2013: Science or Schmience: You Be the Judge

2013: Science or Schmience: You Be the Judge

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.


Warren Hall Room 131

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110





A congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council found serious deficiencies in the nation’s science system and called for major reforms and new research. The 2009 NAS Report on forensic science went a long way in teaching us the limits of many long-venerated “sciences” such as latent print examination and eye witness identification.

This seminar focuses on the pitfalls and shortcomings of some forensic techniques and updates what we learned in the 2009 NAS Report as well as discussing the (ethical) use of social media in investigating and preparing our cases.

Speakers are seasoned members of the criminal justice community who will provide practical, professional and institutional perspectives.


  • 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. REGISTRATION, Coffee and Muffins
  • 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. www.legalethicsandsocialmedia.com
    This workshop focuses on a discussion of whether or not social media profiles can be used to collect information and if so, the circumstances under which such investigations are ethically and legally permissible.
  • 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. BREAK
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Impressions of a Fingerprint Witness
    Fingerprints have been used for over a century to identify criminals. Although they claim absolute certainty when they testify about print evidence, fingerprint experts have been relying on subjective opinion, not on objective science.
  • 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Mis-eye-dentification
    Professor Justin Brooks will discuss cases of exoneration in which defendants have been misidentified at trial only to be exonerated many years after conviction.
  • 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Autopsy of Cell Phone and GPS Tracking
    Private Investigator Robert Aguero will discuss cell phone and GPS tracking device capabilities, common fallacies that DA “experts” espouse, and how we can identify and reveal those fallacies.


Download registration form.

  • Early Registration Rates(received prior to 1/20/13)
    • (includes syllabus, coffee and muffins, and lunch)
    • USD Faculty and Students/Former Defenders, Inc. or Community Defenders, Inc. attorneys: No charge
    • USD Alumni: $40.00
    • All Others: $50.00
  • Registration Rates(received after 1/20/13 and at the door)
    • $65.00 (at-door registration will not guarantee lunch or syllabus)


University of San Diego School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider and certifies that this activity is approved for 5.5 hours of credit, of which 1.5 hours are Legal Ethics credit and 4.0 hours are General credit.

Community Defenders, Inc. Grant Committee

  • Laura Berend, Esq., Professor, USD, San Diego, CA
  • Kurt Hermansen, Esq., San Diego, CA
  • Alex Landon, Esq., San Diego, CA
  • Liz Missakian, Esq., San Diego, CA
  • Lynda Romero, Esq., San Diego, CA
  • Zaki Zehawi, Esq., San Diego, CA

Location and Directions

From the North: Use I-5 South, exit Sea World Dr. & Tecolote Rd. and proceed left at stoplight toward Morena Blvd. Turn right on Morena, left on Napa, and left on Linda Vista Rd. Travel to the second stoplight to USD's East entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the South (or the airport): Use I-5 North, exit Morena Blvd. (signs will say: Morena Blvd. use I-8 East) Stay to the right and follow the signs for Morena Blvd. Take the first right onto Linda Vista Rd. Travel to the third stoplight to USD's East entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the East: Use I-8 West, exit at Morena Blvd., go right onto Linda Vista Rd. and travel to the third stoplight to USD's East entrance, turn left and enter campus.

Once you have entered campus (from all directions): From the East entrance, Warren Hall is the third building on the left after you take a left onto Torero Way.

Visitor parking permits will be available at the main campus entrance kiosk. Please be sure to obtain a permit and display it in your vehicle.

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Phone: (619) 260-4527

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Warren Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110