Many attorneys don’t have a truly working knowledge of evidence law because they don’t understand the procedural framework within which evidence law operates. John Cantrell and Professor Edward Imwinkelried’s presentation, “The Practicalities of Admitting or Objecting to Evidence in Bankruptcy Court,” will review the practicalities of the procedures for both the proponent and opponent of the proferred evidence.
Edward Imwinkelried could easily be a model for a character in crime fiction. News stories quoting him have included “Probers Use DNA Tests to Find Killer in Florida,” “Love-Triangle Killing: Defense Questions Police,” and “Will High-Tech Sleuthing Hold Up in Court?” To the country’s prosecutors and defense attorneys, he is the one to consult about the admissibility of scientific evidence and evidence of uncharged crimes.
“These are two very specialized areas of evidence,” said Imwinkelried. “They also happen to be the two areas that place a premium on creativity and imagination.”
Imwinkelried wrote the book on scientific evidence, literally and figuratively. The Supreme Court itself cited the book in its landmark 1993 case, Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals on expert testimony. Now in a forthcoming fourth edition, Scientific Evidence treats such subjects as DNA typing, forensic psychiatry, and laser techniques for fingerprint detection.
The admission of evidence of uncharged crimes, the topic of another of his books, is the “single most litigated issue on the criminal side of the law,” he said. Such evidence often looms large in cases of mass murderers. Before the O.J. Simpson trial, the Trial of the 20th Century was the prosecution of Wayne Williams for the Atlanta child killings. “Wayne Williams, for instance, was charged on two counts, but the hair and fiber evidence showed a pattern that pulled together 10 other killings,” said Imwinkelried. “Once a jury is allowed to hear that, the whole atmosphere of the trial changes and the likelihood of a conviction increases dramatically.
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