2017 National Forensic College

The 4th annual NACDL and Cardozo School of Law National Forensic College (NFC), presented in collaboration with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Defender Services Training Division, will take place Sunday, June 4 through Friday, June 9, 2017 in New York City. The purpose of this college is to instruct supervisors, trainers, and experienced litigators who are or will be the forensic science experts or point people in their jurisdictions. Both trial and post-conviction litigators are welcome. The college will prepare attorneys to litigate complex forensic science issues strategically and with the support of the nation’s leading law firms and experts. Attendance is by invitation only.


Private Attorneys 

The tuition cost for attorneys in private practice is only $999 for the entire week. Lodging is available at a midtown hotel block (group rate ranges from $209 - $309 depending on the night, for an average rate of $255/night for the week). Individuals interested in taking advantage of the hotel block should contact Peter Walsh at pwalsh@yu.edu or 212.790.0315.

State & Federal Defenders  

The tuition cost of the College for state and federal defenders is $400 for the week. Dormitory housing is available at the New School in the 13th Street Residence Hall dormitory located one and a half blocks from Cardozo. Beds are available in single rooms and shared double rooms, with several rooms per floor and 3 to 4 shared private bathrooms in the hallways of each floor. The rate for the week is $410/person for a shared room, and there are a limited number of single rooms available for $480/person. Hotel accommodations will also be available (average nightly rate for the week is $255). Individuals interested in taking advantage of the hotel block should contact Peter Walsh at pwalsh@yu.edu or 212.790.0315. Some scholarships are available for tuition and dormitory accommodations. Scholarships are not available for hotel accommodations.

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Draft Agenda (Subject to Change)

Sunday, June 4, 2017 Introduction & Overview of Forensic Issues 
10:00 - 10:30 Introduction to the College and to Each Other: Barry Scheck and Nina Chernoff
Who we are and who you are; responses to the pre-college survey; goals of the National Forensic College and Day One. 
10:30 - 11:45 The PCAST Report: Its Legal Framework for Admissibility
PCAST requires “empirical evidence” of “foundational validity” and “validity as applied” as admissibility requirements under FRE 702 and insists that judges must cede to scientists the determination of the scientific standards that govern scientific validity. Will courts accept this analysis? How does it apply under Kumho Tire? How will the PCAST analysis fare in Frye jurisdictions? A beginning of the conversation as to how can the PCAST position be most effectively framed in admissibility challenges, motions to limit expert testimony, jury charges, and argument.  Speakers: Nancy Gertner, Barry Scheck  
11:45 - 12:00  Break 
12:00 - 1:15 Quantification, Classification, and Comparison: Statistics and Probabilities      Speaker: William Thompson  

12:00 - 12:50: Feedback: 

Bill Thompson will answer your questions about the Lawyer’s Guide to Probability and Statistics videos, especially the video on Comparison that you will have watched in advance.  This session will give you an opportunity to clear up any areas of confusion and make sure can apply these concepts to your cases. 

12:50 - 1:15: Synthesis Exercise on Statistics and Probabilities 

What have you learned about statistics and forensic conclusions? In this session you will create a video for your colleagues, synthesizing the three key take always for litigators from this session.  

1:15 - 2:15 Lunch 
2:15 - 4:00 The PCAST Report: Building Blocks for Validating Forensic Methods
: Diana Pankevich and Julia Leighton

2:15 - 3:30:

Scientific reliability = repeatable + reproducible + accurate. Repeatability, reproducibility, and accuracy can only be assessed through appropriate empirical studies.  Appropriate empirical studies for subjective methods = large numbers of independent sets + similarity to case work.  It may sound like Greek but as you will learn it is straight forward science speak for how scientists assess any theory or any method.     

3:30 - 4:00: Synthesis Exercise on Validation 

What have you learned about valid study design? In this session you will have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned by critiquing a study proffered by the government – and then argue to a judge about why the court should not be persuaded by it. 

4:00 - 4:15  Break 
4:15 - 5:30 The Judicial Perspective with Judge Rakoff and Judge Dwyer

Two of the nation’s  most thoughtful and respected judges on complex questions of science and the law will reflect on the implications of the PCAST Report generally and the potential for different outcomes under Daubert, Kumho Tire, and state court Frye standards. Speakers: The Honorable Mark Dwyer, The Honorable Jed Rakoff

