Course Description

This blended learning program is designed to train prosecutors and defense attorneys on a wide variety of crime scene to courtroom forensic science topics and legal considerations. The goal is for attorneys to gain a greater understanding of scientific evidence and principles that arise most frequently in criminal court cases in order to mitigate the risk of error and wrongful convictions. In addition, attorneys will learn about the latest forensic science trends and challenges, as well as the role of expert witnesses in criminal court cases.

This blended program will require approximately 8 hours of online self-study and a 4 hour live Zoom training. Self-study will open on June 28, 2021. Attendees will have the option to attend a live session on either July 21st, August 3rd or August 5th from 12-4 p.m. EDT. Order of priority for live session attendance will be granted based upon completion of the prerequisite online self-study portion.



Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome

    • Program Goals

    • Introduction to the Training (3 minutes)

    • Course Navigation Tips (4 minutes)

  • 2

    Forensic Toxicology: Current Trends & Challenges

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Forensic Toxicology Overview (11 minutes)

    • Part 2: Designer Drugs - Synthetic Cathinones (15 minutes)

    • Part 3: Synthetic Opioids (7 minutes)

    • Part 4: Courtoom-related Challenges (18 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 3

    DNA Mixtures: Current Trends & Challenges

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Complex Mixtures & DNA Profiles (13 minutes)

    • Part 2: Analysis Factors & Probalisitic Geneotyping (10 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 4

    Forensic Genealogy: Current Trends & Challenges

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Forensic Genealogy Basics (11 minutes)

    • Part 2: Legal Considerations (9 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 5

    Pattern Evidence: Current Trends & Challenges

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Pattern Evidence Methodology and Research Studies (20 minutes)

    • Part 2: Standards and Best Practice Recommendations (12 minutes)

    • Part 3: Legal Case Findings (4 minutes)

    • Part 4: Litigator's Checklist (12 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 6

    Using Forensic Science Resources: Case Law, Literature & Web-based Information

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: You Can Google That (15 minutes)

    • Part 2: Beyond Wikipedia - Forensic Science Sources (13 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 7

    Understanding How to Obtain Laboratory Services & Expert Services

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: DNA Primer (11 minutes)

    • Part 2: New Technology (13 minutes)

    • Part 3: Admissibility & Expert Services (7 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 8

    Cogitive Bias within Forensic Science Disciplines

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Cognitive Bias Basics (10 minutes)

    • Part 2: Mitigating Cognitive Bias within Forensic Science Disciplines (16 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 9

    Mitigation in Action: Texas Forensic Science Commission

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Transparancy and Collaboration in Action (21 minutes)

    • Part 2: Case Studies (24 minutes)

    • Part 3: Takeaways for Lawyers and Forensic Science (7 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 10

    Cognitive Bias in the Courtroom: Expert Testimony

    • About This Lesson

    • Forensic Evidence & Validity (14 minutes)

    • Contexual Bias in Forensic Science (8 minutes)

    • Challenging Bias in Experts (13 minutes)

    • Reducing Contextual Bias in Forensic Science (13 minutes)

    • Assignment & Resources

    • Quiz

  • 11

    Evaluating Human Factors: Eyewitness Identification & False Confessions

    • About This Lesson

    • Part 1: Lesson Introduction (3 minutes)

    • Part 2: False Confessions Overview (14 minutes)

    • Part 3: Causal Factors (12 minutes)

    • Part 4: Preventing Miscarriages of Justice (7 minutes)

    • Assignments

    • Resources

    • Quiz

Self-Study Checklist

Please use this checklist to guide you through the self-study portion of the training.

  • Register for this interactive training using the “Apply Now” button at the top of this page.

  • Create a username and password on the course page.

  • Check your email for confirmation acknowledging your admittance to the course.

  • Access to the self-study portion of the training begins on June 28th. You can then dive into this immersive training!

  • Begin by viewing the Welcome and Course Navigation topics.

  • Remember to click "Complete & Continue" or the "Complete" button when each lesson within a topic is completed. This action tracks your course progress and verifies completion of the self-study course.

Live Zoom Session Checklist

Please use this checklist as a guide once you have completed the self-study portion of the training.

  • After completing the self-study course, you will be prompted to select a “Live Zoom Training” session. Attendees will be admitted on a first come first served basis, based upon course completion.

  • Register for your preferred “Live Zoom Training” course session. Course information includes an embedded Zoom link. Use this link to join on the date and time of the Zoom training session.

  • During the live Zoom session, users will be given information regarding a mandatory survey.

  • Following the final live training session (August 5th), attendees will receive an email containing information regarding CLE credit.

FAQ

  • Will there be an additional cost associated with this training?

    This is a complimentary training, therefore there is no cost associated with taking the course. However, if you are applying for individual CLE credit, there may be a cost associated with your state bar.

  • Can you explain how CLE will work?

    We will apply for CLE credit through the Florida bar and 2 other states with the highest attendee concentration TBD. CLE is never guaranteed, but we are willing to assist attendees on an individual basis when filing for CLE in states outside of the states we apply for.

  • If I am having trouble accessing materials or navigating the site, who can I contact?

    If you need any assistance during this training, please email ope@law.stetson.edu

  • How long is this expected to take?

    There is approximately 8 hours of online self-study and a 4 hour live Zoom session.

  • I completed the course, but it is not showing up as completed. What do I do?

    Please reference the "Self-Study Checklist" above and be sure that you are following the appropriate steps. If you continue to have issues, please email ope@law.stetson.edu

  • How long will I have access to the materials?

    You will have access to the materials for 4 weeks after the course has been completed. If you would like access to the materials for additional time, access will be granted based on need and an individual request. Requests can be sent to ope@law.stetson.edu

  • Do I have to complete the course in a certain sequence?

    1. You must complete the Welcome and Course Navigation topics before accessing the forensic science topics. 2. You can complete the forensic science topics in any order you choose. but once in the topic section, you should go through the lessons in the order presented in that section. Example sequence: About this Topic, Presentation Part 1, Presentation Part 2, Assignment & Resources, Quiz.

  • How many attempts do I have for a quiz?

    You have unlimited attempts to achieve a score of 80% or better.

  • Can I contact the speakers if I have questions?

    Many speakers list their contact information during their presentation. If you cannot find the speaker you are looking for, please reach out to ope@law.stetson.edu and we will connect you with the appropriate person.

Contact Us

For additional information pertaining to this training, as well as past webinars produced by the National Clearinghouse for Science Technology and the Law, and Stetson University College of Law, please reach out to ope@law.stetson.edu or visit http://www.ncstl.org/. Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you online!

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-CP-BX-K006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this training are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice