This Courtroom Testimony for the Forensic Science Professional's course is designed to instruct proper testimony techniques to forensic science professionals, such as those employed in the fields of crime scene investigations, fingerprint analysis, and laboratory analysis.
Practitioners in these disciplines are frequently called upon to testify in court regarding the techniques, observations, and conclusions undertaken in their work. Often, they are requested to express opinions in their courtroom testimony, which is only possible when they are accepted by the court as expert witnesses. The goal of this course is to provide the students with the knowledge and practical experience necessary to successfully testify in a court of law as a forensic expert witness.
The first step in being accepted as a forensic expert witness is to survive the “voir dire.” Students will learn how to prepare themselves and the concerned attorney(s) for this important initial step. The course will continue by covering techniques the witness can employ to more effectively explain scientific evidence to the judge and jury.
Concepts covered in the course will be reinforced by practical exercises in which the students will participate.
Federal (and local) rules of evidence
Expert Witness Role
Exercise 1 - Testifying vs teaching (discussion)
Daubert vs Frye
Forensic Science Court Decisions
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report and new policy recommendations
Curriculum Vitae vs Resume
Exercise 2 - Discuss and write an effective and professional CV
Criminal vs civil case testimony
Professional attire and demeanor
Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic (VARK) Learning type and Juror perspective
Exercise 3 – Practice the different VARK learning techniques
Visual Aids importance
Exercise 4 - Visual Aids (ideas discussion)
Pretrial conference – Testimony expectations
Pretrial conference – in limine (off limit) topics
Preparing for Testimony - Qualifying questions
Exercise 5 – Qualifying questions (discussion)
Preparing for Testimony - Direct Examination
Preparing for Testimony - Cross Examination
Current Hot topics and publications (Bias, Organization of Scientific Area Committees, Scientific Working Group, PCAST, National Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Moot Court preparation
DAY 3 Exercise 6 - Moot Court
This course has been approved for 24 hours of certification/re-certification training credit in the IAI Latent Print Certification Board.