Oakland Bar Associations Using Experts in a Criminal Trial

by baronedefensefirm on November 17, 2010

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.


This post was written by...

– who has written 204 posts on Michigan Drunk Driving Lawyers.

Patrick T. Barone is the author on two books on DUI defense including the well respected two volume treatise Defending Drinking Drivers (James Publishing), and The DUI Book – A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding DUI Litigation in America. He is also the author of a monthly DUI defense column for the Criminal Defense Newsletter, published by Michigan’s State Appellate Defender’s Office. Mr. Barone is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he teaches Drunk Driving Law and Practice. He is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorney’s of Michigan’s Trial Lawyer’s College where he provides trial skills training to Michigan’s criminal defense practitioners. Mr. Barone lectures nationally on various DUI defense topics, and he has appeared in newspapers, on television and on radio as a drunk driving defense expert. Mr. Barone has been certified as an instructor and practitioner of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and has also attended a 24-hour certification course at National Patent Analytical Corporation (the manufacturer of the DataMaster) and has thereby been deemed competent by the manufacturer to operate, perform essential diagnostic verifications and calibration checks on the DataMaster. Mr. Barone is a Sustaining Member of College for DUI Defense. Mr. Barone is the principal and founding member of The Barone Defense Firm, whose practice is limited exclusively to defending drinking drivers. The Firm is headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan.

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