A transcript of this podcast is easily available at lovethylawyer.com.
Chris began his career in law enforcement with the Oakland Police Department. After several years working patrol in East Oakland, Chris was transferred to a specialized unit tasked with curbing violent crime in Oakland’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Chris is an expert in interview and interrogation techniques, background investigations, undercover surveillance activities, wire taps, and the utilization of CPTED principles. He advises cannabis growers on matters of security.
Chris attended California State University, Chico where he was a member of the Cross Country Team and selected as an All American. Prior to entering law enforcement, Chris worked with a property management company.
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Attorney at Law
Chris Eggers / Louis Goodman - Podcast
[00:00:00] Louis Goodman: My name is Louis Goodman, host of the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. Today, we're going to talk to someone who is not a lawyer. He is a licensed California Private Investigator and the owner of the IV firm. He is a former Oakland police officer. He has also worked in other departments as well, including San Francisco police.
Least department. He has investigated hundreds of serious felony offenses, including fatal accidents, narcotics enforcement, commercial, and residential burglaries, and a host of other criminal matters. He is involved in extensive community service through rotary international and to his great credit, he works with attorneys, Chris Eggers.
Welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.
Chris Eggers: Louis. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it very much.
[00:01:00] Louis Goodman: I appreciate your being here. It's nice to talk to someone who's not a lawyer once in a while, but someone who has had extensive experience in the legal system from a slightly different angle. Tell me a little bit about the investigative agency that you.
Chris Eggers: Sure. So it is called The Ivy from IV stands for the Roman numeral four. The fourth amendment is my favorite amendment. It is just super important when investigating crime, right. Or criminal activity. So that's how I chose the name.
Louis Goodman: Where are you located?
Chris Eggers: So I physically live in Truckee, but I am focused on my business is focused in Northern California. Mainly.
Louis Goodman: Where are you from originally?
Chris Eggers: I was born and raised in Livermore, California. I went to Granada High School. I briefly held the mile record at Granada High School. I was a competitive runner throughout high school and college.
Louis Goodman: What was your best mile time?
Chris Eggers: My best mile time equates to about 4:07. I ran that at, when I ran for Chico state. I'm an all [00:02:00] American in cross country. I finished 11th in the national championships one year and I'm a junior All-American in the steeplechase, which is a fun thing.
Louis Goodman: You mentioned Chico state. Is that where you went to college after high school?
Chris Eggers: It is. That's where I went to college.
It was a great place to go. Bidwell park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. So we very rarely had to run on pavement, which, you know, at 60, 70, 80 miles a week with long runs on Sundays, ranging from, you know, 10 to 15 miles is a big deal.
Louis Goodman: Actually been in Chico twice in my life.
And once I was there for a marathon.
Chris Eggers: Oh, really?
Louis Goodman: Yeah. I wasn't running it. I was helping a friend who was, who was running it. It was kind of like being his caddy.
Chris Eggers: Well, one of my goals in life is to never run a marathon at Chico State.
Louis Goodman: You were obviously involved with Track and Field. What sort of academic ventures did you take up there?
I majored in Communication Studies and that was a lot of public speaking, [00:03:00] which never bothered me. I don't mind crowds. I don't mind speaking to strangers. I think that's part of the reason why inherently I was fairly successful in law enforcement is the ability to develop relationships with folks, create relationships and find some sort of commonality out of fit air policing or law enforcement was more of a salesmen point of view, you know, I had to sell you into an idea of doing what I wanted you to do, right.
And to me, that was the path of least resistance, rather than going hands on or grabbing people or being, you know, this authoritative figure.
Louis Goodman: How did you first decide that you were interested in police work? When did you get involved in that?
Chris Eggers: So I became a cop when I was. 26. I was in the Academy when I was, you know, I actually had just turned 26 and I have a family friend who works in the government and he actually put it in my brain.
He's like, you know, you'd be a great cop. You should go apply. So I had job [00:04:00] offers from Oakland and San Francisco, but Oakland and called me first. So I went there and thank God. Cause that was the best time that I had working in law enforcement was in Oakland.
And I think what really helped shape my career.
Louis Goodman: What did your friends and family think when you said, Hey, I want to go be a police officer?
Chris Eggers: I think, my parents were worried. Oakland's a beautiful city. I have such a soft spot for Oakland, the City of Oakland, specifically East Oakland in my heart.
