July 31, 2007

Animation to Support Expert Witness Findings

Luzerne County, PA First Assistant District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll is using animation as evidence in the murder trial of Jeff Dennis. "We bring to life their testimony,” said Andre Stuart, forensic evidence expert witness and head of the company handling the prosecution’s animation. Determination on whether animation can be used in a trial depends on the evidence discovered. The prosecution will argue that the animation supports expert witness analysis of the evidence. TimesLeader.com also writes:

“You can’t just have someone tell a story. It’s gotta have a basis to it,” Musto Carroll said. “It’s a very technical process that they go through … to make sure the experts can say, ‘Yes, this is in compliance with the expert report.’” Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola said the animation isn’t “like a motion picture.” It’s more of an animation of still photos and sketches to show where the suspect was standing, the position of the victim, the distance between the two, and the angle in which the bullet struck the victim.

July 30, 2007

Texas Dental Board Members Must Get OK To Serve As Expert Witnesses

Members of the Texas state dental board can no longer act as expert witnesses for other dentists facing malpractice lawsuits without first getting permission from others on the board. Earlier this year, several former board members said they saw no ethical problems with being paid as dentistry expert witnesses for dentists facing lawsuits. One board member did admit that his testimony most likely received more weight in court because of his position on the board. According to Statesman.com:

A similar provision covers the Texas Medical Board, which licenses doctors, physician assistants and others. Members of that board also have worked as experts for doctors facing lawsuits.... Gary McDonald of Kingwood, the dental board's presiding officer, said he supports the legislation, adding that for nearly a year the board has had an internal agreement to avoid doing expert witness work.

July 29, 2007

Expert Witness Perjures Himself

Expert witness James Earl Edmiston was sentenced Friday to one year and nine months in federal prison after pleading guilty to two perjury counts. Edmiston used a phony résumé to portray himself as a computer forensics expert witness. He listed degrees from Cal Tech and UCLA which were not offered by the universities. The Fresno Bee also writes:

He had been qualified as an expert witness in computers and had submitted documents and offered testimony in court, including Tulare County Superior Court and the Fresno County Superior Court branch in Clovis....Authorities, however, say that based on information they now have, no convictions have been jeopardized by Edmiston's actions. Mostly, attorneys say, new computer forensics experts had to be hired, leading to delays.

July 28, 2007

Expert Witness's Suicide Opens Challenges to Past Cases

The arrest and suicide of Seattle psychologist Stuart Greenberg could result in challenges to his recommendations and the resulting decisions handed down in past sexual-abuse and child-custody cases. Greenberg, a nationally recognized expert witness in sexual-abuse cases, also consulted for the Archdiocese of Seattle in their priest-abuse cases. Greenberg was arrested and then suspended from practice after he allegedly videotaped a woman in his office bathroom. The psychology expert witness frequently served as a parenting evaluator in child-custody cases. SeatteTimes.com also reports:

King County Presiding Judge Michael Trickey said the courts — and families going through custody battles — will have to contend with a number of difficult issues in the wake of Greenberg's arrest and subsequent death. He anticipates a flurry of challenges by parties who were unhappy with past evaluations involving Greenberg.

July 27, 2007

Expert Witnesses Crucial to Defendant in Penn State Stabbing

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira filed a motion Wednesday seeking to prevent Joseph Ventura's attorney from using three expert witnesses in support of his client's self-defense argument. Ventura is charged with the fatal stabbing of Penn State student Michael Donahue, 22. Ventura contends he acted in self-defense in the Feb. 19, 2006 altercation at Club Love. The defense is relying on three expert witnesses: toxicology expert witness Dr. Richard Saferstein, psychology expert witness Dr. Stanley E. Schneider, and pathology expert witness Dr. Jonathan L. Arden. Madeira argued in a motion Wednesday that none of these witnesses are relevant and is asking Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler to exclude their testimony at trial, scheduled for Aug. 8-10 reports CentreDaily.com.

