Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tales From the Dark Side

I have quite a few colleagues who work for law enforcement or who are in private practice like myself, but who primarily work for law enforcement.

They like to kid me about being on the "dark side" since I do quite a lot of cases on the criminal defense side of things.

I have to say that I am beginning to appreciate that humorous jibe more and more. For one thing, having worked as the opposing expert on so many cases, it has given me an opportunity to learn a great deal about being a better primary expert.

I also do a lot of civil and domestic cases, either as the primary (plaintiff) or the opposing (defense) expert.

Working as the opposing expert across from very good forensic examiners at the North Carolina SBI and the various law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and some other states, I believe I have gained a lot of insight I would not otherwise have if I only worked as a primary expert.

Nothing prepares you for how an expert is going to dissect your work like doing exactly that; dissecting the work of excellent forensic examiners.

It tends to condition you to look at your own work with a critical eye that you might not otherwise employ when readying your case examination for litigation.

You also begin to learn the most common weaknesses in most examinations and how to avoid them.

While I tend to do a lot of defense work, mostly because that is what I am most well known for, I take the same approach to all the cases I do; never underestimate the opposing expert.

There are some excellent forensic examiners out there and some that are not so excellent. I am grateful that I have had the chance to work across from so many excellent ones.

Much to the frustration of my publisher's acquisition editor, I have not yet submitted my book proposal for a book on advanced case analysis.

Perhaps a good title for it would be "Tales from the Dark Side."

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