Research & Analysis

Historical Detectives for the Most Challenging Research Questions

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historical research investigation projects successfully completed

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recovered in CERCLA response costs from federal government

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Global Research Investigations

As experts in research and analysis, it is part of our DNA to always go the extra mile to uncover the facts at issue in your legal matter. Our multidisciplinary team of PhD and MA-trained historians, researchers, archivists, and subject-matter experts have successfully completed historical investigations throughout the United States and around the globe.


Clients trust HAI to deliver insight and historical perspective in the following areas:

  • PRP Searches and CERCLA cost recovery
  • Product liability and toxic torts research
  • Corporate succession/corporate genealogy
  • State of knowledge investigations
  • Government contract searches
  • Forensic environmental investigations
  • Land use, watershed, and site histories
  • Nuclear industry histories
  • Holocaust and looted art investigations
  • Native American rights disputes
  • Water rights and coastal erosion disputes
  • Insurance recovery research
  • Intellectual property investigations
  • Legislative and regulatory history
  • Manufactured gas plant (MGP) issues
  • Slavery disclosure research
  • Climate change research

Many of our clients are recurring customers—they value our professional knowledge of
historical research methods; our broad understanding of government, corporate, and private
records holdings; and our ability to deliver expedited documentation, insight, and perspective
on the most difficult factual research questions.

Complex Litigation Support

Since inception, HAI has completed more than 1,300 historical research investigations—we have extensive experience in delivering insight and perspective in support of the most complex legal matters.

We have expertise in investigating the most challenging research topics and can assist through the entire life cycle of a case—whether you are responding to a regulatory request or pursuing litigation or alternative dispute resolution.

Our litigation support services include:

  • Preparation of compliance/enforcement responses
  • Pre-litigation and general background investigations
  • Discovery and document analysis
  • Fact-checking of deposition responses and eyewitness testimony
  • Vetting of experts
  • Settlement and mediation negotiations support
  • Fact witness identification
  • Expert testimony
  • Rule 30(b)(6) representatives

We also maintain specialized in-house libraries pertaining to asbestos, trichloroethylene (TCE),
polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), and perchlorates. These document repositories includes historical specifications, health and hygiene manuals, specialized publications, material data safety sheets, and other unique historical documents commonly utilized in complex litigation.

HAI has provided consulting and analytical services to half of the top 100 law firms as ranked by the AM Law 100 and Vault Law 100 and counts among its clients numerous Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, and multiple state attorneys general.

Expert Testimony and Rule 30(b)(6) Representatives

HAI is a nationally recognized research and analysis consultancy with experience providing expert witness service to the environmental, energy, government contracts, insurance recovery, and toxic torts practice areas.

Since 1981, our PhD and MA-trained historians and subject-matter experts have served as consulting experts and as corporate representatives under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), providing historical analysis and subject matter expertise on an array of matters including:

  • CERCLA cost recovery
  • Land, water, and boundary disputes
  • Site use histories
  • State of knowledge investigations
  • Corporate genealogy and corporate succession
  • Asbestos/toxic torts

Our expert testimonies and Rule 30(b)(6) representatives conform to the highest professional standards of the discipline and our multidisciplinary staff has a wide range of topical knowledge and technical expertise. We also routinely collaborate with experts from other disciplines. HAI has the in-house capability to prepare compelling demonstrative evidence—such as GIS interactive maps, site overlays, and other interactive visuals—for trial, mediation, and settlement negotiations.

In addition to trial and mediation testimony, our in-house experts can help draft regulatory filings; assist in pretrial motions and discovery requests; authenticate documents under the Federal Rules of Evidence; and organize and analyze historical materials provided by opposing parties, experts, and eyewitnesses.

FOIA and FOIL Professional Services

HAI is a nationally recognized expert in obtaining documents through federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, state and local Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, and other sunshine laws.

Although federal agencies must respond to FOIA requests within 20 business days, this response often consists of merely an acknowledgment of your request, with the actual fulfillment taking much longer. It is common for some agencies to take months or even years to respond to certain FOIA requests.

Our unsurpassed knowledge of federal, state, and local records systems; understanding of agency retention schedules; and proprietary in-house resources enable us to know what materials to ask for and to work remotely with records gatekeepers to guide the materials to final release. Our FOIA releases are more likely to succeed, which means that you are able to get access to potentially-relevant documents sooner, allowing you to mitigate risk and obtain successful legal results.

HAI has developed several proprietary databases that allow for streamlined and targeted requests for documents in the possession of federal agencies—including files still under agency control. HAI also maintains a database of all significant U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract actions since fiscal year 1966. This resource is vital when requesting contractual records through the FOIA process.

Regulatory Compliance Research

Since 1981, HAI has provided research in support of federal, state, and local compliance and enforcement responses. Top national and regional law firms trust HAI to undertake critical and time-sensitive research tasks with discretion and efficiency.

Our research findings have been used by attorneys to respond to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 104(e) information requests under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, commonly referred to as Superfund), as well as state and local environmental information reporting and compliance requests. Other clients have engaged us to prepare general site histories in support of real estate transactions or corporate succession and due diligence research in support of M&A transactions.

HAI has also been engaged by top U.S. and European banks and financial institutions to support the preparation of economic disclosure statements in order to comply with local and city ordinances requiring the disclosure of slavery-era business connections.

Crisis Management Support

Understanding historical context—and confirming the relevant facts—can be at the heart of crisis management. HAI has assisted law firms, corporate counsel, and public relations professionals in understanding the complex social, political, and economic dimensions of crisis situations. Our company was launched as a result of one of our first investigations–detailing the federal response at Three Mile Island, the site of America’s worst nuclear power accident.

Since that time, HAI has been consulted or called to investigate and research some of the most sensitive matters—human trafficking, the use of forced and slave labor during World War II, and Holocaust-era looted assets. HAI also served as a historical consultant to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), established under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (Public Law 105-246).

HAI has also advised clients on the history of emerging contaminants-of-interest like coal ash and the “forever chemicals” of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as well as a range of other allegedly toxic substances.

“We would have had a much more difficult, if not impossible, time proving our case, but for the documents and information provided to us by the experienced folks at History Associates.”

Linda Tape
Attorney, Husch Blackwell
“History Associates did a great job providing critical research in a short turn-around time – with excellent capabilities, attention to detail, and research knowledge. Their responsiveness and ability to gather the information so quickly was like a concierge service. I would recommend them.”

Solomon Pantuch
Attorney, Foley & Mansfield
“My research into the origins of Arizona’s modern securities act wasn’t coming up with anything, so I turned to History Associates for help. As historians, they knew the background of the industry and the key players involved right away. They got right to the bottom of the issue and identified potential sources for information, regularly updating me on their progress. They found material in the archives I never would have found, including correspondence from 1949 that showed the thinking processes behind the legislation. I would not have gotten there without their help.”

Richard G. Himelrick
Attorney at Law, Tiffany & Bosco P.A. Director of Operations, United Brotherhood of Carpenters
“It’s been great working with all of you over the last few years. You guys have done some seriously excellent work for us.”

Richard M. Brodsky
Miles & Stockbridge
“Thank you and your team for the excellent work!”

Jack Terry
Husch Blackwell LLP
“It was really great to meet and work with everyone from History Associates. If Jamie, Jason, and Allison are a sampling of the company, it is no surprise that you’re 'The Best Company in History'!”

Barry G. Stratford
Perkins Coie LLP