Forensic expert diploma for sale on eBay

BVWireIssue #57-2
June 13, 2007

In a recent eBay auction, a supposed “Forensic Expert" diploma sold for only $17.95, according to Carol Henderson, MBA, AVA, Director of the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology, and the Law (Stetson University), who gave NACVA attendees a light-hearted look at expert witness fraud.  Another favorite fraud story: the one about the expert who tried to pass off a certification—complete with a gold seal—that turned out to be the seal from a bottle of Polish vodka. 

On a more serious note, Henderson indicated that a handful of states (CA, MA, NJ, PA, TX, VT, for example) now have published court decisions permitting attorneys to sue their own experts (opposing counsel still can’t initiate such actions).  She recommended that anyone with fake expert credentials move to Michigan or Washington, which have expressly disallowed such lawsuits.  For another resource, check out summary article, “Expert Witness Immunity?” on the Ethical Challenges for Experts site; it’s the 13th item on the bulleted list.

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