The text from the article is transcribed below.
Private Eye Shares ‘Best OC Businesses’ List
By Jan Norman
For more 30 years, Newport Beach private investigator Thomas Martin (pictured below), head of Martin Investigations has been keeping a private list of the best attorneys in various specialties.
Attorneys can’t buy their way onto the list, though some have tried.
“In Orange County mabye 1,500 attorneys practice family law. We recommend 17,” Martin says. When a client needs a good attorney, Martin goes to his list. Over the years, clients and friends have broadened their requests. Do you know a good architect? How about a children’s photographer? Who’s the best private security guard service?
Martin has a good reputation as a former supervisory federal agent for the Department of Justice who only hires former federal agents. Plus he’s done corporate security and private investigations in Orange County for 35 years. So many people trust his ability to spot a bad apple.
Martin has now published his list of top. trusted Orange County businesses on his Web site. He still doesn’t share all his attorney resources.
There are a lot of “best of” lists and directories. The Orange County Register has published The Best of Orange County based on readers’ votes for 14 years. We do sell ads for it. Click here to see the searchable 2007 edition. The 2008 version will be out Sept. 19.
Maybe you’ve noticed the Register’s solicitation for nominations for a list of best O.C. workplaces. No? Click here.
And of course there are hundreds of pay-for-listing directories. One of the newest locally is Orange County’s Best Dentists, which just launched.
And that doesn’t include all the my-favorites on MySpace and other social networking sites.
People use such lists because they know and trust the compiler or- let’s face it- they’re desperate and have to start somewhere.
Martin makes it tough to get on his list. Each person on the list has been profusely praised and recommended by at least 10 different people Martin knows and trusts. He or his staff have also checked them out for lawsuits, trouble with licensing agencies etc.
“These are ones my staff and I over 35 years of experience have identified as trustworthy, reputable local businesses. We’re not saying this is the only good person in town, but it’s a good start,” Martin says.
There are good businesses that have referred him lots of investigative work over the years who aren’t on his list. And he acknowledges that he doesn’t use every business on the list.
“I’ve never used the women’s shopper, but I must have 30 different women who swear she’s the bomb,” he says.
Martin is willing to add more businesses to the list if they meet the standards. If you have a beef with one of the listed businesses, send Martin an e-mail.