Monday, June 5, 2017 - Litigating Eyewitness Identification Cases 
8:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 - 9:30 Fact Busting Part I
Working from the day’s hypothetical, participants will identify and categorize facts relating to the crime and the identification.
Facilitators: Karen Newirth and Jennifer Sellitti
9:30 - 10:30 Understanding the Science
In this session, Dr. Nancy Franklin, a psychologist who studies eyewitness memory and perception and who frequently testifies as an expert about eyewitness identification issues, will give an overview of the relevant research.
Lecturer: Nancy Franklin, PhD
10:30 - 10:50 Fact Busting Part II
Participants will revisit the facts identified and categorized in Fact Busting Part I and will identify any new information that seems important in light of the science. Facilitators will present and explain their ideal theme and theory for the day’s hypothetical.
Facilitators: Karen Newirth and Jennifer Sellitti
10:50 - 11:05 Break 
11:05 - 11:50 What’s Wrong With Manson and How to Fix It
In this session, we will discuss the intrinsic flaws of the Manson-based balancing test and what judicial reform looks like. We will also discuss how Manson-based balancing tests can be made to work better through the incorporation of scientific research findings and alternative approaches to admissibility challenges.
Lecturer: Karen Newirth
11:50 - 1:00 Lunch in Small Groups
Lunch will be provided. Please join one of the small discussion groups to ask questions of experts in each area. Discussion groups will begin promptly at 12:00 and will end at 12:50 to give participants some free time before returning to the day’s program.
Investigation: Jennifer Sellitti
Working with Experts: Nancy Franklin and Radha Natarajan
Themes & Theories: Emily Voshell
Frye/Daubert Challenges: Ilona Coleman
Other Issues: Karen Newirth
1:00 - 2:00 Practitioners’ Roundtable
In this panel discussion, our faculty will discuss how they litigate eyewitness identification cases, including how to approach a new case, novel approaches to motions to suppress, discovery practice and tools for minimizing the impact of admitted identification evidence.
Panelists: Ilona Coleman, Radha Natarajan, Jennifer Sellitti, Emily Voshell
Moderator: Karen Newirth 
2:00 - 2:30 Cross-Examining the Cop
In this session, participants will watch and discuss a demonstration of a cross-examination of the cop in our hypothetical case, drawing on the research and lessons presented throughout the day.
Facilitator: Ilona Coleman
2:30 - 2:45 Break 
2:45 - 3:30  Litigating In-Court Identifications
This lecture will describe recent case law developments on the admissibility of in-court identifications and in-court confidence statements and how you can use these developments, other jurisprudence, and the research findings to challenge in-court identifications.
Lecturer: Radha Natarajan 
3:30 - 4:30 Jury Instructions and Experts
In this session, we will discuss how to get and make the most use of enhanced jury instructions and expert testimony 
Facilitators: Emily Voshell and Jennifer Sellitti
4:30 - 5:00 Closing Argument
In this session, participants will watch and discuss a demonstration of a closing argument in our hypothetical case, drawing on the research and lessons presented throughout the day.
Facilitator: Jennifer Sellitti 
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - Litigating DNA Cases (Beginning and Advanced) 
8:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 - 10:00 Introduction to DNA Evidence (Basic Track)
This session will introduce attendees who have some experience with DNA evidence but have never litigated DNA issues in pretrial or trial to the basic scientific principles behind DNA comparison and issues ripe for litigation
Facilitator: Jessica Goldthwaite

Complex DNA Mixtures and Application of the CPI Statistic (Advanced Track)
This session will provide a review of available statistical calculations for mixed DNA STR profiles, with a special focus on the use of the combined probability of inclusion (CPI) calculation, including its application and limitations.
Facilitator: Charlotte Word
10:00 - 10:15 Break 
10:15 - 11:15  Mixture Issues (Basic Track)
This session provides an introduction to issues related to DNA mixtures and their interpretation. Attendees will learn about ambiguities and subjectivity inherent in the mixture interpretation process, and will practice issue-spotting with real DNA mixture data. 
Facilitator: Kate Philpott

Development of CEESIt, a Mixture Interpretation Tool (Advanced Track)
This session will present an overview of the development of CEESIt (Computational Evaluation of Evidentiary Signal), a full continuous likelihood ratio (LR) program which also estimates the probability that a random person would generate a LR greater than one. Different considerations in developing the program will be discussed. There will also be a demonstration of the program. 
Facilitator: Catherine Grgicak 
11:15 - 12:15 Basic Statistics (Basic Track)
This session is a basic introduction to all the statistical calculations used in DNA interpretation. The presenter will explain what is required in order to use a specific statistical method, the limitations of the methods and what must be known in order to calculate the statistic. The presenter will also explain why there appears to be a move toward probabilistic genotyping and likelihood ratios.
Facilitator: David Lynch

