What is an Examination Under Oath? The easiest was to define it is that is sworn testimony in front of a court reporter. Your testimony is subject to the charge of perjury if deliberately deceptive. When an insured is under investigation the first reaction is to retain an attorney to defend them. Why is the wrong choice? Because, the attorney can’t defend and just gives a false sense of security in an insurance investigation and an examination under oath. I can do anything an attorney can do and more–I can actually defend my client! Insurance claim investigation is my business!
The Attorney Can’t prepare the insured properly in many cases. They know the law, but a claims investigation and examination under oath has nothing to do with the law! Many times the attorneys just let the insured rattle on saying far too much! One of the best examples I use is that the insured is at an examination under oath and gets asked a question they are not comfortable with. They look over at the attorney and hope for help! The attorney goes “Objection!” Well, now the insured is relieved. Unfortunately that relief lasts for seconds and the insured is told they have to answer the question! The difference is I can actually defend the insured in these troubled times! The insured would take a break and call me on my dedicated line and we would find the best answer. I state this however in 10 years I have prepared the client so well, such a scenario has arisen maybe 5 times in 10 years! How can an attorney prepare the insured? They can give legal citations to remember that are not relevant. What do they know about SIU investigations and their ability to mitigate them is extremely limited! I have 30 years as an insurance fraud investigator and commonly I know how the paradigm will play out before the investigator or insurance attorney does.
Experience: I have 25 years as an expert witness opposing evil unprofessional unethical insurance defense firms with sworn testimony in depositions and in trial. They have done everything to put me out of business, but I am still here in spite of them! That is why the insured needs me on the team! Lawyers generally have one skill-the law for something that does not involve the law!
“Don’t I require an attorney because the examination under oath is being given by an attorney?” Absolutely not! in fact, for all you know your attorney and the insurance attorney are golf buddies looking at the insured as a duck!
What if I don’t Want To Deal With The Investigator Anymore answering his questions during the investigation? My lawyer could handle it. So can I! Depends on the specific situation causing me to work in different capacities. I am far more versatile than an attorney. Sometimes I am stealth. Others I make my involvement known. Well how can you talk to the investigator about my claim? Well, I can do this 2 different or both ways. I am a Texas Licensed All Lines Public Adjuster. Texas reciprocates with 30 other states. I can also operate under Power of Attorney restricted to only the disposition of the claim and sometimes both. In fact, I was sitting in with my client for an examination under oath last week on her home fire claim.
Different Skill Sets I Employ: There have been claims I had different hats on and in an auto theft claim they thought they were going to deny on forensics, I supplied a report for my client on her vehicle illustrating 6 different ways the vehicle could be stolen without her key fob. All 6 could not be confirmed or denied because of the fire damage to the vehicle! She had that report with her at the examination under oath and the investigator had it entered with the court reporter as an exhibit! Because of my intervention her claim was settled in two days!
Available Almost Any Time: It’s 10:45 pm on a Sunday at the time of this writing. I just received a phone call from a potential client. Tell me what civil attorney offers those services? Some are shocked to contact me on a holiday too! My clients are everything to me. I offer consultation in all 50 states and Canada.
Covid 19 Concerns: My service is also covid 19 complaint friendly-no contact! Most Examination Under Oaths have gone virtual. Everything my client an I do is through the telephone, video conferencing, email or digitally. 25 years deposition and trial testimony experience as an expert witness and successfully servicing clients in this arena for over a decade.
Why do I have repeat clients? Because they love the professionalism but more than that, the passion to defend them! If I was financially independent I would do this for free, but unfortunately I am not and like everyone else have bills to pay.
First Initial Consultation To Evaluate Your Situation is of no cost to you. If I can’t help you I will let you know that too. If I feel you may need legal advice from an attorney because I don’t give legal advice as a non-attorney, I will tell you that too. -Insurance investigations are a minefield the insured is walking through. The carrier does not want to pay the claim and will use any avenue possible to deny the claim. I keep my client from getting blown up! The investigator does not care about the insured. If they can’t live in their house or they don’t have transportation, they don’t care. All that is important to the investigator is their reputation to their employer! In auto theft claims insurance companies facilitate fraud by contracting fake forensic locksmiths that will claim the last time the insured’s reported stolen car was last driven with what appears to be the insured’s key! Can they prove their conclusions scientifically? Of course not! They don’t have to because they have scammed the courts with the magic forensic title. Then the investigator creates a narrative from their imagination for a believable motive and that is the perfect mixture for a denied claim or worse!
