means I will be asked to work against my long standing associations. For example, I receive requests occasionally from insurance companies to work on their behalf along with their local attorney. In cases where the opposition attorney or firm is a regular client, I will generally pass on those requests at my own financial hardship.
I have worked numerous criminal and civil cases over the years. From time to time I will exchange the cases with others to keep my site fresh and interesting. I will also tell non-case related stories from other personal and professional experiences on occasion.
As a former probation officer, criminal investigator and legal coordinator, I have many relevant and/or interesting stories to share, depending on your perspective.
* 2012 - Locate and recovery: We are pleased to report that we have completed our most important case out of the approximate 400 + we have handled. More than 2 yrs ago a 7 yr old California boy was abducted by the boy’s maternal uncle and grandmother while on a visit from Indiana to California. The boy’s father had sole court ordered custody here in Lake County. We were brought into the case in March of 2011 to serve papers on the boy’s family; however, they avoided service and moved repeatedly. Eventually the case turned into a search and recovery, and it was determined the boy was being kept at an uncle’s house (a convicted felon) in Illinois during the week, and brought to his grandmother’s house in Indiana on the weekends. However, the grandmother had secretly purchased a new house and the address was unknown. The weeks of legal wrangling turned into 20 months of heartache and anguish for the boy’s father. The boy’s father, an Iraq war veteran on combat related disability, none the less continues to work and is a full time college student. The case took a turn for the better on Sunday November 4th when we developed a new address in Gary, IN for the grandmother. After hours of surveillance we observed the boy’s mother at the location and confirmed it as good information. During additional surveillance on Sunday November 11th we obtained a visual and photo confirmation of the boy as he first left the new residence to catch a bus to church, and also as the bus unloaded in East Chicago. 1 Source PI initiated a plan that included coordination with the boy’s father, step-mother, Indiana State Police and the Gary, IN PD - in which we would intercept the boy at the Gary residence and enforce the Custody Order, and remove him from the location. Both ISP and Gary PD adopted our plan fully, and cooperated without interference and with extraordinary assistance to the T. Yesterday morning, November 18th, at approximately 8:00 A.M. Investigator’s Tom Smith, Mel Scott, the boy’s father and step-mother staged with Gary PD Supervisor’s and additional units near the residence in Gary. The 1 Source PI plan was put into place, and we established surveillance at the location with police standing by several blocks away. At approximately 9:45 A.M. a church van arrived at the front of the residence, Smith & Scott with parents moved in on the residence with Gary PD in tow. Smith and Scott exited the vehicle and secured the church van; while the boy’s father made contact with the boy and he voluntarily entered our vehicle. Police were directed to serve a copy of the order on adults inside the residence as we exited the area. The 1 Source PI plan, some 20 months in the making took less than 45 seconds to execute. It was a precise tactical operation that encompassed hundreds hours of unpaid case work, and cooperation and participation by more than a dozen people, as well as two police departments. I rarely if ever mention any of my cases on facebook; it’s just not the right way to do things. But this case is something that I have personally lived through, I knew this man’s pain, and I could hear it in his voice. He did everything he was suppose to do as a father and as litigant in a custody case, yet no one would help him…until he met me. This story is not about me bragging per se, it’s just to show that even a crusty Jarhead like me has a few redeeming qualities - by fighting for the little guy. I have reunited adopted people with long lost parents, I have helped people get the truth they deserved, I have helped retired people who were victims of rip off artists and con-men, I have located multi-million dollar jets for repossession, and I have busted a whole slew of cheaters. At the end of the day: I AM BRAGGING, this case represents who I am on the inside not who you see on the outside, I’m proud of this case, and I want everyone to know about it because it’s a feel-good story. Someone finally told this father: I’m going to help you, don’t worry about paying me, we’re going to get the boy back. You went and fought for me in Iraq so I could sit around here in Indiana enjoying trivial pursuits and it’s time someone stepped up for you.
