NCDD Sessions and Seminars

Serious Science: Advanced Course in Blood Drug Analysis and Trial Advocacy-CALL THE NCDD OFFICE TO GET ON THE WAITING LIST 334-264-1950

NCDD Seminars and Sessions


August 09, 2024 - August 14, 2024


The Serious Science Blood Drug Analysis course is designed to combine hard science and trial advocacy. There is no better course on forensic science and trial advocacy in America.

We start with hard science, including hands-on work in the Shimadzu Laboratory. Students will learn the basics of metrology, blood alcohol and the more complex blood drug analyses, and they will get hands-on experience preparing and analyzing their own samples. We focus on science for three full days; and then we transition to a focus on trial advocacy about the science, with reviews of the scientific concepts, and trial skills practice with the scientists from the University of Texas-Arlington. We use trial skills techniques developed by, and instructors trained at the Trial Lawyers College, with grateful acknowledgement.

We will start with a Cross Examination demonstration at 1:00pm on Friday afternoon, August 9, 2024. So plan to arrive in Arlington no later than Friday noon.

We will have a walk every morning before breakfast for those interested. The NCDD provides breakfast and lunches, as well as transfers to and from the Shimadzu Laboratory. We will have a banquet at the hotel on Friday evening, a party on Saturday evening, a review of the science and science question and answer with the UT-A science faculty on Monday evening. Students will also receive a professional lab coat for use in the laboratory, which they may keep.

All students are required to take three hours of online lab safety courses from the University of Texas-Arlington, in order to enter the laboratory. You will get certificates for those courses too.

Hotel Accommodations:

Sheraton Arlington Hotel
Discounted Room Rate $149

Room Block Closes July 18, 2024.

Registration Fees:

NCDD Members: $2,650
Member Deposit Only: $650
Non-Members: $2,950
Non-Member Deposit Only: $950

Science Faculty:

  • Kevin A. Schug, PhD, Analytic Chemistry
  • Janine Arvizu, CQA, Laboratory Quality Control, Metrology
  • Post Graduate Assistants from the University of Texas-Arlington

Trial Advocacy Faculty:

  • Andrew Mishlove, Course Director, NCDD Fellow
  • Joseph P. St. Louis, NCDD Regent
  • Kimberly Benjamin, NCDD Regent
  • Francisco Duarte, NCDD Faculty
  • Jonathan Dichter, NCDD Faculty
  • Colby Vokey

SEMINAR DAY ONE – Friday, August 9, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
1:00p.m.– 1:45p.m.Cross Examination demonstration in a blood drug case. A preview of what we will learn.Joseph P. St. Louis
1:45p.m.– 3:00p.m.Basic Metrology. How are things measured? What are calibration, traceability, and uncertainty?Joseph P. St. Louis
3:00p.m. – 3:15p.m.Break
3:15p.m. – 4:00p.m.Basic Chromatography and Flame Ionization Detection: Review of Blood Alcohol Measurement
4:00p.m. – 5:30p.m.Review of Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detection Introduction to Mass Spectrometry. Preview of Laboratory Work. How are specimens prepared for analysis? What are we going to do in the Lab in the next few days?Andrew Mishlove
6:30p.m. – 7:00p.m.Registration
7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.Attendees’ Dinner. Introduction of Faculty. Storytelling and Science, How to teach mass spectrometry to a five-year oldAndrew Mishlove

SEMINAR DAY TWO – Saturday, August 10, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
6:00a.m.Hike for those interested
7:45a.m. – 8:45a.m.Breakfast
9:00a.m.Bus to the Shimadzu Lab. BE ON TIME!
9:15a.m. – 10:15a.m.Metrology, Calibration curves, Chromatography, and Flame Ionization DetectionJoseph P. St. Louis, Tiffany Liden PhD, and Kevin A. Schug PhD
10:15a.m. – 10:30a.m.Break
10:30a.m. – 12:15p.m.Key Measurement Concepts, Lab Record-Keeping, Lab Errors, Traceability, Calibration, Method Validation and UncertaintyJanine Arvizu, CQA
12:15p.m. – 1:15p.m.Lunch
1:15p.m. – 2:15p.m.Discovery in a Blood Alcohol and Drug Case: What You Need and How to Ask for ItJanine Arvizu, CQA a
2:15p.m. – 3:15p.m.Blood Analysis-Sample PreparationKevin A. Schug, PhD
3:15p.m. – 3:30p.m.Break
3:30p.m. – 4:45p.m.Lab TourAll Science Faculty
4:45p.m. – 5:30p.m.Question and AnswerAll Science Faculty
5:30p.m.Bus to Hotel. BE ON TIME!

SEMINAR DAY THREE – Sunday, August 11, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
6:30a.m.Hike for those interested
7:45a.m. – 8:45a.m.Breakfast
9:00a.m.Bus to the Shimadzu Lab. BE ON TIME!
9:15a.m. – 10:30a.m.Sample Preparation, Hardware demo, Mass Spectrometry, and GC-FID
10:30a.m. – 10:45a.m.Coffee Break
10:45a.m. – 12:15p.m.Hardware demo
12:15p.m. – 1:15p.m.Lunch/Sample loading
1:15p.m. – 4:00p.m.Mass Spectrometry Interpretation
4:00p.m. – 4:30p.m.Coffee Break/Compile data
4:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.Discussion/Compare Results
5:00p.m.Bus to Hotel. BE ON TIME!

SEMINAR DAY FOUR – Monday, August 12, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
6:00a.m.Hike for those interested
8:00a.m. – 8:30a.m.Breakfast
8:30a.m. – 9:00a.m.Introduction to Focus Groups. How to Talk About Science: Finding Your Theme. Avoiding Landmines
9:00a.m. – 11:30a.m.Focus Group Demonstration. Learning how to talk about science.
11:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.Focus Group question and answer
12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.Lunch
1:00p.m. – 2:30p.m.Discovering the Story. Lecture, Exercises, and DemonstrationsFrancisco A Duarte and Kimberly Benjamin
2:30p.m. – 2:45p.m.Break
2:45p.m. – 5:30p.m.Small Group Breakouts on Opening Statements
7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.Optional: Science Review and Trial Skills Review

SEMINAR DAY FIVE – Tuesday, August 13, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
6:00a.m.Hike for those interested
7:30a.m. – 8:15a.m.Breakfast
8:15a.m. – 9:45a.m.Cross Examination: Basic Trial SkillsFrancisco Duarte and Kimberly Benjamin
9:45a.m. – 10:00a.m.Break
10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.Cross Examination Breakout Groups
12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.Lunch
1:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.Cross Examination Breakouts Continued
6:00p.m.Dinner at Texas Live

SEMINAR DAY SIX – Wednesday, August 14, 2024

Time (CDT)Event DescriptionGuest Speaker
6:00a.m.Hike for those interested
8:00a.m. – 9:00a.m.Breakfast
9:00a.m. – 10:00a.m.Voir Dire: Lecture, Exercise and DemonstrationAndrew Mishlove, Francisco Duarte, Kimberly Benjamin, Joseph P. St. Louis, and Jonathan Dichter
10:00a.m. – 10:15a.m.Break
10:15a.m. – 12:30p.m.Voir Dire Breakouts
12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.Lunch
1:30p.m. – 2:30p.m.Review and Closing CeremonyAndrew Mishlove


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