In Apartment Security and Litigation: Key Issues, criminalistics expert witness Daniel B. Kennedy writes on the nature of premises liability litigation in an apartment setting:
Criminologists and security specialists are very important in premises liability for negligent security litigation (Kennedy and Homant, 1996). Although the role of criminologists and security specialists in litigation has been criticized (Godwin and Godwin, 1984; Ingraham,
1987), it is often difficult to present or defend a premises liability case without the presentation of testimony by an expert. For example, before a duty even arises, a judge must be convinced that a given crime was foreseeable; that there was a reasonable likelihood or an appreciable chance that victimization would occur (Homant and Kennedy, 1994). Information to that effect can be presented through a criminologist who analyzes prior crime patterns at a location or in its surrounding neighborhood. The principle here is that the best way to forecast future crime at a location is to examine prior crime at a location. A criminologist may also examine certain land uses, architecture, socioeconomic characteristics, and general ecology of a neighborhood in order to establish the presence of crime correlates (Kennedy, 1993).