Jurisprudence Section News – September 2015

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Sources:  Christine Funk, JD, Section Chair and Stephanie Domitrovich, JD, PhD, Section Secretary

The Forensic Science Committee of The American Bar Association (ABA), Judicial Division, chaired by Stephanie Domitrovich, along with Jurisprudence Section members Andrew Sulner, Carol Henderson, Barry Scheck, as well as additional members of the Judicial Division, have promulgated a Resolution to the ABA House of Delegates indicating “the ABA urges the National Commission on Forensic Science to develop a model curriculum in the law and forensic science, and to provide training in that curriculum for federal, state, territorial, local and tribal judges.” The ABA’s House of Delegates passed this Resolution recently without opposition.

Stephanie Domitrovich is the recent Special Issues Editor for the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division’s Judges’ Journal Summer 2015 Edition which is entitled “FORENSIC SCIENCES: Judges as Gatekeepers.” In a few weeks, a website link will be available on the ABA’s Judges’ Journal website or you may contact Stephanie Domitrovich (sdomitrovich@eriecountygov.org) and she will send you a hard copy PDF of the entire issue. Jurisprudence members Ted Vosk and Carol Henderson also contributed to this edition. Member Ted Vosk published “Why Breath and Blood Tests in Intoxicated Driving Cases Currently Fail to Meet Basic Scientific and Legal Safeguards for Admissibility” (co-author Patrick Barone) in the July issue of the Michigan Bar Journal, in addition to his ABA publication.

Roderick Kennedy will speak to the Texas DUI Defense Lawyers Association in September about countering causes of judicial error regarding scientific evidence. Additionally, he will serve as part of a workshop approved for the Society of Toxicology concerning synthetic cannabinoids.

Robert Sanger is designing a rigorous curriculum in forensics for law students that would culminate in a Science and the Law specialization certificate awarded along with the JD degree. The program would involve a semester course in scientific evidence and a combination of electives in specific forensic areas. It is designed to educate future lawyers to work with forensic experts and to effectively present scientific evidence. If anyone has an interest in this concept or has particular experiences they would like to share, please contact Robert Sanger at rsanger@collegesoflaw.edu.