2008 DETECTIVE CASES

 

These are actual case files from the offices of Armando Zatarain Investigations, an Orange County Detective (OC PI). We have either changed or omitted last names to protect the innocent and all parties concerned. Please read on to see how we can assist you with sensitive situations and problems. Armando Zatarain thanks the attorneys involved for their team work, cooperation and legal expertise in helping to resolve some very serious cases.

Slip and Fall

Attorney Joseph G. Dicks is a Civil Attorney in San Diego with the firm of Dicks & Workman. A client of the firm had left a bar in San Diego and gone home. Upon arriving at home, the client walked up a flight of stairs to his second floor apartment. The client subsequently fell over a very short wood railing to the ground below. The railing was too low to be safe. The client was severely injured. Dicks & Workman asked Armando Zatarain Investigations to find the bartender that served the client on the night of the incident. The only problem was we only had the first name of the bartender, and she was no longer employed at the bar. We also knew that the bar owner would be fearful of liability and would probably be uncooperative.

Investigator Jim MaGrann eventually found the bartender and obtained a favorable statement from the bartender that stated the client had not been intoxicated on the night of the incident. Dicks & Workman obtained a settlement for their client with the defendant apartment owner for $995,000.00).

-- Joseph G. Dicks, Dicks & Workman, San Diego, California

Domestic Violence

Attorney Robert Crawfis requested our help with a domestic violence case. Henry S. was charged with domestic violence. He faced jail time, a fine, and the loss of his right to lawfully possess a firearm. Armando spoke with the alleged victim, Henry's former girlfriend. Investigation revealed that an act of domestic violence had not occurred. The entire incident was simply an argument that caught the attention of a neighbor, and then subsequently the police. Armando Zatarain obtained a favorable statement from the former girlfriend, and the case was ultimately dismissed through the efforts of Attorney Crawfis.

-- Attorney Robert Crawfis, Paladin Legal Defenders, Fountain Valley, California

Neighborhood Disputes

Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III asked for help in preparing a case on behalf of his client. The client was a Long Beach doctor, charged with multiple misdemeanors. The doctor was also served with a restraining order by the alleged victim, a neighbor. The charges and restraining order stem from a dispute with the neighbor. Armando Zatarain conducted an investigation, which revealed that the accuser was not a stable individual. Investigation revealed that the neighbor had made similar accusations against other former neighbors. Through the efforts of Mr. Otto, the case was resolved prior to trial with charges being dropped, and the request for a restraining order dismissed.

-- Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III, Long Beach, California

Business & Red Tape

Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III was representing a businessman in a civil suit. A business in Long Beach was due to open as a supper club with live entertainment. An investor had invested millions of dollars and many months constructing a beautiful restaurant and venue. At the last minute, the owner of the building, a large corporation, tried to block the establishment from opening. The corporation cited a violation of the codes, covenants and restrictions. (CC & R's). Armando Zatarain Investigations was retained to investigate and interview multiple witnesses. These interviews had to be obtained on short notice and required late night interviews. The evidence gleaned and statements obtained were used in a successful presentation to the City of Long Beach. The club was given the green light to open as planned, saving the investor multiple millions of dollars.

-- Attorneys Douglas W. Otto, III, Long Beach, California

Alleged Insurance Fraud

Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III asked for assistance on an alleged insurance fraud investigation. Mr. S. was employed as a longshoreman. He had been so employed for approximately 30 years. He had the misfortune of first being injured at work, and then being involved in a minor hit and run traffic collision. The other party struck Mr. S. and fled. A representative for the insurance company accused the client of workers compensation fraud. He alleged that the traffic collision was the source of the client's injury and not something that happened on the job. The client was charged with multiple felonies. He faced time in prison, although he had never been previously arrested. A thorough investigation by Armando Zatarain and excellent courtroom presentation by Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III resulted in a not guilty on all counts at trial.(the jury was out about two hours) Even the insurance investigator for the state congratulated and hugged the client at the end of the trial.

-- Douglas W. Otto, III, Long Beach, California

Sentence Reduction

Attorney Charles H. Stoddard asked for help on a three-strike case. Valerie M. was a hard luck story. She was an alleged former gang member, and had been abusing drugs most of her adult life. Her last arrest came as a result of being high on drugs and while in a drug-induced haze, she had rammed her compact car into an older model Chevrolet Suburban. The police report made it sound like Valerie was guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, or worse. The officer wrote that Valerie had intentionally tried to run down the victim. Valerie was facing multiple strikes and life in prison. Armando Zatarain took the case pro bono, and discovered that the police report was not accurate. The victim was also very sympathetic toward Valerie and felt that Valerie could be helped with her drug addiction in the right setting. Mr. Stoddard used Armando's investigation and the victim's kindness to get Valerie a substantially reduced sentence.

-- Attorney Charles H. Stoddard, Fountain Valley, California

Child Molestation

Daniel V. Cota of the Law Firm of Wallin & Klarich requested assistance in a child molest case. Our client, a ten year old child, was accused of molesting another ten year old child, in conjunction with a third ten year old child. All three children were boys. Armando Zatarain thoroughly interviewed the client. He appeared to be a shy, reserved, polite young man. The act he was accused of appeared totally out of character. Armando contacted the victim's Spanish-speaking mother and requested permission to speak with the victim. Armando interviewed the victim, in the presence of his mother and obtained a taped statement that completely exonerated the client. The victim actually asked if the client could come over to play

Armando carefully timed his contact with the other alleged suspect's Spanish-speaking mother. Armando obtained permission to speak to the other alleged assailant. Armando obtained a taped statement from the ten year old in the presence of his mother. He admitted his guilt.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney ultimately dismissed the charges against our client.

-- Attorney Daniel V. Cota, Wallin & Klarich, West Covina, California