This site  The Web 

New  Client  Sign  Ups

in Orange County, California

Intial Investment as low as        $199.00*



Contact us to discuss your needs




 Serving Lawyers, Attorneys, Firms, Businesses, Individuals, and the Legal Community Since 1986



   110% SIGN UP RATE!**

You represent victims! Don't be a victim yourself of the prospective client "GENERAL FALL OUT RATE."  The "GENERAL FALL OUT RATE" if you are a sole proprietor, or don't have an experienced field representative on your side... most likely

OVER 35%

And they don't simply "FALL OUT", they "MIGRATE" to your competitors.  Most likely your "FALL OUT RATE" is over 35% when using inexperienced individuals to meet with your prospective clients.  AND that means you too!  Yes YOU.  How many claimants have you signed?  Do you have a 100% signup rate?  Can you meet with a prospective claimant at night, at their home in San Diego, or on the weekend while you are on vacation skiing?  I didn't think so.  But I CAN sign up that claim for you.  If your prospective client is seriously injured or this is a wrongful death claim, and your prospective clients are "interviewing" attorneys, the fall out rate is MUCH higher when using inexperienced individuals. When Schwalbe investigations is on the case, we have a


By that we mean that we often learn of a new personal injury or other new legal matters for the attorney to handle while we are meeting with the victim.  We have often learned of catastrophic injuries at the meeting with the prospective claimant, which the attorney, or their office staff have not inquired about.  So, in reality, on one specific claim, we can turn a minor rear end accident claim into a HUGE windfall for your office, and better yet, a claimant will obtain an adequate recovery with you on their side.  Why do we do this?  Because we LOVE to help consumers.  Victims of insurance ignorance or even arbitrary or capricious behavior seems to be as prolific as ever. Consumers need to understand their rights.  Rights that attorneys protect and inform about. 


We will meet attorney's client(s) at:




















We are available to sign up clients in Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County, San Diego County, Imperial County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Monterey County, Kings County, Tulare County, Kern County, Inyo County, Fresno County, Madera County, Merced County Mono County, Mariposa County, Stanislaus County, San Benito County, Orange County and all of Southern California's beautiful cities.  Please contact us to discuss your needs.  Heck, get me a plane ticket and I'll sign your client anywhere.



Call or CONTACT us TODAY to discuss this offer at our email 

We will call you ASAP to discuss a new relationship.


"Only $199 to sign up my new clients?  Tell me MORE"


This Initial Investigation includes, but isn't limited to:

   - Meeting with your personal injury victim clients and/or family

  - Signature on retainer and authorizations, if they sign

  - Attorney accident intake campleted, if information available

  - Digital imaging and measurement of injuries, accident scene, property damage, documents or other, providing no further time or travel involved

  - Hard Copies delivered to your office via email/fax and/or USPS, and original delivered ASAP.

  - Email delivery of digital images, or direct download of images to your computer (if you have set up a station for this)

  - Notification of prior or existing claims, other claims, and legal matters discovered




Other services available upon request:


- Background checks of client

- Defendant Background checks

- Witness background checks

- Employee background checks

- Service of Process, including, Difficult service of process

- Location of defendants, clients, witnesses, or evidence

- Scene photographs, diagram, and measurments

- Video of scene, client, defendant, claimant, and evidence

- Property owner verifiation for real estate

- Escorting client to and from court, depositions, medical appointments

- Medical records copying at doctors office, hospital, or records storage facility of your choice.

- Departments of Motor Vehicle (DMV) information

- Accompany/escort claimants to court, doctors apppointments

- Defense/Independant medical examination observation and/or recordation

- Expedite any action necessary from claimant, such as records retreival

- Expedite claimant's signature on releases, motions, verifications, and/or checks



Our hourly rates are
$100.00 per hour,  $ .75/mile,  plus costs, and expenses including out of the area sign ups. 
This includes travel.  While we are driving to your claimant we can't driver to others!
Time and half for weekends, evenings, double time for holidays. 
Out of area sign ups will often be signed same day as assigned!

