One afternoon several years back, I called an old college friend to wish him a happy birthday. His name is Keith, a criminal defense attorney in Southern Florida. He sounded busy and stressed so I asked him what he was working on. He responded, “I am doing research on this guy I need to cross examine next week.”
Call it too much Law & Order, but I found this “typical” task fascinating and pressed with questions, visions of 24 dancing in my head. Keith was amused by my enthusiasm and said, “You watch too much TV! I am just reviewing his court records, address history, family connections, that kind of stuff — just trying to connect the dots.”
Fine, so Keith is not a real life Jack Bauer, it would be a lot cooler if he was. I asked, “So you just Google these people?” He responded, “Well, it’s way more sophisticated than that. My law firm pays for a service that allows me to search any person in the US and pull up all the public information available on the particular person. They teach us how to use it in law school. All law firms use public records.”
“Oh, ok they are public records. So I can get them myself if I wanted to?” I asked. Keith chuckles and replies, “Not necessarily, we pay a lot of money for access to these records, but we just pass the cost along to our clients as part of our bill. Why do you think having a lawyer is so expensive?”
Why should some people have access to public records and others not? Why should lawyers, private detectives, large corporations and journalists have such an important tool, but not someone who is, for example, dating online? In fact, the people who need this information the most, the people who are most vulnerable, are the same people who usually do not have the same resources as a privileged few.
This is exactly why we created BeenVerified.com. Our mission is to make public records easy, affordable, and accurate for everyone, giving all people the opportunity to access public records when they need them – instantly, affordably, and reliably. We aim to level the playing field by giving everyone access to the same information for when it comes to making important decisions within our everyday lives.
Large companies always use background checks. Landlords, lawyers and other professionals have always used background checks. Why not me and you?