It's a beautiful place. There are phenomenal people there. And. It can be really violent, but that doesn't mean that they're bad. Right? Like, and it's just a beautiful, I met so many wonderful people in Oakland, but it's really violent. It can be very violent and dangerous. And so my parents were worried.
They got more worried when I accepted assignments that were, you know, riskier, if you will. I worked undercover for a period of time and, you know, they were happy for me though, because I was happy. So I'm thankful for that, [00:05:00] but they, I think they were a little bit worried. To be honest with you.
Louis Goodman: What sort of undercover?
Chris Eggers: I started working in prostitution and the goal there was to provide resources, because these are human trafficking victims at the end of the day. And so our goal was to provide them with resources, to get them off the street and also away from their pimps. So that's where I started, but then I really begged for the opportunity to, to buy narcotics undercover.
And I was allowed to do that and I found a lot of success doing it. I don't know why. You know, you get checked a lot, right? Like there's a sense of paranoia if you're selling drugs, and rightfully so, you don't want to get caught, but it was a very unique experience. One that I really just sort of dove head first into, and I had a lot of success.
Louis Goodman: Did you have much experience working with attorneys as a police officer, people in the DA's office? For example?
Chris Eggers: Yeah, somewhat, but [00:06:00] not in a super intimate way. A lot of preliminary hearings, some jury trials. I was actually very surprised.
So I have experience with DA's offices in three different counties and they're all three very, very different. I'm sure you can attest to that or have some experience there as well, but I was really shocked at how different they all were.
Louis Goodman: Can you be specific about that?
Chris Eggers: Yeah, absolutely. San Mateo County was very well organized.
There was a lot of discussion prior to the case, prior to taking the stand, there was a lot of conversation about, the report and the witnesses and what you did and your role and any potential issues that come up. Oakland was a little bit of that, but not a lot. And then San Francisco was zero. Nope, no prep work on the front end in my experience. And I found that really interesting. Everybody works differently in the County is just, the cultures are different. I don't know if have you experienced.
Louis Goodman: Well, my only experience as a Deputy District Attorney was in Alameda [00:07:00] County, personally.
I always tried to pretrial my witnesses, prep my witnesses. Talk to my witnesses, whether they were police officers or civilians, but especially in a 1538.5 or in our preliminary hearing where there was going to be a 1538.5 as part of it, I would spend a fair amount of time with my police witnesses because I felt it was the way to properly prepare the case.
Chris Eggers: Right. Absolutely.
Chris Eggers: And you can, you know, do a lot of troubleshooting if it's done that way. But I always find it interesting that, you know, that was San Mateo Counties take and Oakland a little bit less, than San Francisco, even less.
Louis Goodman: Hmm that's interesting.
I was not really aware of that and I don't know how much that has to do with the individual Deputy DA or the culture of the office, but from my own experience, in terms of any kind of trial preparation, just as an attorney, whether it's as a DA or Defense Attorney, I want to talk to my witnesses and I want to be [00:08:00] clear about what it is they're going to say.
And to be very clear that they understand that the only thing they need to do is tell the truth.
As attorneys, how could we as attorneys improve our working relationships with investigators. And I think you've just touched on that a little bit in terms of witness preparation, but there's a lot that leads up to actually going on a witness stand.
And how could attorneys work better with investigators?
Chris Eggers: And do you meanlike private investigators on a case or an investigating officer?
Louis Goodman: Well, let's talk about both. Let's talk first about the relationship with an investigating officer, it would be unusual for you to really talk to a defense attorney very much as an investigator.
Chris Eggers: No, not much at all.
Louis Goodman: How about and talking to the District Attorney we have. People who were in the district attorney's office, who listened to this podcast.
Chris Eggers: Sure. And I think, you know, we kinda touched on it, but you know, just having setting some time aside to [00:09:00] have a conversation with the investigating officer about the case and, any kind of intricacies that may come up in a prelim or, a motion to suppress or trial of course.
And you nailed it, you know, you want to have that conversation with them to understand, not only about the case, but also a little bit maybe about them, if they have trouble testifying. And I know a lot of cops that, the scariest point in their career is going to be when they take the stand.
I personally don't have that. I love talking in public. The more people in front of me, the better. In this zoom era it's a little bit different because I can't gauge my audience. I don't have, you don't have that human touch that I personally really rely on in dealing with folks, but, there are a lot of cops out there that are just definitely afraid of getting on the stand in terms of working as a private investigator with attorneys. It's a totally different ball game and one that I'm really enjoying again.