All areas other than the OC are hourly +mileage +costs+ expenses


Why the name "Freepi"?

Because its "free private investigation" in the long run.  You pay Schwalbe, you recover that which you paid us from the client's proceeds!  Ergo, there's nothing out of your pocket on a viable claim!

Our E-mail is the best contact method

Questions, please contact us to set up a telephone interview and establish a relationship, we are happy to help.

Please ask any questions you might have.



License number: CA PI-15716, Established last Century!


* This price includes up to 1 individual for claims arising out of the same incident who attend the same meeting.  Additional claimants cost $29.00 each.  Wait time is billed hourly for claimants who show up late. Independant claims for any one or all of the individuals are $199.00 per claim. We reserve the right to refuse service to any attorney based on a liteny of reasons.  We charge a fee for our service, which is not contingient upon your prospective client signing documets.  Client must be told that they will be visited by an agent of the attorney's office and that that agent is there to have prospective new client sign the retainer and authorizations as well as any other documents, so the attorney may represent them in a legal claim or prospective legal claim.  Failure of claimant to sign is not the responsibilty of this highly trained investigator or his employ. Premium charges apply after hours, weekends, and holidays, mainly due to negotiating the rush hour traffic, missing family functions, or cutting short vacations and down time.  Additional investigations at another location or scene will be charged at the hourly rate, plus mileage.  All costs, such as toll road fees, parking fees, copy, fax, meals for clients, and other incidental fees will be charged to the file/attorney/claimant.  Bills will incude such costs and should be deducted from clients cost ledger as they are incurred.  Attorney agrees to mark clients cost ledger immediatly for any work assigned so as not to settle any matter prior to dispensing outstanding investigation fees.   **General fall out rate to your competitors is most likely over 30% when using inexperienced individuals to meet with your prospective clients. If your prospective client is seriously injured or this is a wrongful death claim, and your prospective clients are "interviewing" attorneys, the fall out rate is MUCH higher when using inexperienced individuals. When Schwalbe Investigations is on the case, we have a 110% sign up rate. By that we mean that we often times learn of new personal injury or other legal matters for the attorney to handle while we are meeting with the victim. We have often learned of catastrophic injuries at the meeting with the prospective claimant. So, in reality, on one specific claim, we can turn a minor rear end accident claim into a HUGE windfall for your office by connecting a unrepresented victim to your office for consumer aid and advice. Why do we do this? Because we LOVE to help consumers. Victims of insurance ignorance is prolific. Consumers need to understand their rights. Rights that attorneys protect, inform, and educate about.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Should you List "MEETING PLACE OPTIONS" in your advertisements? YES! April 22, 2014

Yes, you should.  Don't overlook this important aspect of advertisement and customer service.  Whether you like it or not, your potential customers like it.   How do I know? I ask them when I sign them up, "What made you chose this attorney?"  They often say, "They are the only one's I saw which offered to meet me at (Insert home, office or other here).  

Offer to meet with your prospective new clients at a location which is convenient to them.  Advertising in your marketing materials, such as websites, blogs, flyers, websites, radio shows, television, etc. that you will meet with them at their desired location is key in this economy and this business.

Spell it out for them: 

"We will meet you at your choice of locations, including: 










Even residentially challenged people (the homeless and those in rehab) get injured and need a sign up.  I meet them at a park usually, but coffee houses work too.

I see a sharp increase in the frequency of "out of the office" intakes when gas prices go up.  And, guess what?  Those prices just keep going up and up.  What does that tell you?  They are looking to save money on gas.  Why?  Injured people have new expenses, such as treatment facility co-pays, medications, out of pocket rental car payments, vehicle towing and storage fees, and/or the cost of an ambulance.  These new unplanned costs are a huge burden on almost anyone or any family.  Paying for gas to get to your office?  That equals yet another burden.  Here the burden will outweigh the benefit and many times the perspective client will call the law firm who offers these services.   

