Newly Licensed Investigator Training & Education

Presented Online – Saturday, November 21, 2020

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


The Newly Licensed Investigator Training & Education (NLITE) is an introductory course that is the foundation of CALI’s Professional Development Program. The course covers the basics that every new licensee needs to know to begin a career as a Private Investigator in the State of California.

NLITE provides an overview of the profession, the must-haves when starting and operating a business, the laws that new PI's must be familiar with, ethical issues, and professional responsibilities.  Each attendee will leave with the practical knowledge and tools needed to be a successful Private Investigator and business owner.

NLITE is normally held twice each year (Northern and Southern California). Due to COVID, CALI has streamlined the presentation to work more efficiently as an online program.

Who Should Attend

Licensed Investigators with less than two years’ experience. 
NLITE is an introductory program for newly licensed investigators but all CALI members and nonmembers are welcome to attend.

Training Outline
  • Starting your PI Business-What Must Be Done To Operate In California.
  • Private Investigator Legal Updates and Current Cases.
  • How to Write Investigation Reports, Formatting, Multi-Case Scenarios.
  • Private Investigator Ethics Training Including Case-Specific Examples.
  • Legislation and the Investigation Industry.

NLITE will be presented online via Zoom at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.


Frank Huntington, III, CPI  CALI Secretary and Past CALI Chairman of the Board
altFrank received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the California State University, Sacramento in 1986.  Shortly thereafter, he began working for a licensed private investigator and in 1992 obtained his own license.  Frank specializes in criminal and civil investigations and is a certified professional investigator. Frank currently serves as the Director of the Sacramento CALI District and has served as the board’s chairman since 2010.  He has also served as CALI’s Legislative Day Chair since 2009.  Frank is the recipient of the CALI President’s award (2013), the Legislative Excellence Award (2016) and the Distinguished Achievement Award (2017).

Francie Koehler, CPI, CLI, CCDI – CALI Government Affairs Committee Chair 

Francie Koehler has been conducting civil and criminal investigations since 1985. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Koehler provides investigative services for attorneys from the private and public sector. As a licensed private investigator in California, her chief investigative focus is pre-trial and post-conviction criminal defense for both juvenile and adult defendants. Ms. Koehler is committed to the growth of the investigator profession and is an active member of both state and national associations. Her company, Special Circumstances, provides a variety of investigative services ranging from background searches, field investigations, pre-trial preparation to post-trial convictions.
Ms. Koehler’s cases have received attention from both television and print media. The TV show, Unsolved Mysteries, covered one of her cases. Crime authors Val McDermid and Anne Rule both wrote separately on two of Koehler’s cases. She can also be found weekly as host for PI’s Declassified! on Voice America Variety. The show is an internationally recognized internet radio program, designed to profile the role of the private investigator in the legal system.
Ms. Koehler is the former president of the National Council of Investigation & Security Services and of the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI). Awarded by both organizations for her work, she serves on their legislation committees and regularly testifies before the California State Legislature regarding bills concerning PI’s. She chairs CALI’s Government Affairs Committee and formerly chaired the same committee for the National Association of Legal Investigators. Francie has been recognized by her state regulatory agency for outstanding service to her profession. She holds memberships in the Council for International Investigators, World Association of Detectives and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Also, Ms. Kohler works with the Innocence Project and is a Certified Conflict Mediator.

Chris Reynolds  CALI Treasurer and CALI Past President

altChris Reynolds has been licensed as a Private Investigator in the State of California since 1979. After an apprenticeship working in a small law firm, Mr. Reynolds became, at 23 years old, one of the youngest licensed private investigators in California history. Since 1980, Mr. Reynolds has provided investigative services to civil and criminal defense attorneys. Since 1984, the firm has handled complex workplace investigations for businesses, governmental agencies and school districts. Workplace investigations include sexual harassment, discrimination of all types, testing irregularities, embezzlement, fraud, confidential board of trustee matters, and other personnel related issues. The firm has investigated over 900 workplace matters throughout California. Mr. Reynolds provides ongoing training and seminars to school districts and private businesses related to sexual harassment and discrimination.  

Mr. Reynolds is the only four-term President of CALI and he has served on the Board of Directors for seventeen years. Mr. Reynolds has been honored by CALI with the following awards:
  1. February 2007-CALI Investigator of the Year Award for achievements that resulted in a dismissal and an acquittal of two defendants charged with first-degree murder (separate cases).
  2. March 2009-CALI Legislative Excellence Award for work performed for CALI on legislative matters impacting the industry.
  3. June 2014-CALI Distinguished Achievement Award for Mr. Reynolds overall achievements with CALI and the industry. The DAA is the most prestigious and significant award a member can earn.
Renee A. Cervo – Newly Licensed Investigator Training And Education Committee Chair

altMs. Cervo has been in the role of Newly Licensed Investigator Training and Education Committee Chair since 2017. From 2011 to 2016, she served on the Newly Licensed Investigator Training and Education Committee, working closely with other CALI members to develop NLITE. Ms. Cervo received her PI license in 2010 and specialized in criminal defense investigations until 2020. She now conducts workplace investigations for one of the largest professional employment organizations in the US. Ms. Cervo has a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College. Before becoming a private investigator, Ms. Cervo worked for two of the bay area’s top asbestos litigation firms and in Human Resources at Fortune 500 financial services companies.
Ms. Cervo is also a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). In 2019 she attended the AWI Training Institute and now holds the designation of AWI-CH.
  For more information, go to Ms. Cervo’s LinkedIn profile.

Registration - No Charge

NLITE is an introductory program for newly licensed investigators. 

NLITE Membership Discount

NLITE attendees will have the option to join CALI at a special one-time discounted rate of $125.00 for the first year of membership. Annual Dues after the first year are $225.00. This opportunity will only be offered on the day of the event.

Read testimonials from previous attendees.