Law Professor Defends “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Gun

A law professor and commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights has filed a statement in support of the “Stand Your Ground” laws that were the subject of a recent Commission on Civil Rights report. Stand Your Ground Laws Under the common law castle doctrine, the use of deadly force is justified in […]

Conviction Reversed Because Expert Witness Vouched for Credibility of Accuser

Statue of justice

Appellate courts continue to reverse convictions when prosecutors use expert witnesses to vouch for the credibility of alleged victims. Credibility is for the jury to decide and no reasonable methodology allows an expert to determine whether another witness is telling the truth. Richard Hopkins was charged in Michigan with multiple counts of having sexual contact […]

Expert Testimony About the Value of a Statistical Life Rejected by Federal Court in Montana

Montana

The United States District Court for the District of Montana recently confronted an ongoing controversy in the measurement of wrongful death compensation. While different jurisdictions apply different standards for the compensation of wrongful death plaintiffs, a recurring question is whether damages should include the value of a statistical life. The district court decided that expert […]

Ninth Circuit Panel Questions Precedent

Gavel and scales

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in a case where a district court had used the wrong standard in barring expert testimony. However, in a concurring opinion, the judges noted that while precedent requires a new trial, that result didn’t make sense in this case. The District […]

Expert Opinions in Ohio Prosecutions Should Be Excluded If Not Disclosed in Report

Ohio wooden Mallet

Ronald Boasten was convicted of murdering his ex-wife, Brandi. They married after Brandi became pregnant and soon divorced after she had an affair. The couple reconciled and had another child together but did not remarry. Several years after they reconciled, Ronald suspected that Brandi was having another affair. After Ronald placed spyware on Brandi’s mobile […]

Netflix Series Highlights Issues With Bite Mark Evidence

A popular Netflix series has called attention to the faulty science behind bite mark evidence. Bite Mark Evidence Bite mark evidence purports to be a branch of forensic odontology, where dentists attempt to match marks that were found at crime scenes to dental impressions of suspects. When a victim has been bitten during the commission […]

Texas Case Illustrates Why Defense Lawyers Must Fight for Expert Witness Funding

Court Dismisses Expert Witness Lawsuit Against Professional Association

Bryan Gutierrez died three months before his second birthday. Efforts to revive him after he stopped breathing were futile. A paramedic eventually used forceps to extract a wad of paper towels, about the size of an egg, from his throat. By that time, however, his brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long. His […]

Failure to Challenge Expert Testimony of Pathologist Results in New Trial

Judge in courtroom

Janet Walsh was murdered by strangulation in her apartment. The police questioned Gregory Hopkins, who admitted that he had a casual sexual relationship with Walsh during the summer but denied being present when she died. Having no evidence to the contrary, the investigation languished. Walsh died in 1979. More than three decades later, advances in […]

Illinois Considers Updates to Supreme Court Expert Discovery Rules

USA legal system conceptual series - Illinois

Two proposed changes to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules that are pending before the Chicago Bar Association Civil Practice Committee affect expert witness discovery. The affected rules are Illinois Supreme Court Rule 203 and Rule 213. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 203 Illinois Supreme Court Rule 203 is titled, “Where Depositions May Be Taken.” Its current […]