Service is key in any business, especially a SERVICE dominant industry.  You are a LAW FIRM, specializing in facilitating a SETTLEMENT.  That is a service if I've ever heard of one.  Don't be the attorney who doesn't return calls, who treats the client as if that client is a pain to deal with.  That client contacted you in the first place, because they were in PAIN.  You get a portions of THEIR settlement check.  Therefore, they PAY your salary.  Treat your client right.  DO THE RIGHT THING!  Don't demand they come to you to be signed up.

Set up a relationship with someone like me, a professional, who will meet with your prospective you client at their convenience, in their  home, the home of a relative, the hospital they are stuck in, their work, or the hotel they are staying in.  You don't have to choose me, but you must find a professional.  Not an amateur.  That's a waste of everyone's time. 

I love doing this, I may be as good or better at this tha you yourself, and I know you and your staff can't stand to do it.

Call Schwalbe!  I will sign up your client, take photos of the client's Driver's License, auto insurance declaration page, health insurance card, injuries, scene, and automobile as well as obtain important medical discharge paperwork.






9:10 pm pdt          Comments

Friday, February 22, 2013

QUESTION: Should I have a LIVE person answer my incoming phone calls?
Answer:  YES!!!

Let’s talk about answering machines. But, first let’s look at your costs of life. You spend at least two bucks a day buying a coffee drink such as a Starbucks, Peet’s, or at your local donut shop, right? That’s at least $40 a month, without that delicious bagel. No coffee or bagel? You’re weird, and probably have a smoothie, which is even more expensive. I’m weird.

When you go out for drinks you spend at least $50 bucks a night, right? If you go out twice a week, Saturday and Sunday, that’s $100. Times four for each weekend a month! $400. Now look at that VISA bill, it is actually more isn’t it?

How about lunch? Even a basic meal at McDonald’s is $5! And I know you attorneys aren’t eating at McDonald’s, are you? That’s a minimum of $100 a month for lunch. For McDonalds, I mean. And who eats there every day, other than that movie maker

Now, about your sports club. 60% of paid health club memberships NEVER get used. That means that out of every 100 of you attorneys, only 40 percent EVER use the membership at all, yet keep paying the monthly bill. Let me blow your mind again. Only SIX percent of paid memberships get used regularly. That’s right! So you’re wasting money there.

Gas is OVER 4 bucks a gallon. You are using your fair share I am sure, zipping around town to get your Lattes at Starbucks, eating lunch alone, and avoiding the gym. And, some of you are still signing up your own claimants in other counties. Ouch.

And the car you put the gas in better not be a junker (we’ll talk about that in a later blog). Most likely not a Toyota Prius, I hope. Have some class, right? Beemer, Merc, Cadi, or some 4X4 to haul yourself out into the wild on the weekends. Payment is probably over $600 a month, right, not counting the boat? I mean my car payment is more than that.. And we all know I don’t make anywhere near your kind of money.

All these things are important to you. You must enjoy and be comfortable in your life. So you spend on all these “necessities”.

Now, let us talk about your office. The lawyer’s office. Nay, the counselor’s office. Yes the counselor. Well, that is what the prospective client is calling about. They want to be counseled on their case. Know why? Because of your ad. What am I talking about you say? Well, your ad says “FREE CONSULTATION”. That is why they are calling. For the FREE offer you have put forward. They want the free consultation by the counselor at law. They certainly aren’t calling to pay you money. Not yet anyway. They want the FREE stuff first.

