Forensic Science

Successful Expert Testimony, Fifth Edition

Christine Funk is pleased to announce the publication of her first co-authored book, Successful Expert Testimony, Fifth Edition  edited and written along with Dr. Max Houck and Harold Feder.  This book is a major revision of Feder’s Succeeding as an Expert Witness, considered a landmark book on expert testimony.

Christine Funk has contributed chapters to several other books and government publications on issues of forensic science and the law, such as DNA for the Defense Bar.  She has practiced criminal defense for over 20 years.

  • Successful Expert Testimony

Dr. Max Houck has over 25 years of experience working as a forensic expert.  He recently gave a TEDx Talk on forensic science and how the community could improve to reduce the potential for false convictions.

Together, Houck and Funk apply their knowledge of forensic science and the criminal justice system to provide experts with a roadmap for successful expert testimony.  The book provides information about key issues for expert witnesses, including:

  • A brief history of the use of experts at trial
  • A discussion of methods, testing, and science with an eye towards admissibility in court
  • An identification of the roles of each of the participants in the criminal justice system
  • An explanation of the legal process
  • Testimony overview
  • Direct examination
  • The use of exhibits
  • Cross-examination
  • Ethics
  • An appendix containing relevant Rules of Evidence, Codes of Conduct, the Expert’s Bill of Rights, relevant case law, and resources, as well as a glossary of important terms.

The book has forwards written by Peter Neufeld and Radley Balko, two champions of accurate, transparent forensic science practices.  Their forwards include, in part, these thoughts:

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a critical awareness and creative energy ignited a movement to modernize clinical laboratory medicine. One hundred years later, the time is right for a comparable transformation in forensic science. It is an exciting time for everyone who is part of this community. Succeed by being thoughtful and rigorous scientists. Succeed by being honest, objective, and ethical expert witnesses.

Peter Neufeld Partner, Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP New York, New York

This is a book about how to be an honest, conscientious, and effective expert witness in spite of the regrettable shortcomings of our court system. It’s about how to be transparent and forthright while navigating the legal landscape we have today, fraught as it can sometimes be. It’s an instruction manual that, if followed, will at least give an expert witness the peace of mind to know that he or she is contributing to the search for truth, even if he or she has no choice but to operate in a system in which truth isn’t always the priority.

Radley Balko Journalist with the Washington Post, author of The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South.

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