July 26, 2007

Terrorism Expert Witness Explains Hamas Operations

Expert witness Dr. Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, continued his testimony Wednesday in the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. HLF is charged with channeling material support to HAMAS, the Palestinian terrorist group. Five HLF officials are on trial in Dallas while two others live abroad and are considered fugitives. Levitt, the prosecution’s terrorism expert witness, testified as a HAMAS expert about the group’s methods of recruitment and their violent attacks.
Counterterrorismblog.com also reports:

Levitt also spent considerable time discussing the charitable Zakat Committees. He called them “HAMAS’ most effective tool… they build grassroots support for the organization…(and) provide a logistical support mechanism to the terrorism wing by providing day jobs to HAMAS terrorists...Hamas seeks to establish an Islamic Palestinian state in all of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank," he said. Levitt has testified in other criminal trials in the United States including US v Marzook et al in Chicago and US v Al-Arian et al in Tampa.

July 25, 2007

Police Chief Called As Expert Witness

Bozeman Police Chief Mark Tymrak was called as an expert witness Monday in a trial to determine whether the department's leaders retaliated against Officer Steve Feuerstein when he complained about mishandled drugs. Feuerstein's lawsuit also claims the city violated state employment laws by failing to properly supervise him and provide him with a safe workplace. Law enforcement and police procedures expert witness Tymrak said he believes Feuerstein did not like the outcome of his complaint about mishandled drugs in the K-9 unit. Tymrak could find no evidence to support Feuerstein's claim that he was not properly supervised. BillingsGazette.com reports:

Feuerstein filed a lawsuit in March 2006 alleging officials in the Police Department violated his state and federal civil rights by retaliating against him.... Feuerstein alleges command officers denied him special assignments and duties after he reported fellow K-9 officers Brian Korell and Dave Punt gave illegal drugs to a civilian dog trainer. Feuerstein claims he was then ostracized by some officers who refused to respond to calls as backup to Feuerstein. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the city.

July 24, 2007

Terrorism Expert Witnesses to Testify vs. Holy Land Foundation

The jury was selected Friday in the case against the Holy Land Foundation charity and some of its organizers. Holy Land is accused of raising millions of dollars for the terrorist group Hamas. The trial will include at least three months of testimony and a decade of secret wiretap evidence gathered on the foundation. One of the government's expert witnesses is Matthew Levitt, author of Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad.

Prosecutors expect the terrorist expert witness will help convince the jury that Holy Land and its organizers raised money throughout the U.S. and sent it to Palestinian charity committees, who spent it on humanitarian aid. As reported in DallasNews.com:

The government says those Palestinian committees were controlled by Hamas, which the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization in 1995. Supporting any designated terrorist group is illegal.

July 23, 2007

Urban Planning Expert Witness Hired to Support City Annexation

Tupelo City Council members have hired an expert witness to support their efforts in annexing 16 square miles Lee County, Mississippi. Michael Slaughter of Slaughter & Associates in Oxford will testify supporting the city's annexation plan. Urban planning expert witness Slaughter has worked on prior annexations with Tupelo. Slaughter told the Daily Journal on Wednesday that based on a preliminary review, the areas Tupelo wants to annex appear to be reasonable and meet the state criteria for annexation. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal writes that:
....the county might oppose the city's current annexation attempt as it did the previous one. It recently made a similar attempt in which it tried to annex 10.2 square miles of county territory and 2,500 of its residents. That attempt was opposed by county officials, black community leaders in Tupelo and residents living in the proposed annexation area. The case lingered two years and cost taxpayers more than $600,000 in city and county legal fees before retired Chancellor Charles Thomas dismissed it in October, citing concerns about the city's evidence.