* 2011 - Locate: Client called me asking for help finding her grandpa who she had not seen in 20 years and provided me with a possible address. While still on the phone during the initial telephone call I immediately went to the location, but there was no answer. Talked to the neighbors who stated the man was in the hospital. Started away from the location
almost turned off the street, saw a vehicle pull into the driveway in my rear view mirror. I went back, made contact with a woman who was picking up the mail, turned out to be my clients aunt. Put the two of them on my phone together for a heart warming reunion. Grandpa was in the hospital, but was doing okay, client was able to speak to him later that day.
* 2010 - Process Service: Subject was evading and avoiding service, refused to answer door on numerous attempts. A residence was placed under surveillance, eventually the target exited the location to walk her dogs (off leash). When she was approached, the target ordered the dogs to attack, Bear Spray was deployed rendered the dogs helpless and whimpering. The target called 911, the police arrived and she lodged a complaint of assault and trespassing against me. I countered with my own complaint, the target received a ticket, and the police department filed my complaint for Assault With A Deadly Weapon against her.
* 2010 - Process Service: Subject was believed to be a 3rd floor tenant in an apartment building located a few hundred yards West of the United Center, Chicago, Illinois. After determining through building management that the subject did not live at the location, I attempted to exit the building through the only means available; a stair well. Upon reaching the 2nd floor I realized there were 2 individuals behind me on the 3rd floor, and 2 more below me on the 1st floor. A brief stand-off ensued during which the 4 individuals ask me for my wallet. When it became apparent they were not going to let me leave peaceably, I sprayed all 4 of them with Bear Spray. I then had to negotiate my way down the stairs to pass the 2 below me, wrestling with 1 individual who grabbed me around my legs. After a brief struggle I made it out of the building to my vehicle and left the location. I then called 911 to report the attempted robbery. Police met me a few blocks from the location and asked me to return. The 4 claimed that I attacked them without provocation... and initiated an assault charge. However, when it was determined by police that all 4 were wanted on outstanding warrants, and that I also intended to press robbery charges, they dropped the complaint against me in favor of a trip to the hospital where all 4 were transported for medical treatment.
* 2010 - Investigation including comprehensive surveillance: Completed our most complex case to date. This case involved a corporate client whose area of business is in the logistics of very large, fragile and expensive freight. The manner in which this company moved these items is protected as intellectual subject matter. They had suspicions that 2 former employees subject to a No-Compete Clause were engaged in and using the company's protected trade secrets. To put the financial revenues that were at stake into perspective:the cost to unload the freight involved in this investigation was in excess of $500,000.00 We were hired to locate and surveil the subjects, and to provide still and video photographic evidence. Our target location was a federally protected port where we were denied access. So we deployed a total of 11 investigators, a 32 ft cabin cruiser to perform surveillance on Lake Michigan, and 2 helicopters to perform aerial surveillance. Over a 2 day period we successfully located and tracked the subjects, and obtained irrefutable photographic documentation of the targets activities violating the no-compete contract.
* 2010 - Highly sensitive area. Due Diligence and Background Investigation:
We specialize in investigations targeting political candidates. We are unable
to disclose more specific details for the obvious reasons. However, after November 2010,
we will provide more details as is appropriate and authorized
* 2010 - Surveillance: The case involved a man involved in a divorce from a woman he had been married to for less than 1 year. She was a scam artist with a history of seducing men into relationships then bilking their savings, ruining their credit, then employing various tactics to destroy them. This woman came to the very short relationship without disclosing that she had several children by different people who had either been taken away from her or that she gave up voluntarily. She also failed to disclose that she had no credit to speak of, and that she earned a living profiting from bogus law suits, and fraudulent claims of disability. At the time we were brought in to the case by the three sisters of the husband without his knowledge, he had been removed from his house because of a false claim of assault and because the wife informed the court that she had "medical" issues for 6 months. The woman with no legal interest in the residence other than through marriage, but subject to a court order barring her from entertaining any significant others in the home, repeatedly violated terms of the order. We were able to obtain video and still photography evidence of men entering the home. We also obtained covert video of the woman who had asserted a cancer related medical problem, drinking and smoking in a bar. The proof we obtained was used to end the woman's occupancy of the home, and the husband regained possession. By the end of our assignment, the woman was close to a nervous breakdown because of our documentation of her various scams and overall conduct. Our investigator did not even meet the husband until our evidence and report were ready to submit to his attorney. Our behind the scenes activity were necessary due to mutual restraining orders that were in place. Without the husband's personal knowledge of us, he did not violate the spirit and intent of the restraining order.