Now I want to talk about answering machines. Or rather, whom, or what, answers your phone after hours. How do you handle the phones after hours? Do you pay a live person to sit at your office to answer the phones all night? Do you forward the phone to your personal cell phone? Do you have an answering machine pick up messages? That’s the most common. But, if you are a solo practitioner, you may not have anyone or anything answer the phones. That’s right, it just rings and rings, ad infinitum. That is the death knell to obtaining that case. How do I know? Because I signed up that case for another attorney, who had a live person answer the phone. I asked that client why they chose this firm. They said, “A live person answered the phone when I called. The other 12 firms I called had an answering machine or it just rang and rang.”

Now, for those answering machines. How much do you spend per month on advertising? And do those ads only reveal themselves between 9am to 5pm? No. Google, Bing, and other internet ads are 24 hours a day. Yellow pages can be opened whenever. Is your website down or turned off at night? No. Radio and TV ads play when contracted of course. But even those ads can be valuable if a listener jots down your number and talks it over with family later that day.

It costs only around $30 a month for a LIVE person to answer your phones at an offsite professional answering service for after hour calls. Do at least that. Have that receptionist call you immediately, or have someone in your office assigned to receive that message from the live answering service. Preferably within minutes. Know why? Well, those yellow pages are still open to the Attorney’s page where other attorneys are listed. And the Google page? Yes, your competitors are listed just underneath yours. Or to the right. And believe me, that injured person will be calling around.

Here is what victims commonly say to me when I meet them:
“You are the only firm who returned my call.”
Guess what? The other firms will call back, just not as quickly as I do. That is why my attorney clients use my services over the next investigator.

The best option? Someone actually from your office answering the phone after hours. And be sure to trade that task around the office. Don’t saddle one person with this basically 24/7 job. They will go crazy. I’ve seen it. I’ve almost done it.

Certainly you can afford the basic $30 per month answering service so your prospective client feels comfortable and enjoys their FIRST contact with your office. That first “touch” is like the first touch of a first date of a new relationship. This is a RELATIONSHIP unless they don’t want it. The average small case is worth $5000 in attorney fees, or so I am told. And there is that “retirement case”. Do you want to risk losing that for $30 per month? That is only $360 per year to have the solace and comfort that a live person is making the first contact with them in their time of serious needs. Check these two services out, though there are lots more:

Claims to charge $1 per call:

This is your typical monthly service charge company:

1:03 pm pst          Comments

Monday, September 24, 2012

ASSIGNMENT; Locate tire and wheel in the middle of the desert.

Schwalbe Investigations was recently hired to find a tire, wheel, or any remaining parts, particles, pieces thereof. This was a personal injury claim, allegedly involving the deaths of two individuals and the brain injury of two others occurring when their vehicle lost control on the 5 Freeway northbound and rolled. Unknown cause, as the tire hadn't previously been located.

"What make and model of tire are we looking for?" we asked. The response would drive most people crazy! But not Schwalbe Investigations. Turns out, each tire was from a different maker. All the same size, or believably so. Just different tire companies. And the wheels? Well, they are supposed to have been the same also. So, we had something to go on there.

The location was given as "Just off the 5 freeway, near Buttonwillow."
"Had any other attempts been made to locate this evidence?" We queried.
I was told that the local police, CHP, and Sheriff departments, tow driver, etc. were all summoned in an attempt to locate the wheel or tire evidence which was obviously missing from the vehicle remains. All the experts searched high and low, but could not find the evidence. The weather was clear and they had all the peoplepower necessary to locate this tire, yet they couldn't. I am sure they worked hard and searched diligently. Sometimes that simply is not enough.

