Board of Forensic Document Examiners

Andrew Sulner, MSFS, JD, D-BFDE, chaired a highly successful full-day workshop entitled "Flawed Forensics: Recognizing and Challenging Misleading Forensic Evidence and Disingenuous Expert Testimony” at the 2012 AAFS meeting.
Seton Hall University Law School Professor Michael Risinger discussed the uses and limits of cross-examination to reveal weaknesses in the testimony of forensic scientists; Peter Neufeld of the Innocence Project described criminal cases in which deficiencies in report writing and incomplete or misleading testimony by forensic practitioners contributed to wrongful convictions; Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. David Benjamin discussed cases involving misleading and disingenuous testimony by forensic pathologists and toxicologists; Andrew Sulner described the different types of casework “peer review” that exist, actual instances of disingenuous casework peer review testimony by forensic document examiners, and when peer review testimony by the actual reviewer will be precluded; criminal defense attorneys Linda Kenney Baden and Jose Baez, lead counsel in the Casey Anthony murder trial, illustrated the challenges faced by defense counsel before and during a criminal trial that draws a lot of media attention and described the methods employed to impeach and discredit the forensic evidence presented by the prosecution in the Casey Anthony trial; criminal defense attorney and NAS Committee Member Marvin Schechter discussed the impact of the 2009 NAS Report on cross-examining forensic experts, the need for further reforms in the forensic and legal communities, and some of the latest recommendations being offered to improve the integrity and reliability of forensic case work; New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Maltese discussed the trial judge’s role in preventing the misleading use of journal articles, treatises, and studies or experiments to substantiate or attack the basis for an expert opinion in the pre-trial and trial phases of a case; and Pennsylvania State Court Trial Judge Stephanie Domitrovich discussed the ethical implications for a trial judge faced with disingenuous expert testimony and the nature of the judicial response that can ensue.

Workshop attendees were reportedly very pleased with the informative presentations and thick handout of educational materials they received.
NYS Supreme Court Judge Joseph Maltese (left) and Forensic Document Examiner Andrew Sulner speaking at the 2012 AAFS Workshop on Flawed Forensics
On February 17, 2014, Mr. Sulner co-chaired an AAFS Workshop on "Bias in Forensics."
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