Mich. judge on panel for ABA webinar

By Frank Weir

Legal News

Washtenaw County Trial Court Chief Judge Donald Shelton is a "special guest" of the upcoming ABA live 90-minute webinar, "Judges' Roundtable: The State of Forensic Science and Current Evidentiary Issues" on July 21.

The program will begin at 1 p.m. and registration can be completed at http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/t11jrt1.html.

The expert panel will discuss a congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences that found serious deficiencies in the nation's forensic science system and called for major reforms and new research.

According to an ABA spokesperson, the panel will review the report's findings and discuss the implication of those findings on evidentiary issues in state and federal trials.

"Our panel will discuss the current status of various kinds of forensic evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, tool marks, firearms and bullets, fire and arson investigation and bloodstain evidence.

"In addition, the panel will discuss the criteria for admissibility of forensic evidence, new issues that may dramatically affect admissibility, and issues related to the qualification of forensic science expert witnesses."

Shelton is the author of "Forensic Science in Court: Challenges in the Twenty-First Century" and has long had a scholarly interest in forensic sciences and how juror's perceptions are affected by television programs centering on forensic science investigations.

Other panel members will include, Judge Herbert Dixon Jr., Superior Court of the District of Columbia, moderator; Judge Joy Flowers Conti, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania; Justice Henry duPont Ridgely, Delaware Supreme Court; and Magistrate Judge David Waxse, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas.

Published: Tue, Jul 19, 2011