Jim has brought to our firm the capability of doing much more detailed investigations than we were previously capable of, and he has been a tremendous asset in our ability to discover a case at the billing rates of a private investigator as opposed to the billing rates of lawyers and expensive outside investigators. Jim probably spends ninety percent of his time investigating civil cases, but he is equally helpful in the ten percent he spends on criminal cases.
We have recently represented the Houston Independent School District, the Harris County Community College System, and the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department in separate internal investigations concerning possible misconduct by employees, and we have found that the combination of Andy Drumheller, Derek Hollingsworth, and Jim Yarbrough in investigations is a package of tremendous value to the client. At times, Jim will do entire investigations himself, and at other times, he will coordinate investigative firms to assist when additional manpower is needed. My experience has been that trained police officers are generally better interviewers than attorneys. Andy Drumheller and Derek Hollingsworth are exceptions to my general impression, but even they would readily concede the unique talents Jim brings to the equation. As a result, Jim’s presence on our staff, along with these two former prosecutors unusually gifted in investigative ability, gives us the capability to conduct internal corporate investigations across a wide spectrum of corporate areas of concern. Jim is uncommonly successful in creating a calm, non-threatening atmosphere that makes witnesses and people of all stripes comfortable in giving him information and statements. He has given us an added dimension that I believe makes us uniquely qualified to aid various institutions and companies in this era of Sarbanes-Oxley and the concern of corporate governance.
Jim is one of my oldest friends, born of a relationship that began when he was a Houston homicide detective while I was a state prosecutor. I tried the first DNA case in Texas in the mid-1980’s, and Jim was the lead detective on the case, which involved a serial rapist of elderly women in the Heights and Airline areas of Houston. The same year I left the District Attorney’s office to begin private practice, Jim completed his twenty years with the Houston Police Department and left to join Compaq Computer Corporation in their corporate security department. He later became Vice President of Swailes & Co, an investigative and security consulting firm. Jim joined me as our Director of Investigations in January 2003, and it has been a marriage made in heaven.
Jim and his wife Cheryl have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Daryl is a paramedic with the Houston Fire Department, Ryan works in the offshore oil and gas industry and Cori is a registered nurse with St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.