There's I think that. There's some issues with, I don't want to say [00:10:00] issues, but like, you know, so I was a police officer where, you know, basically I'm in charge. I go to a scene and I'm in charge. I run the show, right. Or I should run the show or I should know how it's going to be, how things needed to get done on scene.
Now, you know, it's not your bar card on the line, not mine. Right. And so my role is not necessarily the leader, but I view my role now is to be a good team player. Sometimes that's taking initiative and sometimes that's taking direction. And so I think for attorneys, you know, one thing that I ask attorneys that I work with is, Hey, you know, just a little bit of direction on, you know, how you see this going. How does this benefit you? What would you like to see out of this? This is the attorney's case and I'm a tool for their benefit. And so it's a much different role that I'm playing now than when I was at this house.
Louis Goodman: Would you recommend law enforcement and investigations to a young person who was thinking about [00:11:00] one of those careers as a career choice?
Chris Eggers: It's a great question. And one that I just really difficult to answer if I'm being completely honest with you.
Louis Goodman: Gamble with the truth.
Chris Eggers: Yeah. I respect anybody that just does their job well, and that wants to be in the position that they're in.
You know, I think that to be successful in anything, you have to have a need or desire to want to be there. And so if somebody does have a need or want or desire to be a police officer or investigator, you know, go for it. I'm happy to talk to anybody out there that might be listening to pick my brain, because I do have a lot of experience there.
Louis Goodman: You steered yourself out of law enforcement, into private investigations. I'm wondering what prompted that career move.
Chris Eggers: Yeah, so not just private investigations. That's half of my business, the other half of my business is consulting in the cannabis space with respect to security. And that experience comes from [00:12:00] working undercover.
I spent a lot of time around admitted burglars and robbers and learned very intimately what the mindset was when they target a person, place for business. That's the takeaway that I got out of working undercover. Hey, I realized very early on in that timeframe that I was getting a very good inside view that very few cops get to have.
Louis Goodman: What about the business of investigations? It's kind of a new business for you, but how's it gone for you so far?
Chris Eggers: It's been fun. I've really enjoyed it. I'm learning a lot and I'm open to learning more. You know, I didn't come into this with the intention that I am the end all be all.
And I know it all right. I. And really laser focused on developing meaningful relationships in the industry and providing value where I can, with my unique perspective and my unique background.
Louis Goodman: How has being on the private side either met or differed from your [00:13:00] expectations?
Chris Eggers: It's exceeded my expectations because I was very ready to leave law enforcement.
And so I developed a plan and really looked at what I wanted to do and what, where my skill sets could be applied and I am an expert in burglary and robbery prevention. I'm really looking forward to using that in the cannabis space to help folks operate safely and within compliance of all local regulations, state regulations, et cetera.
Louis Goodman: What do you think is the best advice you've ever received?
Chris Eggers: Wow. Louis phenomenal question. The best advice I ever received. Trust your gut. I've heard that said different ways. But anytime that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, I followed my instincts. And I'm happy to say that, you know, I'm glad that I did.
Louis Goodman: From your perspective in the criminal justice system, do you think it's fair?
Chris Eggers: No, I don't think it's fair. I think that our system is not fair, but our system should be applied equally to everybody. No matter what.
[00:14:00] Louis Goodman: Let’s change gears here a little bit. What about your family life, personal life, recreational life.
What sort of things do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Chris Eggers: Well, we have an almost five month old. That's our first and thank you. It's amazing. You know, 2020 was wild for everybody. That's without a question, but, personally in my life, although I turned in my badge, you know, about a month ago, I had been off the streets since August.
I'm very blessed that my wife is my wife and I'm just really happy. So, you know, up here in the mountains, you know, we certainly, I split my time between the Bay Area and here, but that was in our plans. You know, my wife's from Tahoe City originally and they have some businesses in town. So moving up here was always in our plans.
I just sped up a little bit with, with 2020. We love hiking. We love skiing. You know, we love the outdoors. I'm a big wine guy. We love going wine tasting. You know, those are some of the [00:15:00] activities that we'd like to do outside of work.
Louis Goodman: What kind of things keep you up at night?
Chris Eggers: You know, there's no game plan for what I'm doing.
There's, I have a support system of folks and friends around me that are very supportive and willing to help me in this spectrum. But again, you know, I don't really have the path in law enforcement is to work 30 years and retire, collect your pension and, you know, go do whatever it is that you do after that.