July 22, 2007

Gang Expert Witness Testifies in Military Death

A gang expert witness said Wednesday that the beating in which nine men punched Sgt. Juwan Johnson more than 200 times was a Gangster Disciples rite of passage that went wrong. Detective John Bowman, head gang investigator with the Killeen, Texas, Police Department, testified Wednesday as a gang crimes expert witness during the court martial.
Twenty-two year-old Pvt. Terrence Norman is charged with involuntary manslaughter in Johnson’s death. Johnson was scheduled to leave the Army three weeks after the date of his beating. Expert witness Bowman said he never heard of a "jump-in ceremony" happening so close to the time a person was set to leave the area where a gang operated. If convicted on all charges, Norman could spend 19 years behind bars. Stars and Stripes also reports:

Expert witness Col. Kathleen Ingwersen, the medical examiner who performed Johnson’s autopsy, testified that the 25-year-old died from multiple blunt force injuries and that, medically, Johnson’s death was a homicide....The autopsy showed Johnson suffered severe injuries to his brain and heart.

July 21, 2007

Accounting Expert Witness Testifies for Brocade Communications Exec

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco chose not to rule Thursday on whether to dismiss criminal charges against the former chief executive of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. Gregory Reyes is on trial for allegedly tampering with stock options and faces 10 felony security charges. Reyes' defense relied upon the testimony of an accounting expert witness. The expert witness described the applicable accounting rules and testified regarding the confusion about their interpretation. Reyes is charged with lying to investors and auditors about Brocade's stock options practices and falsifying records. MercuryNews.com further reports:

Reyes is accused of backdating stock options—picking favorable grant dates in the past when the company's stock price was low to boost the potential windfall for the recipient. The practice is not illegal if accounted for properly. Prosecutors allege that Reyes intentionally concealed the expenses to mislead investors about the true profitability of San Jose-based Brocade, which makes switches and software used to connect corporate servers and data storage systems. Reyes' defense lawyer, Richard Marmaro, said prosecutors have not proven that Reyes had criminal intent when he approved backdated stock option awards and signed off on faulty financial statements. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Crudo, the lead prosecutor, says "This crime was not an accident. This was an intentional and routine effort to game the system to keep the company growing while avoiding compensation expenses that would hurt the bottom line."

July 20, 2007

Emergency Medicine Expert Witness Testimony Upheld on Appeal

In USA v. Dean, 221 Fed. Appx. 849; 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 6219, Dean appealed his US Dist Ct, Middle District of Georgia, convictions for armed bank robbery stating that the expert witness in the lower court should not have testified. Dean argued that the district court erred by allowing Dr. Cindy Parker, a board-certified emergency room physician, to testify as an emergency medicine expert witness and give opinions beyond the reasonable limits of her expertise. Dean also objected to Parker's description of his behavior as "a little bit bizarre" during her examination of him and asserted claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

The appellate court ruled that Dean "could not carry his burden on the third prong of the plain error test -- an effect on his substantial rights -- given that several other government witnesses testified to the fact that Dean was not acting normally." Under a plain error analysis, an appellant has the burden of persuading the court that: (1) there was an error; (2) the error was plain or obvious; and (3) the error materially prejudiced a substantial right. The higher court affrimed Dean's convictions.

July 19, 2007

Expert Witness Opines for Notre Dame Coach

Notre Dame's head football coach Charlie Weis is suing two surgeons he says bungled his care after gastric bypass surgery five years ago. Gastric surgery expert witness Dr. Alan Wittgrove testified that one of the doctors made the wrong decisions when Weis took a turn for the worst after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2002.

Expert witness Wittgrove said Dr. Hodin should not have prescribed a blood thinner for Weis. The BostonChannel.com reports: "He should have operated on him to stop the bleeding. And in doing so, he would have repaired the leak that was also there," Wittgrove said. Weis is expected to take the stand on Wednesday.

In an odd turn of events, the first trial ended in a mistrial in February after a juror collapsed and the physicans being sued rushed to his aid.