Our search conditions were much similar to those of the government entities who originally sought to procure the evidence. It was 115 degrees. It was clear. Sunny. Hotter than hot. No wind. Did I mention hot. We searched everywhere around the accident scene. Our perimeter continued to expand as the search continued. There were so many car parts on both sides of the freeway. Mirrors, wheels, tires, pieces of tires, hubcaps, fenders, hoods, engine parts, almost everything you'd need to build a car. Finally, we had to search the entire river bed. Now, that might seem a task, but it was dry. Or seemingly so. Ever been out on a supposedly dry river bed? Well my friends, that is where the word “quicksand” comes from. Quicksand is often found in dry river beds, lakes, and estuaries. So, its much more scary than you might think to be traipsing around in such areas.  Especially if you have been stuck in it before!  Hours and hours in the debilitating heat. Hiking on unfamiliar ground and uneven terrain. A rattle snake infested area. After seeing so many tires and wheels, we finally found a tire and wheel still connected to each other. It was about 100 yards away. We had hope finally. But something was wrong. As we got closer and closer to the tire, our fears came to reality. It was TOO small. It was the tire and wheel of a small trailer. Ugh. No luck.

Luck, Living Under Conscious Knowledge. We turned back to the van in despair. No more hope. Finally, there it was. Plain as day. Well, not so plain. Hidden in the weeds was a shadow. A beautiful immense dark shadow. Could it be? Yes it was. A tire. Was it attached to the wheel? YES. Again yes. Now, did the size match? A final YES. The evidence was found.

Approximately one year later, Schwalbe Investigations found the tire and wheel, still intact, on nearby private property. The tire was still inflated! There was obvious damage which would indicate who may be liable for the negligent injuries caused in this accident. Maybe more importantly, those who might have been wrongly cited as liable, may now be free of liability due to the ACTUAL cause more readily discernible.

OUTCOME: Tire and wheel found same day assignment was submitted by plaintiff personal injury firm.
11:23 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011 Fall out rate may be over 30%

The average fall out rate of the possible client to sign your retainer is approximately 30%.  Now, if that 30% were tiny cases which may be insignificant to your firm fine. But, what if within those claims is just one valued at $1 million or over?  That puts a new perspective on the 30% fall out rate.  Why take a risk such as this when obtaining the signature on the retainer is so simple to delegate to hero in gaining signatures.  A true master of the human spirit.

I met with two claimants yesterday.  A husband and wife.  They had already received a verbal offer from the adverse insurance carrier of $50,000.  Now what would you do as an attorney who was asked "should we take the offer$50k already offered?"  Well, I'm not the attorney.  They didn't ask the attorney this question.  The clients were ver sophisticated and didn't want to sign for fear of losing any portion of the offered $50K.  The woman had already had 5 surgeries.   She was severly injured.  Wheelchair bound.  Claimed she failed to engage her safety harness.  Hadn't left her home since the accident, but for treatment.  Was very athletic.  Had grandkids she couldn't visit with.  Her husband was very much in the same position, but had to care for his wife as he wasn't as seriously injured.  

Do you think they signed?  Yes they did.  Without so much as a call to the attorneys office, who was closed by then.  They signed because they trused the man sitting at their dining room table. 

We have a 110% sign up rate because we sign cases that we didn't even initially go out to sign.  The prospective new client may have had a prior injury, or an injury between the date of the accident they called your firm about and our meeting.  Or I may sign up a passenger which the attorney didn't know about prior to the meeting.  Often times while at a prospective client's home I will sign a friend or relative who is at the meeting who wants to share about their previous legal claim when they are in the presence of someone who is obviously capable of helping them too.

9:24 pm pst          Comments

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How do I find that special person who I can TRUST to meet with my new clients?

You have found him! I am Ron Schwalbe, CA license number PI15716.  I am an investigator who signs up law firms clients in the field.  Whether that be at the client's home, their office, or at the Hospital.  I have met homless injury victims in public parks, in dark alleys, and at McDonald's.  Many personal injury victims have lost their home, so I meet at a Motel, if they are lucky enought to afford a room there.  Many are concerned about having an unfamiliar person come to their home, so we set up a time at a coffee house, such as Starbucks, Peet's coffee, or some other place that is convenienct for the client.  This is something that I have done since entering the personal injury field while I was in law school here in Orange County.  My investigation carreer started in 1986, after an injury I sustained while on the job as a Construction Superintendent for the Ayres Hotel chain which I had been working for during and after my undergraduate studies at The University of Southern California.  Later, while working at Rutan & Tucker, the biggest firm in Orange County, I was assaulted by a San Bernardino County Sheriff. I know the feeling of being a victim of a serious injury.  I can relate to the victims of personal injuries.