* 2010 -1 Source PI was retained by another investigation company to locate 2 jet aircraft. We successfully located the aircraft valued at $10 millions. Ironically, the aircraft in question were in the possession of an individual who is considered to be one of the most notorious aircraft repo-men in the business.
* 2010 - Pressure Surveillance: We were hired by grandparents when their grandson was snatched by bio-mother. Their son and the grandchild s mother had not yet gone through the courts to establish visitation and/or custody. Indiana law states that in these instances custody is 50/50 with the parent in possession having the lawful right to retain custody. The other parent may take the child any time the parent in possession does not have physical contact with the child. The child had lived with the father since 3 months of age. During a Friday visit at a park, the bio-mother arranged a ruse and while playing with the child ran to a waiting vehicle and left the area. She had indicated on Facebook that she intended to flee the state to Florida. The grandparents retained 1 Source PI to maintain constant around the clock surveillance of the mother until they could get into court the following Monday, and if she attempted to leave the state for 1 Source agents to follow her via any means of transportation. 1 Source camped out at her residence for 78 hours, following the mother whenever she left the residence. By Monday afternoon the pressure became unbearable for the mother and her family, and she capitulated entered into a written stipulated custody and visitation agreement. During this case, the Sheriff's department were called some 25 times, and actually came to the location 4 times to question 1 Source agents at the scene. However, the professionalism, knowledge and lawful conduct of our investigators prevented law enforcement from intervening with our activities and ceased interference.
* Locate: March 2010 - Double locate for Gary, Indiana retiree/landlord. Nice
man rented newer house to couple. They tore up the house, got behind on rent, and had to be evicted. Client obtained a judgment in the amount of $5,000.00for back rents and damages to the property. They never paid a penny of the judgment, went underground, and
of course the local court could not serve subsequent summonses on the jerks to enforce the judgment. I was hired to locate the couple who had went their separate ways. I found them both within a few days.
* Locate: February 2010 - Located deadbeat dad in 4 days that La Porte County could not find for 4 years. Mom and kids will get their child support now.
* Investigation: January 2010 - Uncovered substantial assets husband hid from my client (his wife) during marriage. Also got to the truth of why he left in the first place; he had a new girlfriend, imagine that.
* Surveillance - December 2009: 1 Source PI successfully obtained video surveillance of an individual who claimed to have a permanent limp as part of a personal injury claim. Our video proved this person does not have a limp or any other readily apparent problem walking.
* Locate - December 2009: 1 Source Private Investigations was hired to locate a dead-beat parent's home address and place of employment. The State of Indiana and Lake County were unable to locate the individual for 8 years. I received the first call on a Sunday, met with the client on Monday, and completed the locate by Tuesday.
*********NEWS RELEASE: October 21, 2009*********
* Personal Injury Trial - October 2009: Northern District of Indiana, US Federal Court: Motor Vehicle vs Pedestrian case. I assisted Plaintiff's Attorneys at three day trial in US Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry's court. During the run-up to the case I located a potential witnesses in the case missing for more than four years that another investigation firm attempted to locate for more than a year. Just prior to the trial; attorney's arranged a focus group (mock trial). My responsibilities were to interface with the jurors, perform the evidence reading, video recording, assisting in the evaluation of juror probabilities, and the division of jurors into two groups or juries. I also participated in the evaluation of juror questionnaires, and the final verdict form at the conclusion of each of the juries deliberations. During the trial I assisted in jury selection/evaluation, and provided overall support and assistance during the proceedings. The trial resulted in a jury verdict for our client, and an award of $200,000.00.
