Case-Specific Consultation and Review of Physical Evidence

 

We provide independent expert review of documentation, collection and analysis of physical evidence, to:

Verify areas where asserted findings, inferences, or opinions are scientifically supportable
Identify gaps, weaknesses or omissions that affect evidential value, validity, admissibility or credibility
Identify additional steps in analysis or presentation that can improve, clarify or increase the level of scientific support 

This support is frequently provided to attorneys and investigators who do not have direct or reasonably functional access to modern forensic science laboratory expertise. Very few investigators or attorneys have the breadth and depth of experience with physical evidence to verify asserted findings, identify gaps, recognize weaknesses and choose appropriate additional steps. This makes it impractical, if not impossible, to judge whether what is being presented is supported by good science, and with appropriate balance, documentation, and credibility. As a result, many decisions about what to do next, what to question, what to present or what to challenge are either uninformed or poorly informed. Frequently such decisions are based only on hunches, a readily apparent focus of contention, or circumstances the attorney or investigator has come across before. This leaves much forensic evidence without the informed consideration necessary to actually understand what it is worth.

A few hours of review by Dr. Stoney can:

Save an extraordinary amount of time and effort
Efficiently focus investigative or discovery issues and determine next steps
Identify and evaluate alternatives for additional laboratory testing or expert assessments
Reveal areas where further inquiry might implicate co-defendants or alternative suspects
Uncover aspects of the physical evidence that could or should be closely examined, clarified or challenged

Our physical evidence reviews include the original evidence recovery and documentation, chain of custody, laboratory analysis, documentation of findings, examiner bench notes, witness statements, prior testimony and consistency of the findings with alleged activities, associations and circumstances. In practice, what is offered as evidence is often incomplete, with weaknesses or clarifications that have been overlooked, or viewed only from one perspective.

Expert review allows consultation and advice regarding significance, credibility, and strength, as well as alternatives to uncover, demonstrate or resolve related issues. This enables a more informed decision, reduces professional risk, and provides a technical understanding of the evidence supporting both sides of a case.

“This portion of the evidence is solid.”
“This portion of the evidence is incomplete, missing these aspects, which could be addressed by these steps."
“These specific items or issues can be clarified, exposed or challenged in this way.”

Regardless of what is found, we can provide continued support, with access to laboratory analysis, applicable expertise, and testimony.