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Seminar brings legal and forensics experts together to win cases

Forensic science can be a powerful weapon to a litigator and to law enforcement. A day-long seminar at Penn State Law on April 5 will provide an opportunity to learn from experts about forensic tools that can help win cases. "Forensic Science Legal Tools" is designed for prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and civil litigators as well as members of the science and law enforcement communities who may be expert witnesses. Students who are interested in careers in law, law enforcement, and/or forensics are encouraged to attend. The seminar is free to the public but there is a fee to register for continuing education credits.


 “The ‘CSI effect’ has created the perception that forensic science can solve and win cases with ease, but forensic scientists and law enforcement and legal professionals are continuing to face serious challenges on the collection and use of this evidence,” said David Kaye, a professor at Penn State Law who recently submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that pits the acquisition of DNA evidence against the right to privacy.

Kaye, who has written a comprehensive history of DNA evidence is a featured speaker and will be joined by Dr. Cedric Neumann, a member of Penn State’s Eberly College of Science Forensic program and a renowned expert on fingerprint evidence who helped develop the digital ink library for the U.S. Secret Service.

The agenda includes presentations on: Forensic DNA for Litigation; The Nature and Admissibility of Fingerprint Evidence; Selecting and Evaluating Experts; DNA Databases and the Fourth Amendment; and Confrontation Clause Challenges to Laboratory Reports and Testimony. “The agenda was developed to provide a basic overview but also allow participants to dive deeper into areas of special interest,” said Anjali Ranadive, president of SciLaw Forensics and the organizer of the event.

"Forensic Science Legal Tools" will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Greg Sutliff Auditorium, Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA, and the Apfelbaum Family Courtroom and Auditorium, Lewis Katz Hall, Carlisle, PA (via simulcast). The event will also be available via live webcast.

The Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has approved this program for 4.0 credits of substantive law, practice, and procedure credit and 1.0 credit of ethics, substance abuse, and professional credit. 

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