Each year the Oakland County Bar Association presents the “Anatomy of a Criminal Trial Brown Bag Series.” This series helps accomplished and aspiring members of the criminal defense bar learn about and stay on top of various legal issues involved in representing people charged with various crimes in Michigan.
Birmingham Michigan drunk driving defense lawyer Patrick Barone recently spoke at the seminar, and his topic was: How to use and Defend the Use of Expert Witnesses. Here is a snippet of the introduction:
The seminar began with the photo of a baby, and the question was asked “is science objective.” One of the attendees gave a very interesting answer and Mr. Barone expressed his opinion that science is not generally objective because there is nearly always a political component to science. Mr. Barone then discussed how especially difficult it is for science to be objective when it is used in the courtroom. Here is a snippet of that part of the presentation:
The seminar also included the discussion of how experts are used in criminal trials, and more particularly Michigan drunk driving trials, and how to keep out state experts such as forensic scientists.
The court rules and case law involved in the qualification of expert witnesses was discussed, and Mr. Barone offered his opinion that often the best the drunk driving and criminal law defense attorney can hope to accomplish is to limit the testimony of the state’s expert forensic scientist or toxicologist, rather than exclude their testimony completely.
Also, the seminar presented examples and an explanation of why Daubert does not apply in criminal cases to the defense expert.
The seminar materials included written handouts as well as a Expert Witness PowerPoint. The seminar can be viewed by videotape and inquiries in this regard should be made directly to the Oakland County Bar Association.