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Code of Ethics
SUMMARY OF THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession
- An investigator must be properly licensed.
- Credentials can only be used if they have been properly earned and maintained.
- Maintain the highest professional standards: integrity, honesty and excellence in all investigations.
- Abide by the law.
- Do not interfere with ongoing investigations or knowingly promote criminal activity. Cooperate with recognized law enforcement.
- Advertising of investigative services should be truthful and according to state law.
- Soliciting clients for attorneys is not allowed.
- Do not engage in professional misconduct. Report the misconduct of others.
Investigator - Client Relations
- Investigators work at the will of others. Properly define the parameters before initiating work.
- Provide competent service.
- Act promptly and with reasonable diligence.
- Keep clients informed - communicate.
- Fees should be reasonable, mutually agreed upon and adequately explained.
- Confidentiality and discretion are expected of the investigator.
- Avoid conflicts. Do not work for a client if that employment jeopardizes and investigation for another client.
- Be truthful in advertising, dealings with clients, reporting findings and communications with the court system and law enforcement.
- Never knowingly do harm.
- Be courteous and civil.
- Avoid personal prejudice or bias.
- Maintain proper records in a safe and discrete manner, separate from personal records/documents.
- The relationship can be terminated by either the client or the investigator.
Investigator - Investigator Relations
- All investigators working together should abide by the same rules, laws & code of ethics.
- All employees and partners should abide by the same rules, laws, & code of ethics as the qualifier.
- A subcontractor cannot contact the primary client without authorization.
- Investigator’s should practice caution in discussing the work of others. Do not impact adversely upon another investigators ability to earn a living.
- Reimburse other investigators for their work within the terms agreed upon prior to engagement.
- Clarify the role and reimbursement of each investigator in a multi-investigator case before beginning work.
- Do not interfere with the business contacts between other investigators and their clients.
- Assist and guide other investigators with lesser experience.
Transactions with Other Persons
- Respect the rights of all persons.
- Do not knowingly communicate with an individual represented by opposing counsel in an ongoing litigation.
- Respect the rights of all witnesses.
- Honestly and accurately represent your services to the public.
This summary is derived from the Code of Professional Conduct: Standards Ethics for the Investigative Profession, 2nd edition, 2007 by Kitty Hailey, CLI, and Published by Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc (AZ). The complete text is the property of Lawyers & Judges Publishing and is available in book form. This summary is for the purpose of outlining the basic tenets of the book which was adopted by reference as the official Code of Ethics of the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association in 2005.