* Wrongful Death Case: While working for the defense, located and interviewed adverse material witness to clients case. This would have benefited the plaintiff had their attorneys reviewed it in discovery material.
* Personal Injury Case: Located material witness to a drowning which occurred four years earlier. Information to go on about the witness was a single newspaper article with her name in it. Witness had married, changed her name, and moved out of the area. Walking door to door in Michigan City, Indiana, on a cold canvas,I initially located the witnesses grand parents who put me in touch with the witness who came forward to offer information germain to the case.
* Criminal Case: Client charged with Robbery, Unlawful Confinement, and Kidnapping. Interviewed victim; obtained recorded and written statement from him recanting his sworn statement to police and prosecutors. Update: Aftermore than 2 months of my clients confinement, he plead to criminal recklessness, and time served.
* Infidelity Case: Performed surveillance of husband for wife; obtained photographic documentation of his sexual interlude with female in broad daylight at a public park.
* Dead Beat Parent: Located Indiana man (in 1 day) who refused to provide his address to a California Court in child support and custody case.
* Long Lost College Roommate: Located clients college roommate after more than 20 years. Roommate had moved to different state and changed name.
* Divorce Case: Uncovered husbands substantial hidden assets in messy divorce case.
* Employee Frolic: Performed surveillance for employer. Provided photographic documentation of employee golfing when he should have been working.
* Suspicious Wife: Performed surveillance of husband at strip-club when he said he was working.
CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
As a Legal Coordinator, for a major mortgage company with 6.5 billion dollars
in mobile home loans, I handled foreclosure, replevin, and bankruptcy cases.
Bankruptcy cases for the most part are usually routine, and rather boring.
Normally I would just make sure the right papers were filed before a deadline,
while my outside attorney handled all of the particulars.
However, one in particular is worth mentioning.
To those of you who are not familiar with mobile homes and/or the perfection of liens; here is some important information: Mobile homes are titled like cars,
trucks, and motorcycles. If a person secures a loan for a mobile home, and then
titles it in their name, the Mortgagee's lien does not become clear or "perfected"
for 90 days from the date the title was applied for. This means that the collateral
that was given in exchange for the mortgage is in a sort of legal limbo until perfection occurs.
Our mortgagor held a Construction loan that he secured in the month of June for $187,000.00 to purchase real estate and a double-wide mobile home. He then filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy 2 months later in August. After receiving the
Bankruptcy filing notice, I filed our Notice of Claim. I then called the mortgagors attorney to inquire if his client intended to Reaffirm his mortgage?
The attorney's reply was: "Reaffirm hell, the Bankruptcy Trustee intends to seize
the home because your lien is not perfected. you are not getting a penny or the home back". I then contacted the Bankruptcy Trustee to find out what his intentions were on our collateral. I was informed that in fact his intention was to seize the home.After reviewing the circumstances with my legal department attorney; we determined that in fact, we were screwed out of $187,000.00.
As I worked the case over the next week, I received an invoice from a trucking company. The trucking company had been hired by our Mortgagor to deliver
several thousand dollars in gravel for his driveway. Remember, this was a "Construction Loan," and in these types of loans the mortgagor has a certain
amount of funds available to pay vendors during construction. Our policy was
that the mortgagor hired the vendor, and the vendor sent us the invoice to be
In reviewing the invoice, I noticed that the date of the purchase and delivery were
both after the bankruptcy had been filed. If you know anything about bankruptcy,
you know that when the Stay is in place, it prevents creditors from engaging in collection activities, but it also acts as an Order directing the bankruptcy filer from taking on anymore debt.
I brought this information to my legal department supervisor (an attorney), but was told that my legal angle was flawed, and to just ride it out.
But being the stubborn Paralegal I was, the thought of "riding it out" did not sink
into my head. This was partly out of principle, and partly because I received a
monthly bonus based on the total dollar amount of all of my accounts at the end of the month. And I knew that this account would prevent me from receiving a bonus that month.
