Saturday, February 6, 2010
New Problem. Old Solution: Andrew Perlman's "The Legal Ethics Of Metadata Mining" & What I Think It Tells Us About Compelled Forensic Imaging
Metadata is essentially information that is embedded in -- not apparent on the face of -- electronic documents, such as word processing files or spreadsheets. Metadata can contain a wide range of information, including the name of the person who originally authored the document, the date the document was created, the dates it was edited, the names of other people who edited it, and even the contents of previous edits. Andrew M. Perlman, The Legal Ethics of Metadata Mining, Akron Law Review (forthcoming)
Friday, February 5, 2010
All challenges, whether for cause or peremptory, should be addressed to the court outside of the presence of the jury, in a manner so that the jury panel is not aware of the nature of the challenge, the party making the challenge, or the basis of the court's ruling on the challenge.
Conversely, "[s]everal jurisdictions have determined that whether challenges for cause are made and argued in open court is a matter of discretion left to the trial court." In its recent opinion in People v. Flockhart, 2009 WL 4981910 (Colo.App. 2009), the Colorado Court of Appeals agreed with the ABA. I agree based upon the reasons cited by the court as well as Federal Rule of Evidence 606(a).
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Federal Rule of Evidence 1006 provides that
The contents of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs which cannot conveniently be examined in court may be presented in the form of a chart, summary, or calculation. The originals, or duplicates, shall be made available for examination or copying, or both, by other parties at reasonable time and place. The court may order that they be produced in court.
In its recent opinion in United States v. Isaacs, 2010 WL 252278 (7th Cir. 2010), the Seventh Circuit addressed the issue of whether the government made available to a defendant duplicates for examination and/or copying at a reasonable place and time. The Seventh Circuit found that it did, but I am not sure that I agree.
Program on Understanding Law, Sciene & Evidence (PULSE) Symposium @ UCLA School of Law, February 18, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Inaugural Symposium: Forensic Science
A Blueprint for the Future
Feb 18th, Thursday, 9 - 6 p.m. (public panels) | UCLA School of Law
For more information and to register please go to the Symposium website:
Hon. Nancy Gertner
D. Michael Risinger
THIS SYMPOSIUM IS MADE POSSIBLE,
IN PART, THANKS TO THE
GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS OF
A. BARRY & LORI CAPPELLO TO THE UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW.
Forensic science - from latent fingerprint analysis to firearms identification to DNA - is often among the most significant evidence introduced in criminal cases. Over the last few decades, it has also been the subject of significant controversy, with defense attorneys arguing that long-accepted forensic techniques lack scientific validation, and prosecutors vociferously defending their accuracy and reliability.
Last February, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a major and long-awaited report assessing the strengths and limitations of forensic science in the United States. The report explicitly criticized the lack of empirical and research basis underpinning some of the claims routinely made by many forensic scientists in court, and called for significant changes and major overhaul to our system of forensic science. This NAS report, which spurred congressional hearings and was recently cited in the Supreme Court, quickly garnered a great deal of attention from scholars, practitioners, and political stakeholders alike.
One year after this report, what, if anything has changed? This public symposium takes the one-year anniversary of the report as an opportunity to reflect on the aftermath of the National Academy report, its effects on courts, practitioners, scholars, and the forensic science community. But even more important, this symposium look forward to ask what does the future hold for forensic science? Flashing forward one decade or two, what should we expect, what should we fear, and what should we hope for? In this one-day symposium, key stakeholders will consider and help to create a blueprint for the future of forensic science.
This symposium, organized by UCLA's new Program on Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence (PULSE http://www.law.ucla.edu/pulse), brings together an extraordinary group of leading participants in the forensic science debates, including forensic practitioners, attorneys, law professors, psychologists, and judges, to engage in robust presentations and debates about the future of forensic science.
Panel topics to include: (1) The Central Debates Facing the Forensic Sciences; (2) Reflections on the National Academy Report: One Year later; (3) The Future of Forensic Science: Utopian Hopes and Rose-Colored Possibilities; and (4) Back To Reality: What to Expect for the Future of Forensic Science.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. To register, please go to www.law.ucla.edu/pulse/symposium and click for online registration.
Registration is free for UCLA students, faculty and staff. Advance registration is $50 for all others (including lunch). On-site registration, space permitting, will be $75.00
MCLE credit available. UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.
PULSE INAUGURAL LECTURE<http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=3267>
February 17, 2010 | UCLA School of Law
"Reframing Rights: The Constitutional Implications of Technological Change"
Professor Sheila Jasanoff<http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/sheila-jasanoff>
Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
12:15 p.m. – lunch available at noon
To attend, RSVP to email@example.com
Monday, February 1, 2010
Competent Opinion: Supreme Court Of New Hampshire Reverses Sexual Assault Conviction Based Upon Incorrect Competency Ruling
New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 601 provides that:
(a) General rule of competency. Every person is competent to be a witness except as otherwise provided by statute or in these rules.
(b) Incompetence of a witness. A person is not competent to testify as a witness if the court finds that the witness lacks sufficient capacity to observe, remember and narrate as well as understand the duty to tell the truth.
It was the finding of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire in its recent opinion in State v. Horak, 2010 WL 114537 (N.H. 2010), that the complainant lacked this last capacity that led it to reverse and remand.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Private Eyes Are Watching You: Sixth Circuit Finds Sequestration Of Defense Private Investigator Proper Under Rule 615
Federal Rule of Evidence 615 provides that
At the request of a party the court shall order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses, and it may make the order of its own motion. This rule does not authorize exclusion of (1) a party who is a natural person, or (2) an officer or employee of a party which is not a natural person designated as its representative by its attorney, or (3) a person whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of the party's cause, or (4) a person authorized by statute to be present.
You are a trial judge and have decided to order witnesses excluded. Defense counsel argues that the order should not apply to the defense's private investigator because the investigator interviewed several government witnesses and could provide immediate insight to their cross-examinations if allowed to remain in the courtroom. How should you rule under Federal Rule of Evidence 615(3)? That was the answer facing the Sixth Circuit in its recent opinion in United States v. McClendon, 2010 WL 272878 (6th Cir. 2010).