July 18, 2007

Post Traumatic Stress Expert Witness Defends Marine

Post traumatic disorder expert witness Maria Mouratidis testified yesterday at Camp Pendleton that brain damage and mental illness may have impaired the judgment of Marine Cpl. Trent Thomas. Thomas is charged with assisting in the kidnapping and execution of a man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, on April 26, 2006. Expert witness Mouratidis, head of the Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, said Thomas suffers from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from exposure to explosions and other combat factors. Mouratidis testified that the two mental problems might have caused Thomas to take part in the alleged abduction and murder plot. SignOnSanDiego also reports:

“In a situation that is high-pressured, Cpl. Thomas would have found it very difficult to act in any way other than the way his superiors wanted him to,” Mouratidis said. She testified that Thomas told her about withstanding 25 to 30 bomb blasts in Iraq, including four that knocked him out. In addition, psychological tests show that Thomas lacks impulse control and the ability to properly process and assess things going on around him, Mouratidis said.

July 17, 2007

$43 Million Award Based on Utilities Expert Witness Testimony

St. Louis-based utility company Ameren, the Missouri State Public Counsel, and the Missouri State Attorney General have asked for an appeal of the $43 million annual rate increase awarded to Ameren in May. Utility regulators relied on the testimony of an electrical power and utilities expert witness in calculating the award. The expert witness had recommended a 9.8% rate increase while Ameren had asked for a 10.9% which would translate into a $361 million rate increase for its 1.2 million Missouri electric customers.

Ameren argues that the awarded increase still leaves rates 37% below the national average. As reported on Forbes.com: State Public Counsel Lewis Mills Jr., who represents consumer interests, and Attorney General Jay Nixon, who represents the state, both say Ameren should instead be forced to lower its electricity rates.

July 16, 2007

Is Transportation Offical an Impartial Expert Witness in Overpass Collapse?

Guy Richard, director of structures for the Quebec Transport Department, denies his department was responsible for the collapse of an overpass that killed five people last September. Richard's testimony contradicts every independent expert witness who has appeared before the commission to date and raises questions regarding his impartiality. Although Richard appeared as an independent transporation engineering expert witness Friday at the Johnson Commission hearings, he is a senior official at the transport department. He described the shear crack as hidden inside the overpass and that cutting into the overpass to check it would have damaged the structure. As reported in Canada.com:

Patrick Henry, lawyer for the employees of Desjardins Sauriol, the company that built the overpass, said Richard's credibility is very low because he essentially wears several hats. "He was the boss of the men who did the last two inspections, which have been criticized by a variety of experts," Henry noted. "He's testifying for his own cause." Henry said in an interview he will urge the commission in his pleadings to give very little credibility to Richard's report.

July 15, 2007

Computer Voting Expert Witness Testifies in Riverside CA Electonic Voting Hearings

Finnish computer voting expert witness Harri Hursti recommended in March that the Riverside, CA, Elections Review Committee drop their electronic voting machines. On July 17, 2007, the Riverside County “Blue Ribbon” Elections Review Committee will present the Board of Supervisors with the same recommentation. Riverside County is the first in the nation to move to touch-screen electronic voting systems. Now the county is being urged to use paper ballots which will be counted by optical scanners. The committee spent thousands of hours going over evidence contained in reports, interviews, and presentations by expert witnesses. As reported in the BradBlog:

The committee's findings also match the recommendations made by SAVE R VOTE (Secure Accurate Verifiable Elections Require Voter Observation of Touchscreen Equipment) to both the "Blue Ribbon" Elections Review Committee (ERC) and the Board Of Supervisors (BoS) earlier this year.

July 14, 2007

Higher Court Allows Expert Witness Testimony Against W.R. Grace & Co

The 9th Circuit Appellate Court in Seattle has overturned a Missoula judge's decision to ban dozens of expert witnesses and nonexperts from testifying in the criminal case against W.R. Grace & Co. Grace is charged with concealing the dangers of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mined near Libby. The three appellate judges ruled in favor of federal prosecutors who argued that U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy's decision to exlude asbestos expert witnesses impeded their efforts to bring Grace and seven of its current and former senior executives and managers to trial last September. Missoulian.com also reports:

“I am gratified by today's decision by the 9th Circuit,” said Montana U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer. “It moves the United States one step closer to the ultimate goal of trying the grand jury's charge against W.R. Grace and the individual defendants to a jury with a full complement of evidence.” In February 2005, the government obtained a 49-page, 10-count indictment against Grace and its officers, alleging criminal acts spanning 26 years and creating at least 1,200 victims and 230 potential witnesses. Those charges relate to the improper disposal of disease-causing asbestos, which experts say led to hundreds of deaths and sickened thousands more in Libby.

