Investigator for San Francisco Bay Area Attorneys

Private Investigator Mike Spencer is a leading legal investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area. He helps lawyers and legal staffs on many cases. He earned his private investigator license more than two decades ago.

Readers of The Recorder legal newspaper voted Spencer best private investigator several years in a row. Furthermore, top attorneys in the state of California use him.

Criminal defense cases and civil matters occupy him. Spencer holds associate memberships in Alameda County Bar Association, Contra Costa County Bar Association, Alameda Contra Contra Costa Trial Lawyers. Attorneys trust him.

He investigates personal injury cases from dog bites to slip and falls. Spencer knows where to look for information in wrongful death and premises liability cases. His experience makes the difference with witness statements and managing witnesses. Mike works well will all the staff in a law office, from solo to big firm.

Private Investigator Mike Spencer keeps up with information to help criminal defense lawyers and clients

Spencer is a former police and crime reporter. He brings expertise to his work on East Bay criminal defense cases. He has worked for northern California criminal defense lawyers in private practice and in court-appointed cases. He testifies in Bay Area courts in Oakland, Martinez, Walnut Creek, San Francisco and San Jose.

An assistant helps him locate witnesses and defendants. They also serve subpoenas and legal papers.

Working a legal case means investigating with purpose. However, he never cuts corners. Private Investigator Mike Spencer develops a rapport with witnesses. Spencer knows how to act as a buffer between witnesses and lawyers. He gains the trust of his interview subjects. He writes detailed reports. He understands that credibility is important in any legal case.

Top Rated East Bay Private Investigator

We are the top investigator in the East Bay. Clients review us in two places on Yelp: Spencer Investigations of Oakland and Spencer Elrod Services in Walnut Creek. The reason for this is Spencer Investigations was the original business name and listing, founded in 1997. Out of a total of 26 reviews, 23 reviews are 5 stars. The only three negative reviews came from people we turned down and who never hired us. We refuse business when it’s not legal, ethical or a good fit.

Yelp filters reviews in strange ways. As a small business we appreciate customer loyalty. But, a few great reviews never appear. We helped a robbery victim when police did not investigate. We saved a man from prosecution in a child abuse case. Our detective work cleared the man and saved his job. We helped another client and his lawyers win a civil case.

We win cases. We commit to our clients. We do quality criminal defense, surveillance, personal injury, civil cases and more. We charge fair rates but are not cheap. We strive to give clients honest and accurate information.


-Mike did an outstanding and professional job for me. His swift, thorough, and professional investigation enabled me to avoid more severe damage to my reputation. I cannot begin to thank Mike enough for his dedication and integrity and willingness to dig in and quickly find the truth. I would be happy to have a conversation with anyone who would like more detail.


-I hired Mike Spencer after I was robbed at gunpoint in Oakland but the Oakland Police Department refused to investigate, even though the robbers had left a clear trail by using my credit cards shortly after the robbery. Mike quickly and efficiency obtained surveillance video of the robbers making a purchase at the drive-through window of a local fast-food restaurant, after which he tracked down the owner of the car they were driving, but incredibly the Oakland police refused to do anything further, saying they were overwhelmed with a backlog of several thousand armed robberies and mine was “at the bottom of the pile.” The police were pathetic, but Mike was marvelous. I recommend him very, very highly.


-I utilized the services of Spencer-Elrod recently. Mike Spencer was very professional and discreet. At the initial contact, he collected the necessary details and made recommendations that led to a well-thought-out plan. He also seamlessly worked with my legal counsel effectively forming a team to best achieve my goals. His experience and background allowed him to dismiss impractical or unwise ideas leading up to the plan. He executed the plan in a timely manner and was extremely thorough in its execution and documentation of activity.

As conditions became more challenging, he was quick to work with me and my counsel to formulate alternate plans, again and again. He was able to recruit additional personnel and resources in an ‘out-of-the-box’ fashion in order to get the job done.

Eventually, his work required write-up and submission to the courts to proceed legally. He worked well with my legal counsel on this.

It was clear that Mr Spencer treated my final objective as his objective rather than taking the position that he had fulfilled the services of the original plan regardless of whether my objective was achieved or not. And just as importantly, the additional work required of him was all performed within the original retainer. – there was no ‘nickeling and dime-ing’ even when I asked him on occasion to look into this or that or follow-up on a side lead.

I would definitely use the services of Mr Spencer again and recommend him to others.