Many investigators are a bit rough around the edges.  God bless them for that.  Its tough out there, especially in these trying times.  They may have law enforcement backgrounds and are used to taking directions and following those directions to the T.  They aren't generally able to ADAPT to changing circumstances in the field without calling in to the main office.  However, Ron Schwalbe is a self starter.  I have had so much experience signing new clients in the field, there litterally is not a circumstance or scenario that I haven't come accross.  And, certainly, there are circumstances where the attorney must intervene to answer a clients pressing concern.  But that is a last resort.

While working at Allen, Flatt, Balidis, and Leslie I worked as an inhouse investigator and handled over 100 claims as a pre-litigation assistant.  I have been deposed many times.  I have stood as witness during trial.  So, I have a great idea of what the entire legal process is.  I know what the attorney needs to begin working on a claim.  You can TRUST that I will get the job done right and represent your firm well. 

12:52 pm pst          Comments

Monday, December 5, 2011

As an attorney, shouldn't I sign up my own client?

There are a few schools of thought on this.

"I MUST sign up my own claimant."  Many solo practicitoners feel they MUST sign up their own client.  There's no one else to do it.  That is the definition of the solo practitioner. If an attorney meets with their own new prospective new client at their home, office, or other mutually agreeable location, that attorney is setting themself up for failure.  A claimant will expect this one on one, immediate response treatment for the duration of the claim, and through litigation.  An attorney who sets this tone from the beginning will trip up somewhere along that long ride.  The claimant will, at some point, be disappointed by the attorney and often times this attorney will be subbed out.  That is, the attorney will be substituted out, for another attorney, who appears more capable.

The other school of thought is that the solo practitioner looks like a LARGER firm when she/he has the ability to send someone out to do tasks such as having the claimaint sign a retainer and authorizations for the client.  Who better to do this than an investigator.  The investigator meets with the victim, obtains evidence crucial to the claim, photographs the scene, vehicles, injuries, and current physical condition of the claimant.   Later, should the claim go to trial, the investigator can testify on behalf of the claimant, and in the interest of justice as to what they witnessed in that first meeting.  This is very beneficial to the claim.

As in many aspects of life, this is a financial choice.  "A penny saved is a penny earned" mentality only goes so far.  However, you get what you pay for.  Most likely, the claimant will negotiate your fee lower when you are in his place of power, ie. their home or office. 

And, there is the the view that you have to "spend money to make money."  If you are in court, and can't meet with the claimant until the end of the day, or at the end of trial, you most likely will lose that claimant.  Claimants are impatient and there are plenty of other attorneys  out there that are more organized than yourself.  If your competitors are sending out investigators to sign up their new clients up, you better think twice before you veto that idea yourself.  If you are in court, in trial, on vacation or otherwise unavailable, you may miss out on that once in a lifetime life changing case.  Another attorney, sending out an investigator to sign that claimant is spending money wisely.  Locking in that new claimant as their client.  Your competitors are most likely out there advertising the heck out of their firm.  Can you compete with that?  You better!

Lastly, the investigators fee comes out of the settlement at the end of the claim.  There is no cost to the attorney, other than up front costs.  They will later get  reimbursed.  

8:18 pm pst          Comments

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 is about to go online

Please contact us via for the time being.  We are glad to assist you in any of your needs.

2:37 pm pdt          Comments

2014.04.01 | 2013.02.01 | 2012.09.01 | 2011.12.01 | 2009.08.01

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Our business was established in order to provide our clients with professional investigative services and we pride ourselves on providing customers with high-quality products and personal service. 
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