July 13, 2007

Mine Shaft Deaths Lead to Warnings From Expert Witness

Marshal Denhoff, a confined-space expert witness, testified this week that the small water-sampling shed where four people suffocated and tumbled into a mine shaft should have been clearly marked as a confined space. Denhoff said the shed at the Sullivan Mine in southeastern B.C. requires a sign under WorkSafeBC regulations. According to the Vancouver Sun,

Water sampler Doug Erickson, Teck Cominco worker Bob Newcombe and paramedics Shawn Currier and Kim Weitzel died between May 15 and 17, 2006, when they suffocated in the shed. Expert witness Denhoff said "It does take some expertise to recognize a confined space." He also said confined spaces should be monitored continuously for changes in atmosphere and everyone entering a confined space should have a monitor. Denhoff had several recommendations he hoped the jury would consider, one being that mine regulations need to match WorkSafe BC standards. Mine safety regulations do not require a sign. A five-person jury has been listening to testimony this week and will be able to make recommendations on how a similar tragedy could be avoided.

July 12, 2007

Celebrity Requests Court Delay to Accomodate Expert Witness

Celebrity Nicole Richie is fighting a DUI charge from last December and requested a extension until August so that her expert witness can appear. Her lawyers say that drug expert witness Dr. Terence Sean McGee is crucial to the case because he will be able to “challenge the prosecution’s scientific evidence and the conclusions reached by the drug recognition expert.” Richie was arrested on December 11 after she headed the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank. She failed a sobriety test and admitted to having smoked marijuana and taken a prescription painkiller. The next stage of the case will be a trial unless Richie takes a plea deal reports CelebrityCafe.com.

July 11, 2007

Expert Witness Henry Lee May Not Testify in Spector's Defense

Years before he allegedly shot actress Lana Clarkson, Phil Spector angrily declared that women "all deserve a bullet in their heads," a former security guard testified Monday. Spector had been escorted out of Christmas parties at Joan Rivers' New York home two years in a row in the 1990s after ranting about shooting women. Another setback in Spector's defense is the uncertainity that forensic science expert witness Henry Lee will appear as an expert. As reported in LATimes.com:

The defense is counting on Lee to convince jurors that bloodstains on Spector's clothing show that he was standing too far from Clarkson to have pulled the trigger. But Lee was rattled earlier in the trial when Fidler ruled that the scientist had hidden a piece of evidence from prosecutors. Lee told the Connecticut newspaper in a June 27 article, "My findings [are] not that important at all. Nine to 10 other expert witnesses will say the same thing. They don't really need me."

July 10, 2007

Forensics Expert Witness Testifies in $5 Million Case

Buena Park, CA's $5 million settlement with the family of a man shot by a police officer is one of the largest in Orange County history. Experts say it shows that Buena Park was afraid a jury would award even more. Expert witnesses were prepared to testify that the officer made several "tactical blunders" in confronting the suspect and the attorney for the family said he had evidence that contradicted the police version of the story. OCRegister.com reports:

George Wright, criminal justice chair at Santiago College, said it would have cost far less to defend the case, if city officials thought they had a chance. "I've never heard of a settlement that large in an officer-involved shooting," Wright said....According to court records, veteran gang officer Ron Furtado shot and killed Juan Herrera two days before Christmas in 2004, testifying later that he believed Herrera was leaning over as if to grab a weapon from under his car seat. However, Herrera, 23, was sitting upright, according to testimony from a forensics expert witness hired by Sayre.