Probabilistic Genotyping Case Study (Advanced Track)
Presenters will discuss the differing results of two probabilistic genotyping systems, TrueAllele and STRMix, in a New York murder case, People v. Oral Nicholas Hillary. TrueAllele produced an inconclusive to exculpatory statistic while STRMix produced an inculpatory statistic. Litigation strategy will be discussed, including the successful admissibility challenge to STRMix. 
Facilitators: Clinton Hughes and Rich Torres 
12:15 - 1:00 Lunch 
1:00 - 2:15 Developmental and Internal Validation
Presenters will discuss the requirements of both developmental and internal validation and how to evaluate the sufficiency of a validation. There will be special focus on the validation of the new multiplex kits, such as Powerplex Fusion. Updates on recent OSAC and SWDAM developments will also be discussed. 
Facilitators: Catherine Grgicak and Charlotte Word 
2:15 - 3:00 Database Litigation: CODIS Hits, Rogue Databases and Familial Searching
In this sessions, presenters will discuss issues associated with the CODIS database, including cold hit cases, protecting clients from "rogue" local databases and fighting for defense access. This session will also address government attempts to expand the use of databases, such as familial searching and partial matches.
Facilitators: Allison Lewis and David Lynch
3:00 - 3:15 Break 
3:15 - 4:15 Litigating Probabilistic Genotyping and Access to Source Codes
Presenters will discuss admissibility challenges to probabilistic genotyping, seeking access to source codes and why obtaining access to source codes may be important in litigation.
Facilitator: Ben Goldsmith and Chris Flood
4:15 - 5:15  DNA Transfer and Offering a DNA Expert Witness
With the rise in “touch” DNA testing, an understanding of the phenomenon of DNA transfer is increasingly important. In this session, presenters will discuss the scientific literature regarding how DNA transfers from one object or person to another; the importance of developing potential routes of transfer in your case; and experiences in crossing prosecution experts and putting on defense experts on the issue of transfer.
Facilitator: Jenny Cheung and Kate Philpott
5:15 - 5:45 Panel Discussion of the Issues of the Day
Presenters will be brought together to discuss the application of the various issues raised throughout the day in your cases, future directions for litigation, and to answer any questions attendees may have related to forensic DNA. 
Panelists: Chris Flood, Ben Goldsmith, Kate Philpott, Jenny Cheung Rich Torres, Jessica Goldthwaite, Clinton Hughes and Jennifer Friedman
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - Pattern-Matching Day 
08:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 - 9:45 Overview of PCAST
Differences between NAS and PCAST; what a black-box study is
Focusing on fingerprints and toolmarks finding
Overview of case law, prosecutor statements on PCAST
Speaker: Julia Leighton  
9:45 - 10:45 Swafford (Army crime lab- fingerprints) 
10:45 - 11:00 Break 
11:00 - 11:30 Scientific Critique of Fingerprints
Brandon Garrett 
11:30 - 12:30 DiscoveryJessica Brand: pre-trial
Chris Fabricant: post-conviction
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch 
1:30 - 2:30 Case Study: How to Launch a Frye Challenge to Toolmarks
Jennifer Friedman
2:30 - 3:00 Research on Latent Fingerprints
Brandon Garrett
3:00 - 3:15 Break 
3:15 - 3:45 Crossing toolmark examiners
Maneka Sinha
3:45 - 5:00 Panel: Litigating Toolmarks & Prints
Panel: Jennifer Friedman (moderator); Kate Philpott, Julia Leighton; Maneka Sinha; Brandon Garrett
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - Coerced Confessions (morning) / Government Surveillance Technologies (afternoon) 
08:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 - 10:30 The Psychology of False Confessions 
During this session, Dr. Saul Kassin -- the preeminent researcher in the field -- will provide an overview of the research findings concerning false confessions: how and why they occur (including the systemic errors often seen in false confession cases), known personal and situational factors that increase the risk of false confessions, and features of known false confessors and their confessions.
Lecturer: Saul Kassin, PhD 
10:30 - 10:45 Break 
10:45 - 12:15 Litigating False Confession Cases
During this session, Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center for Wrongful Conviction of Youth, will help participants understand how to use the social science research in evaluating and litigating suspected false confession cases. The session will address such topics as: evaluating an interrogation and a confession, presenting a false confession case, and using experts.
Lecturer: Laura Nirider 
12:30 - 1:30 Working Lunch and Brainstorming Session 
Lunch will be provided. Please join Deja Vishny of the Wisconsin Public Defender and author of Suppressing Criminal Evidence as she answers your questions about litigating false confession cases.
Facilitator: Deja Vishny
1:30 - 2:45 Emerging Forms of Government Surveillance
Technological advances have given law enforcement powerful new tools to conduct surveillance. While techniques like cell site tracking are widely known to the defense community, newer technologies like IMSI catchers or “stingrays,” Network Investigative Techniques (“NIT”) and databases like Hemisphere have only recently come to light after being shrouded in government secrecy. This presentation will summarize these technologies and discuss how to discover whether they have been used in your case, and motions and legal strategies to consider when confronting this surveillance technique.
Speaker: John Ellis