In an Examination Under Oath: What is worse than a denied claim because the insured didn’t answer the questions correctly during the investigation? The insured may have given honest answers to the best of their knowledge, but the reality is that is not enough. The insured needs to supply the correct answers with proper context! Otherwise worse is when the investigator refers the claim to a prosecutor and the prosecutor either indicts the insured or has them arrested immediately for felony insurance fraud. At that point the insured needs to retain a criminal defense attorney and if it’s going to trial. more money will be required to retain expert witnesses,
Overzealous Investigator: I had a case in which just because the investigator had a personal dislike for the insured, tried to talk a prosecutor into taking the case. Fortunately, that was a rare instance that the prosecutor did not take a case that not only lacked evidence, but the prosecutor saw the bias the investigator had.
The Cheap $10,000 Retainer: I called around in 2017 getting retainer prices in Los Angeles for a criminal defense attorney for a car theft claim a woman was being accused of being a party in. This is the wide scale I found. $10,000 retainer for an attorney to do what you could yourself-a plea deal! To me that’s an awful lot of wasted money for someone not willing to deal with a prosecutor directly with the belief an attorney can pull them a magic deal out of the sky. These days one can research the different sentences compared to the past convictions, if any and attempt to negotiate their own deal. That’s not legal advice, but what I would do if I were in that situation.
The High Rate And What It Gets You: Let’s say you have lots of money and you are adamant about your innocence and you want to go to trial. Well, I was quoted $50,000 for a retainer. Just because you shell out this money plus expert fees does not mean you will be acquitted! Bench trials relying on a judge can go wrong just like jury trials can too. You are relying on people that don’t know you passing judgement on you. There are many doing jury duty because they did not know how to get out of it. Jury pools are different from city and state compared to federal. Its my understanding that in federal trials juries can come from up to 100 miles away. What if the deliberation starts on a Friday afternoon and the jury doesn’t want to return the next week? You may not be happy with the hurried verdict!
Attorneys like to take credit for the wins on car theft claims I testified as an expert witness in auto theft and forensics and yes it is a team effort. However, without my expertise and the ability to be clearly understood by a jury just how easy the unstealable car was to steal, our side would not have prevailed. There have been times in which my intervention was overshadowed by the attorney because of their perceived excellent lawyering skills. In some cases this was true and I gave credit where credit was do, but on others I will give a couple of examples:
2014 State of Massachusetts v Rogers I did something rare. Commonly after I testify and am dismissed I leave so I can’t get called back on the stand. In this case I sat in for closing arguments. It’s very common in criminal trials to never talk to or meet the client attorney until the night before trial and then we review for a couple hours. The closing arguments on the Rogers case were very interesting. The prosecutor did everything to get my testimony stricken, but that didn’t happen. The closing argument was this : Our defense is based entirely on Rob Painter’s testimony! My client was acquitted by the chief justice of 6 felony counts! All based on my forensic analysis and proving the prosecutor’s expert was an utter moron! I have found in the auto theft field where so-called forensic locksmiths are employed that accuse the insured of fraud indirectly are not using science a/k/a fact but speculation and projection as their fact. Forensic Locksmiths in my opinion are a fraudulent cottage industry. They are believed unless I use real forensics and common sense to successfully combat their hype!
Another example is the 2015 civil case Baily v Grange Insurance. I spent about 4 hours testifying in the case and was on the step by step taking down the defense forensic locksmith talking points. I was catching my plane early in the morning and had dinner at the hotel bar and restaurant. The defense attorney came up to me and said something almost causing me to fall out of my chair. He was a formidable opponent in the court room and he had deposed me a couple months before. I found him one of the very few professional insurance defense attorneys I had come across in my career. He told me “You kicked our butt!” At the time I had over 20 years in the business and never had an opposing attorney compliment me like that and it was very special. There has been dozens of examples indicating I was the reason for the win and as I said, it is a team effort, but sometimes attorneys think too much of their abilities.
Games You Don’t Want To Play: Let’s say you are being investigated. Now something in your distant past comes back to bite you! The first thought is to drop the claim! First of all if it is a legitimate claim, they owe you the money and there is no sense in dropping it. Let’s say you had a very embarrassing drug conviction involving a prostitute 20 years ago and you did not want your wife knowing about it so you consider dropping the claim. Well, yes the insurance investigator will exploit it, but has nothing to do with the claim. You decide to drop the claim. The problem is the genie is out of the bottle and since you dropped the claim, now the investigator feels they have more and may pursue the investigation and add an imaginary but believable tale to it for a prosecutor and you find yourself in need of a criminal defense attorney. Dropping the claim does not always stop an investigation!