July 9, 2007

Electricity Expert Witnesses Testify Re: $1.3 Billion Power Line

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has proposed a $1.3 billion, 150-mile superhighway of electricity known as Sunrise Powerlink. A month of hearings on the controversial power line began Monday with only expert witnesses taking the stand. The proceedings will study whether there are more affordable alternatives and the California Public Utilities Commission will decide in January whether to permit the project. San Francisco Bay Area electricity expert witness David Marcus will make the case that the power line is not needed. The NCTimes.com reports:

On Aug. 3, the company plans to release a report examining the project's likely impact on the environment and backcountry communities, said Jennifer Briscoe, a spokeswoman for San Diego Gas & Electric, in a phone interview. That report will trigger another round of commission hearings. "During the first phase (this month), evidence will focus mostly on the question of the need for the proposed new line," said Terrie Prosper, a commission spokeswoman in San Francisco, by e-mail.

July 8, 2007

Judges Rule that Attorney Did Not Call Upon Sufficient Expert Witnesses

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Friday that death row inmate Travis Glass deserves a new sentencing hearing because his defense attorney did not call enough expert witnesses. The lower court judge also said Glass’ attorney should have called upon a neuropsychologist, a learning disability expert witness, and a toxicologist. A toxicology expert witness could have testified that Glass was so drunk that he didn't understand his criminal actions. As reported in the Joplin Globe:

Among the potential witnesses cited by the judge was a doctor who treated Glass for bacterial meningitis in 1981, when Glass was just 23 months old. The Supreme Court majority agreed that the doctor could have provided mitigating evidence about the long-term effects of meningitis and Glass’ impaired mental abilities. Teachers could have explained that Glass had difficulties learning and had been harassed by other students for being overweight...and his probation officers could have spoken of his good behavior and cooperation.

July 7, 2007

Martinson Defense Depends on Expert Witness Testimony

Jurors will have to decide which expert witness to believe in the murder trial of 40-year-old Jeffrey Martinson. Martinson is charged with the first-degree murder of his 5-year-old son. Medical examiner, Dr. John Hu, wrote that the child was murdered and that the boy was poisoned with muscle relaxer. He wrote that asphyxia is also a possibility in the death. The defense has hired Dr. Janet Ophoven, an assistant coroner in rural St. Louis County, Minnesota, who will testify that the cause of death is only Wu’s opinion, and not a scientific fact. Coroner expert witness Ophoven will argue that there is no standard for the lethal dose of the muscle relaxer in a child. Reports the Ahwatukee Foothills News:

Police say that Joshua Eberle-Martinson was discovered dead on the top bunk of a bedroom in his father’s apartment. Martinson was discovered in the nearby master bedroom, unconscious with cuts on his wrists. All around the apartment, police discovered empty prescription bottles, over-the counter medicine, an empty liquor bottle and plastic bags that may have been used to suffocate the child.

July 6, 2007

Terrorism Expert Witness Testifies in Padilla Case

In the federal government's case against terrorism suspect Jose Padilla, Dr. Rohan Gunaratna is the leading expert witness. Author of Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, Gunaratna will explain Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network to jurors. Terrorism expert witness Gunaratna has described how Padilla formed a cell in Florida as part of the global terrorist network. The Miami Herald.com reports that Gunaratna stated the:

..."defendants shared the same goal as bin Laden -- to create Islamic states through any means necessary." Assistant U.S. Attorney John Shipley praised Gunaratna, telling U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, ``He's the leading scholar in this area."

July 5, 2007

Expert Witness Testifies Regarding Undercover Police High Speed Chase

Seattle undercover detectives may have violated police department rules on June 21st when they pursued a driver in a high speed chase. The department's rules state that "unmarked cars shall not participate in pursuits." Police say that Jesse James Toro II cut off three undercover officers in traffic which resulted in a high speed chase. Prosecutors say Toro then shot the tires out of the officers' SUV.

