Arizona criminal cases often involve extensive investigation on the part of the police and the prosecution. At the trial level, the defense often does not have the time or energy to pursue a full-scale investigation into alternative angles in the case. If a person is convicted and wants to file a post-conviction relief petition, the attorney representing the client at that stage may not have the training or specialized resources to adequately investigate the case before filing the petition.


That’s where the SWLC can help. Our President & Managing Attorney, David Gurney, is a highly-skilled investigator who has performed countless hours of investigation in highly complex criminal cases. Using specialized tools and resources, David has uncovered leads, witnesses, and alternative suspects that would otherwise have been overlooked. And David is not afraid to go out in the field to revisit crime scenes to search for new evidence, or to interview witnesses in far-flung regions. David also understands the important of forensic evidence, including DNA and fingerprints, as well as the limitations of methods such as hair comparisons and bite mark analysis. As an attorney, David knows the importance of documentation as it pertains to discovery and offers of proof.

Here is a sample of the investigate tasks that David performs:

  • Tracking down witnesses. Sometimes witnesses have moved or changed their names. Sometimes they don’t want to be found. David has located hard-to-find witnesses in many cases.
  • Writing detailed background reports. David uses a comprehensive set of resources to create a complete picture of a witness. Based on the lead attorney’s guidance, David can create as detailed a background report as it necessary.
  • Creating a detailed cast of characters. In complex cases, it is difficult to keep track of the number of witnesses and contacts in a case. David uses an easy-to-follow format that includes all of the important information about all of the characters in a case.
  • Reviewing forensic reports. David can review DNA and other forensic evidence reports and distill them down to the essential elements for the lead attorney to review.
  • Finding and accessing leads. An investigative file from a police agency often includes numerous clues about other suspects or avenues of investigation. David will comb through these files and pull out any relevant leads that should be followed.

These skills can make David, acting as co-counsel, an invaluable member of your team. Through the SWLC, David is available to act as co-counsel and to provide his investigative services to your case. Whether at trial or in post-conviction proceedings, David can help ensure the best outcome for your client. As a nonprofit, the SWLC charges fees below market for David’s investigative services as co-counsel. We charge either $85 per hour or the fee set by the lead attorney, whichever is lower.