It's a scary thing to start a new venture. There's no blueprint that I can follow to say that this is for sure 100% going to be successful. And so, you know, that's a very, frightening thing at times. But again, I rely on my skill set and using it to provide value to people and be a good team player.
And I am confident that, you know, I made the right choice.
Louis Goodman: Let's say you came into some real money, $3 or $4 billion. What, if anything, would you do different in your life?
Chris Eggers: I would do well, you know, personally for me, I [00:16:00] mean, it's funny, you asked that question because I saw a video of on ESPN. Shaquille O’Neal sees a guy in a jewelry store, putting a engagement ring on layaway and he slaps his card down. He pays for it, right. Somebody filmed him doing it. And if you watch Shaquille O’Neal's interview about it, they ask him about it. And he's like, you know, I don't do it for the notoriety. I just did it because it was the right thing to do. I was helping this guy out and I do that a lot. I met a lot of amazing people in Oakland that lived in violent neighborhoods and they were, they're amazing people.
I would love to be in a position to give back and provide resources to folks that otherwise might not have the opportunity that other people do. I'm a huge fan of Marshawn Lynch and what he's done for the community in Oakland. I'm a massive, huge fan of Damien Alert, basketball player for the Portland Trailblazers and what he's done for East Oakland and his neighborhood and Brookfield. There is a tremendous amount of talent[00:17:00] in East Oakland that I came across. And that's what I think about most. When I think about my career in law enforcement is the people that I've met. And some of these just amazing folks that I was able to come into contact with. And so I think if I had that kind of money, I would dedicate my time to figuring out how to use that money on a very grassroots level to provide resources and value to folks that otherwise might not have it.
Louis Goodman: Let's say you had a magic wand, that has one thing that you could do. What would that be?
Chris Eggers: I have a great answer for that. That's a tough one and I don't want to just give you an answer. You know, I'm very aware that I can only control what I can control, but I'm laser focused about doing just that and controlling what I can control and letting go of what I can not control.
You know, I hope that answer doesn't disappoint, but. That's a tough question.
Louis Goodman: Yeah. Well, I think that's a very important lesson to [00:18:00] learn. I think it's one of the biggest lessons I've learned in my life is that I can control what I can control, but I can't control what's on the other side of that line.
Chris Eggers: Yeah, absolutely. Right. I mean, you know, we are, I don't want to say we, I'll tell you about me. You know, I have anxiety sometimes about, I call it anxiety. I don't know what it is, but, you know, I'm worried about this, or I'm worried about that. And I constantly went, when that happens, I remind myself, Hey, I can control only what I can control and you know, that's my actions.
That's what I do, how I treat people. I can't control, you know, the feedback that I get. I can't control what people think about me or any number of other things. Right. I can only control what's within my power and I try really hard to let the rest go and just stay laser focused on, you know, what I'm doing and not in a selfish way.
That's, certainly not what I mean by that, but, you know, there's a lot out there that's totally [00:19:00] out of my control and I try my hardest to let, let that go.
Louis Goodman: Isthere anything you want to talk about that we haven't covered? That's maybe perhaps on the outline I sent you or it's not on the outline there, just anything else that you wanted to say or talk about?
Chris Eggers: This experience was a lot different than what I thought it would be.
Like. Your questions are very profound. They're very deep. They provide the opportunity for some very deep discussion and, you know, the ability to very quickly have your listeners learn about your guests.
Louis Goodman: Chris Eggers, thank you so much for joining me today on Love Thy Lawyer. It's been a fascinating experience talking to you.
Chris Eggers: Louis, thanks for having me. Really meant a lot to be here. Big fan of your podcast, and I was happy to be a guest on it. Thank you very much.
Louis Goodman: That's it for today's episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and subscribe to the podcast. If you [00:20:00] have comments or suggestions, send me an email.I promise I'll respond. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs, and information. Thanks as always to my guests to share their wisdom and to Joel Katz for music, Brian Matheson for technical support and Tracey Harvey. I'm Louis Goodman.
Chris Eggers: Uh, I guess I have a question for you. And I would like to know. Is that okay.
Louis Goodman: Sure. Yeah. I'm going to edit, this thing. It'll probably take it out anyway. So, you know, but go ahead.
Chris Eggers: Good. Well, I want the outtakes Louis, you know, cause you're very good at this. You're very good at getting people to open up and I've been following you for quite some time.
Louis Goodman: One of the first people who you checked in with me. Yeah.
Chris Eggers: Isn't [00:21:00] that fun. And look at me.
Louis Goodman: I told you not to leave the police department.