Police conduct expert witness D.P. Van Blaricom, a former Bellevue police chief, says there is good reason for the regulation against unmarked cars getting involved in high speed pursuits. The problem of chasing somebody in an unmarked car is that they don't know who the hell is chasing them," said Van Blaricom, who frequently testifies as an expert witness regarding police conduct.

Toro's defense claims the officers chased Toro at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour and broke departmental rules reports the SeattlePI.com http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/.

July 4, 2007

Pain Management Expert Witness Testifies in Doctor's Defense

Pain management expert witness Dr. Forest Tennant testified July 2nd that untreated chronic pain will break down the human body. Tennant heads a pain research clinic and is an expert witness for the defense of Dr. William Mangino, a Pennsylvania doctor being prosecuted for violations of the state’s drug act. Reports the New Castle News, Tennant viewed files of 11 of Mangino’s patients and commented that the guidelines for pain management “were quite well followed."

Tennant, a founder of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said the standards are that a doctor has to believe the patient and provide enough relief for the pain without sedating or impairing the patient...."Pain itself is a deadly disease," Tennant said, noting it can cause detrimental hormone changes in the brain, spinal cord and adrenal glands. “People with acute pain start rusting out from the inside if they don’t get pain relief, and it’s important to treat pain,” he said.

July 3, 2007

Use of Force Expert Witnesses Testify in Alleged Police Beating

Deptford, NJ, Police Patrolman John Gillespie is charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct after allegedly choking and beating Joseph Rao Jr., 20, during a traffic stop and arrest in February 2006. Last week the jury heard testimony from Rao himself. Expert witnesses then called to testify in the case included William Pearson, a law enforcement veteran from Morristown and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. The second witness called to the stand by the prosecution was Deptford Patrolman Sandra Reid. Ried processed the arrest of Rao on Feb. 2, 2006. The trial will resume Thursday with use of force expert witnesses. The trial is expected to last through the week of July 13th reports the CourierPostOnline.

July 2, 2007

Expert Witnesses Testify in Record Breaking Divorce Case

Last week the divorce trial of Peter and Nancy Tauck topped Connecticut records for time and money spent. Over $10.5 million has been spent and even the FBI got involved when Nancy Tauch claimed her husband's laptop had child pornography on it. Mrs. Tauck's attorneys told Robert Rabetsky, a computer expert witness, to deliver copies of a CD of images downloaded from the laptop's hard drive to the Westport police and the U.S. attorney's office. "I was told to make sure an FBI agent received it," Rabetsky testified.

But that charge is not likely to stick. By examining the cache or memory on the computer, expert witnesses on both sides testified that Peter Tauck could not have downloaded the pornographic images. Mr. Tauck was in Tahiti at the time and there was no evidence that the computer was accessed remotely. Someone did access the computer and it it likely that it was Mrs. Tauck. W. Anthony Whitledge, Nancy Tauck's computer forensics expert witness, testified that he could not rule out the possiblity that the wife did it, reports The Hartfort Courant.

July 1, 2007

Expert Witness Describes Overmedication of Inmates

Vermont Department of Corrections Health Director Dr. Susan Wehry says her state has 46% of its inmates on psychotropic medications which is the highest of any state in the country. Vermont also has highest number of inmates getting more than one psychiatric medication. The statistics are troubling to both prison rights advocates and corrections officials. "The question is why," said Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, a Denver-based psychiatrist and expert witness who has studied prison mental health systems around the country, including Vermont's. "They ought to figure out why."

The problem in prison is (drugs are) given to a lot of people to quiet them down," said prison mental health expert witness Dr. Terry Kupers, a California psychiatrist. "They're over-prescribed for people who are not psychotic but who are not sleeping or who are causing disruptions in the prisons," he said.
But Dr. Wehry says high numbers of inmates on psychiatric drugs is less a function of prisons than of prisoners. As reported in Boston.com, "Many arrive with substance abuse problems and soon learn some anti-psychotic drugs provide "a little buzz"...Many also arrive with several active prescriptions. "It is not at all uncommon for an offender to come in on three, four, five, or six medications for similar conditions" says Wehry.