2:45 - 3:00 Break 
3:00 - 4:00 Considerations with Digital Audio, Video, and Image Evidence
From closed circuit television systems in businesses and homes, to traffic cams, dashboard cams and body cams, to mobile device recordings made by private citizens, the sources of recorded audio, video, and still images have grown exponentially over the past decade. One factor that has greatly contributed to that growth is the transition from analog recording devices to digital technology. And with that transition have come new evidentiary concerns and challenges for forensic examiners, who are tasked with enhancing/clarifying or authenticating audio, video, and image evidence. What do “original recording” and “original image” mean in the digital sense? What may be missing with converted copies? What limitations are there forensically when “original” digital evidence isn’t provided or is otherwise unavailable? This session will address these issues and provide additional insights regarding digital audio, video, and image evidence.
Speaker: Douglas S. Lacey
4:00 - 4:15 Break 
4:15 - 5:15 Facial Recognition and the Perpetual Line-up
Across the country, state and local police departments are building their own face recognition systems, many more advanced than even the FBI’s. Estimates are that one in two Americans adults are now in a law enforcement face recognition database. At the same time, major police departments are exploring real-time face recognition on live surveillance camera video. This session will update attendees on status of facial recognition systems, how law enforcement is exploring its use in its investigations, the accuracy of these systems, how it may be less accurate for African Americans, and legal strategies to consider how to address these systems in your jurisdiction.
Speakers: Frank Draper and Clare Garvie
Friday, June 9, 2017 - Digital Evidence 
8:00 am Breakfast 
8:30 - 9:45  A Digital Primer: Defense Strategies for Navigating the Digital World
This session will provide an overview of the challenges facing criminal defense attorneys with digital forensics. From terabyte hard drives, encryption, the cloud, and social media, we will discuss the frequent forms of digital data being utilized in criminal cases (both content and metadata). We will discuss what tools you can use to view, search and analyze digital information, and considerations for when and if you get outside assistance.
Speakers: Sean Broderick, John Ellis and Kevin DeLong
9:45 - 10:45 Location, Location, Location: Tracking of Location through Phone Information
Ninety-two percent of adults have a cell phone—which are constantly keeping track of its location. There are three primary sources of location data: the phone, applications, and the phone company records. This presentation focuses on how this data is stored, retrieved and how to use it in representing your client.
Speakers: Sean Broderick, John Ellis and Kevin DeLong
10:45 - 11:00 Break 
11:00 - 12:00 4th Amendment Search and Seizure Law 
In Riley v. California, the Supreme Court unanimously answered the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest - “get a warrant.” Now post-Riley, this session will discuss implications of the U.S. v. Jones and Riley decisions, the status of the Fourth Amendment case law in federal and state courts, and potential strategic litigation to consider when addressing digital technology that might be present in your case.
Speakers: Frank Draper, Alice Fontier and Ellen Leonida
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch 
1:00 - 2:00 Social Media 
Today, most of us have joined at least one social media site. Whether it is making "friends" on Facebook or tweeting complete strangers on Twitter, social media is an integral part of many people’s lives, including witnesses, jurors, judges and prosecutors in your case. This presentation will 1) describe the potential information that may be available through social network websites, 2) walk you through how to obtain and present that information, and 3) discuss the ethical rules and laws that must be followed while conducting these investigations.
Speakers: Sean Broderick and John Ellis
2:00 - 2:15 Break 
2:15 - 3:15 Hands-on Mobile Forensics 
Cellebrite is one of the leading forensic tools used by law enforcement to capture data from a cell phone. This session will teach you the basics of how to review and analyze mobile device evidence that has been processed by the government or by an independent forensic examiner. Using a popular free tool (Cellebrite Reader) we will show you how to search, tag and generate reports in a hypothetical case. By doing this hands-on training, attendees will better understand the forensic process that law enforcement uses on phones, know how to request the information in your case, and understand what can be done with this type of data.
Speakers: Sean Broderick, John Ellis and Kevin DeLong
3:15 - 3:30 Break 
3:30 - 4:30 Digital Evidence in Practice: Strategic Litigation Challenges in Digital Evidence - Motions, Strategy, and Cross-Examination of Experts 
You have heard how the government is using digital information to build its case against your client, ranging from computer searches, cell phone records, tracking devices and other surveillance techniques. This session will cover practical suggestions for addressing digital evidence in federal and state cases, litigating pretrial motions, cross-examining experts, and strategic considerations you must consider to best represent your client.
Speakers: Frank Draper, Alice Fontier and Ellen Leonida
4:30 - 4:45 Questions and Answers; End of Program 

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