As one of Tennessee’s most successful and sought-after criminal defense attorneys, David Raybin’s defense practice is exceptionally busy – and his work is of utmost importance to his clients.
He takes a team approach to his cases and needs his team to work with focus, efficiency, and commitment. That’s why he has relied on Berry-Waltz Investigations (BWI) for the past 10 years.
“I’m a former prosecutor, and I learned a very long time ago that you must have a team approach to any kind of criminal case. The lawyer cannot do it alone. Investigators are critical. I’ve carried that same philosophy to my defense practice. These investigators are part of my team,” David Raybin says.
As part of his approach when he starts a new case, David Raybin has an initial meeting with BWI investigators to discuss the case with them. The defense experts talk through what they know of the facts – and what they don’t know – and develop a possible defense strategy and areas of investigation.
“And then I let them do what they do best – come up with leads and information, and talk to witnesses, which may lead to other witnesses. They’re very good at self-directing. It’s an excellent attribute,” David says. “It’s very helpful that they’re so good at self-directing because they may develop areas of the investigation that I haven’t even thought about developing until now.”
Throughout their investigation, BWI periodically reports back on their results while also providing David Raybin with detailed narrative reports of their findings.
“The quality of their work excellent,” David says. “They document who talk to, when, the gist of what’s said, and sometimes they record the interview. They give me a lot of information about a particular witness, and they ask very good, thorough questions so we don’t have to go back and repeat the interview. That’s extremely helpful to me.”
One way BWI helps David Raybin during a fact investigation is by building an overarching timeline of an offense – and then placing witnesses and events on the timeline to show their possible relationship, the progression of events, and the possible meaning.
“We humans think chronologically. Sometimes things happen simultaneously, and you didn’t realize they happened simultaneously until you put it all on a timeline,” David Raybin says. “BWI’s reports are narrative reports, but at end of the day, they’re configured within a timeline. So, when I go in front of a jury, I can tell a story about what happened and give them times, dates, and places. My opening statements are often right off the investigators’ timeline.”
There have been instances where David Raybin has been retained on large, high-profile cases that called for immediate investigative assistance. He relied on BWI’s bench strength then too.
“Berry-Waltz Investigations has tremendous depth. Sometimes, I have had five BWI investigators on one case because it called for that kind of saturation. It’s rare you’d need that, but every once in a while, I’ll have a case come up and it’s very complex, and it has to be done yesterday. They have the depth to do it and put people on the ground. Many other investigative firms have just one person; they don’t have the capacity and depth and intensity that BWI is capable of,” David Raybin says.
“Johnny Lawrence is the best crime scene person in Tennessee, period, no exceptions,” David Raybin says. “Nobody is even close to him. I’ve won several criminal cases almost exclusively based on his crime scene investigation work.”
David says he defended a client charged in a homicide case in which multiple suspects could have shot the victim. Johnny Lawrence of BWI conducted a crime scene analysis and advised David that the crime scene evidence suggested someone other than the client had done it.
“The jury agreed and acquitted my client of first-degree murder,” David says. “Johnny did a superb job. … I’ve heard of other cases where the DA’s Office dismissed cases because Johnny’s crime scene analysis was suggestive that someone else [committed the crime]. That’s rare – but still, that’s how good he is.”
BWI investigators develop further leads from Johnny Lawrence’s crime scene work to flesh out additional witnesses or investigative avenues based on the crime scene analysis.
“I enjoy working with Berry-Waltz Investigations. They’re sensitive to my needs, my situation. Their work ethic is excellent. They’ll put in the hours that’s needed to come up with good reports and do great investigations,” David Raybin says.
David Raybin says he’s worked with each BWI investigator and appreciates their sensitivity and the rapport they establish with his clients and witnesses.
“Stephanie Alexander could make the devil confess,” David Raybin says. “She has a great sensitivity with people. Some of my clients have certain challenges, communication challenges, and things like that. She’s very sensitive to that. Chrystal Waltz is incredible too. They both have a sensitivity when talking to people so that people feel very comfortable with them.
“At the end of the day, they are all genuinely nice people at BWI. They care very much about what they do. They’re committed to the client and the case. I have great confidence in them, and I appreciate they get so invested in the case. They want to get the best result possible for the client. They know what the stakes are. They know that many times, the person’s life depends on the quality of the defense and it’s important to get good results,” David Raybin says.
For more information about how BWI can assist in the defense of your clients, please call us at (615) 646-0860 or message us through this contact form.