Wednesday, 25 July 2012

US Experts Blog: Article

With thanks to Mike Wakshull, Document Examiner and Expert Witness:

Document Examination & How Lawyers Can Get The Best Out of Their Expert :

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sudan's Horrific Penal Code

For those proponents of sharia law, this article caught our eye and it's absolutely horrific. If you think we're too soft on our prison inmates then this is what happens when the pendulum swings the other way.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cloud Forensics - What to do?

The rapidly growing sector of cloud computing services is a growing headache for the e Discovery and Digital Forensics providers sector in supporting litigation. Most of the tools developed for e Discovery and Computer Forensics are based on the acquisition of static information, with some supplementary tools that allow for the collection of live information such as memory, network connections and running applications designed to be used on discrete (physical) hardware.

The problem is further made worse by the three distinct service models that prevail amongst cloud providers: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Program as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) these three models depending on the one chosen have a range from providing no information to only a limited ability to provide forensically responsive information. This creates a problem when a respondent to a discovery order has to generate supportable information that is required by a court, regulatory agency, or law enforcement.

At present there is very limited research into the development of tools for the forensic collection of cloud data and the existing tools have limited usage in such environments. How do you readers feel about this issue and has anyone come across any work that is leading the way in this part of the field?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Stop Moaning! We're Very Fortunate

If you're an attorney or some other professional with experience of working in the courts, such as an expert witness, you're probably justifiably fed up with swingeing cuts in resources and a general lack of business brought on by the dreadful economic conditions that prevail right now. It's happening the world over.

Well spare a thought for your colleagues in Burma (Myanmar). Apparently, many of the 30,000 lawyers practising in Burma are in daily fear for their lives. If they represent a client who has the temerity to take on any of the authorities they can, and frequently do, have their licenses to practice summarily revoked as well as facing legal action. It's therefore understandable that many are skeptical of the so-called 'transition to democracy', following the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [pictured] in 2010.

The head of the Burma Lawyers' Council, Mr. U Thein Oo recently stated that:

"Lawyers are treated as defendants if the court decides they have ‘challenged’ the court, or dared to ‘discuss’ the government. This is not a transition to democracy."

As lawyers are usually at the forefront of preserving the rights of free speech and freedom of association perhaps it's not a surprise that they are been victimized in this way. One can only hope that, one step at a time, the country will change for the better. 

But next time your heart sinks at the latest legal outrage perpetrated on the professions by those who govern us, spare a thought for those elsewhere - we're actually quite fortunate by comparison.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Board Certifications for Expert Witnesses

The recent Maryland case of DeMuth v Strong has shown that some courts are widely interpereting rules relating to what specialism an expert witness can have in order to can testify about standards of care provided by someone in a different discipline.

In brief, the case involved a medical malpractice suit that resulted in the plaintiff calling an orthopedic surgeon who gave testimony about the standard of care afforded to the plaintiff by the defendant, a vascular surgeon. On appeal, the court was asked to look specifically at the question of whether a surgeon who was board certified in one specialty could give evidence about standards of care provided by a surgeon in another.

The court concluded that there was nothing improper in this - see the Judgment for a full reasoning. The relevant Maryland law provided that such an expert witness must have the "same or related specialty"  in order to be allowed to testify, and the court's reasoning seems to be that the intention of the legislature was to allow for a wide interperetation of the Act so that experts who had no knowledge of the procedures involved would not be allowed to testify, but those that did could do so.

In doing so, the court noted the relatively recent case in the Maryland District Court, Jones v. Bagalkotakar and the Virginian Supreme Court case of Sami v Varn, both of which came to the same conclusion - that provided the expert witness was not testifying about operative procedures but postoperative care and treatment of patients thereafter, this was permissible in the given circumstances.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Justice Shattered

In a week when the Supreme Court has provided a momentus judgment (whichever side of that particular fence you're on) I thought this video of the Brazilian Supreme Court getting its windows completely shattered by supersonic jets provided some light relief. Had the same thing happened in D.C last Thursday could the day have been any more dramatic?

The Supreme Court Building is on the bottom right of the picture as the first jet flies over. I wonder if they were in session?

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