So I went around my supervisor and my outside attorney, and called the
mortgagors attorney again. I informed him of the invoice I received, that we
intended to notify the bankruptcy court, and trustee that his client had committed bankruptcy fraud, and that he violated the Order the court issued related to
taking on more debt.
He immediately asked me how we could resolve this issue? I advised him that he
had one option, and one option only, which was to request a Voluntary Dismissal
and not re-file until our lien was perfected. He agreed, and obtained the Voluntary Dismissal.
As soon as I received the Order of Dismissal, I took the title for the mobile home
to the department of motor vehicles and rushed it through. Two months later,
the bankruptcy was re-filed, our mortgagor Reaffirmed, and all was well.
PERSONAL INJURY TRIAL
Motor vehicle accident - Negligence Causing Personal Injury
Lake County Indiana - Jury trial - August of 2006.
I assisted Plaintiff's Attorney in a 2-day jury trial. My activity included making copious notes on errors I noticed in testimony, opposing counsel's mistakes,
general observations about jury attentions, and errors or clarifications I felt we
needed to make for the benefit of the jury or to recall a witness for purposes of clarification. During the trial I made an outline of everything that transpired,
including order of occurrence and time of occurrence. This was a useful tool for recalling how and when a witness said something, and what it was in response
to during recesses.
The case involved our 75 yr old client being injured while driving his car (veh. #1)
by another motorist who pulled out in front of him (veh.#2).
Vehicle #1 was traveling northbound on Calumet Avenue, Hammond, Indiana approaching 174th St. Vehicle #2 was on 174th St. beside a gas station at the stop sign pointed West attempting to pull out onto Calumet Avenue to travel Southbound.
The first key witness was the Hammond Policeman who responded to investigate
the accident. This witness was also an accident re-constructionist. During his examination and review of the accident report, the officer testified that a box truck parked at the curb in front of the gas station obstructed the view of vehicle #2's ability to see on-coming traffic traveling Northbound. He also testified he found no skid marks on the pavement that could have been attributed to vehicle #1. In the officer's opinion; vehicle #1 made contact
with vehicle #2 without applying his brakes.
The second witness was the defendant/driver of vehicle #2. During her examination she admitted the presence of the box truck at the curb, and that it prevented her from being able to see Northbound traffic. During a period of intense examination she admitted that she had waited at the stop sign for a period of time she felt was adequate, and had to get to her work. She admitted she pulled out onto Calumet Avenue into the path of oncoming traffic without knowing whether it was safe to do so.
The third witness was our client, the driver of vehicle #1. He testified he was
traveling at approximately 30-35 miles per hour. As a result of the accident he suffered a shoulder injury for which he received extensive rehabilitative treatment. And that after more than a year since the accident he still suffered pain, stiffness,
and intermittent limited range of motion. In spite of his age, he still did his own
handy-man work such as carpentry, plumbing, and yard work. And that since
the accident, the remodeling of an apartment building he had been working on
had slowed to a halt because of his limited shoulder use.
Other witnesses included: the attending physician, and the orthopedic doctor
who treated the shoulder injury.
The final witness was an expert doctor who was asked to review the findings of the orthopedic doctor and attending physician. The testimony of the expert
doctor was hotly contested by defendants counsel because his testimony supported the earlier medical findings. Those findings were that our client was suffering pain attributed to the injury to the shoulder caused during the accident. And that it was unlikely that surgery could provide a remedy to the continuanceof chronic pain. And that due to the nature of the injury, and age of our client, surgery was contraindicated.The diagnosis, treatment, and overall assessment were concurred with by the expert doctor.
During the recess before closing arguments were made, The attorney and I discussed the final statement to the jury. I had made an outline of bullet points
covering the key points I felt the jury needed to hear explanations for.
The last bullet point was: "For 50 years our client has helped anybody and
everybody who ever needed help, and now it's time that someone helped him." The attorney incorporated some of my outline into his final statement to the jury which included that last bullet point.
The jury was out for a scant 90 minutes before returning a verdict in our favor,
with a monetary award in the amount of $70,000.00.