I am a member of both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The NACDL puts on the best criminal defense seminars in the country. I just completed NACDL’s “Battle of the Experts: Beating Theirs, Winning with Yours”. Practicing attorneys in Florida, are required to complete Continuing Legal Education requirements in order to maintain their license to practice law. More importantly, it insures that I can put forth the best defense for my clients using the latest case law, theory, and defenses being used throughout the country. You want the criminal lawyer fighting for you to that keeps up with the latest trends in criminal defense.
The Florida Bar requires attorneys to complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Legal Education every three years. The hours and courses can be in any area of the law. I always choose courses that deal with criminal cases and the evidence code to insure my clients get the best result for their case. Currently, I have 77 hours completed already and my 3 year cycle doe not end until June of 2015.
These seminars give me an opportunity to network with the top criminal attorneys in the country. Criminal lawyers discuss and exchange ideas with other attorneys and experts.
The “Battle of the Experts” seminar dealt with science in criminal cases. Science is playing a major role in more and more criminal cases everyday. This includes:
- DNA evidence which is most often seen in rape, child molestation, and sexual battery cases. However, it is turning up in a lot of burglary cases lately. This occurs when the State Attorney is trying to prove who committed the burglary. The prosecutor uses DNA evidence collected from a suspect’s blood at the scene of a broken window that was used in order to gain access to the dwelling. The crime lab collects the blood on the window, sends it to the lab, and the prosecutor argues to the jury that is the perpetrator.
- Fingerprint evidence. Fingerprints are compared all the time in a wide range of criminal cases. Whether someone is a “match” is an argument made in court. Fingerprint analysis is not an exact science, but is subjective to the individual fingerprint analyst which can be a defense in your criminal case.
- Effective Use of experts and what judges are looking for in an expert. This is very important because sometimes an attorney has to convince the judge to allow your expert to testify. It also works the other way and you may be able to keep the prosecutor’s expert from testifying. Therefore, it is important to know how the court views “experts” in criminal cases.
- Attacking the credibility of a forensic lab. Did the lab or analyst follow proper procedure for testing your blood? DNA? Was proper protocol for testing followed? Could there be contamination? What does the latest since the report by National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that was sharply critical of the forensic science system in the United States.
These are just a few of the area covered in this seminar.
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