Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

I know this is not geared toward forensic clinicians, but my understanding is that there’s some valuable stuff in here regardless of what type of expert witness you may be. So it’s probably worth checking out NIJ’s new online course, Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert if you’re hoping to compound your knowledge around providing expert witness testimony.

I’m particularly interested in the section on Report Writing and Supporting Documentation, because that’s an area we don’t spend as much time discussing, and you know if you’ve ever heard me talk about testimony, I’m a big fan of analyzing scientific sources, which is the 1st module in the course. There are 13 modules in all, and if I have time this weekend, I will probably start working my way through them:

  1. Sources of Scientific Evidence
  2. Report Writing and Supporting Documentation
  3. Importance of Case Preparation
  4. Subpoenas vs. Promises to Appear
  5. Affidavits
  6. Being a Court-Appointed Expert
  7. Discovery
  8. General Testifying Tips
  9. Depositions
  10. Pretrial
  11. Trial
  12. Post-Trial, Pre-Sentencing
  13. Ethics for Experts

You can also read about the course and get some testimony tips in the latest NIJ Journal (PDF p. 24)