NCDD Sessions and Seminars

Serious Science for Serious Lawyers 2021

NCDD Seminars and Sessions


September 24, 2021 - September 29, 2021

Please call the NCDD Office to get on the waiting list.

Advanced Training in Blood Drug Analysis and Trial Advocacy

Arlington, TX

Andrew Mishlove, Course Director

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.

This year we will start with a complete review of the basic of metrology and blood testing on Friday afternoon, September 24, 2021. 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.

Registration Fees:

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

CDC recommendations and "stay in place" orders are being closely monitored. Registration fees will be fully refunded if cancellation becomes necessary.

Hotel Accommodations:

Sheraton Arlington Hotel
Use Group Code: Serious Science DUI
Room Block Closes April 30, 2021.

Science Faculty:

  • Tiffany Liden, PhD, Analytic Chemistry
  • Ines Carvalho Dos Santos, PhD, Analytic Chemistry
  • Janine Arvizu, QCA, Laboratory Quality Control, Metrology
  • Post Graduate Assistants from the University of Texas-Arlington

Trial Advocacy Faculty:

  • Andrew Mishlove, NCDD Regent, Course Director,
  • Francisco A. “Paco” Duarte, Instructor,
  • Kimberly Benjamin, Instructor,
  • Bell Island, NCDD Regent
  • Joseph Peter St. Louis, NCDD Regent

Friday, September 24, 2021

2:00 p.m-3:00pmBasic MetrologyJoseph Peter St. Louis
3:00pm-4:00pmBasic Chromatography and FIDBell Island
4:15pm-5:15pmBasic Mass SpectrometryFaculty
6:30 P.M. -8:30 P.M.Introduction of Faculty. Storytelling and Science. Attendees' Dinner.Andrew Mishlove

Saturday, September 25, 2021

6:00amHike for those interested
9:00amBus to the Shimadzu Lab. BE ON TIME!
9:15amMetrology, Chromatography, and Mass Spectrometry. Joseph St. Louis, Tiffany Liden PhD, and Ines Carvalho Dos Santos, PhD
10:30am-12:15pmKey Measurement Concepts, Lab Record-Keeping, Lab Errors - Janine Arvizu, QCA; Traceability; Calibration; Method Validation and Uncertainty; Maintenance
1:15pm-2:15pmDiscovery in a Blood Alcohol and Blood Drug Case. What You Need and How to Ask for It. Janine Arvizu CQA, and Bell Island.
2:15pm-3:15pmBlood Drug Analysis-Sample Preparation, Mass Spectrometry. Tiffany Liden, PhD, and Ines Carvalho Dos Santos, PhD
3:30pm-4:45pmLab Tour
4:45pm 5:30pmQuestion and Answer. All Science Faculty
7:00pmBus to Mimi's party. BE ON TIME
7:30pmMimi's Party
10:00pmBus to hotel

Sunday, September 26, 2021

6:30amHike for those interested
9:00amBUS TO LAB-Be on time!
9:00 -5:00LAB DAY
9:00-10:30 AMSample Preparation* (2 instructors)Hardware demo, GC-MS (5 people; 1 instructor), LC-MS (5 people; 1 instructor)
10:30-10:45 AMCoffee Break
10:45-12:15 AMHardware demoSample Preparation*
12:15-1:15 PMLunch/ Sample loading
1:15 PM (45m-1h)GC-MS 2xLC-MS 2xMS interpretation
2:00 PM (45m-1h)LC-MS 2xMS interpretationGC-MS 2x
3:00 PM (45m-1h)MS interpretationGC-MS 2xLC-MS 2x
4:00-4:30 PMCoffee Break/Compile data
4:30-5:00 PMDiscussion; compare results

Monday, September 27, 2021

6:00amHike for those interested
9:00am-10:30amDiscovering the Story. Lecture, Exercises, Demonstrations. A forensic science case is not a matter of competing syllogisms; it is, rather, a human drama-a matter of competing narratives about the scientific process. We will learn innovative techniques, using all of our senses, to re-enact scenes from our cases-focusing on scenes in the laboratory and scientific settings. These re-enactments allow us to learn about the motivations of the state's experts-laying the groundwork for our defense. Paco Duarte and Kim Benjamin
10:45am-12:15pmCross Examination: Strong leading questions, one word questions, tell the defense through the state's witness, control the witness, ask only questions where you know the answers. These are all great basic cross-examination skills. In Serious Science, we will go beyond basic skills, to a cross examination based on authentic story-telling and human connection: a juror based view of the story.
- Review of the Basics Theory and Practice; Control Cross; The Look Good Cross; One Word Cross
- Going beyond
   - Uncovering the layers of the witness' motivation
   - Establishing the witness' motivation
   - Dynamic Cross
Paco Duarte and Kimberly Benjamin.
1:00pm-5:00pmCross-Examination Breakouts with the Science Faculty from UT-A. Andrew Mishlove, Paco Duarte, Kim Benjamin, Bell Island, Joe St. Louis

Tuesday September 28, 2021

6:00amHike for those interested
8:30am-9:30amOpening Statements. Lecture, Exercises, Demonstrations. The opening statement is the story of the case-that is, what happened on the street, in the hospital, in the sample delivery truck, in the lab, or even in the lab director's office. It is neither an argument nor a speech. It is a story, made up of scenes where the defense lawyer describes and even re-enacts important moments from the case-introducing the jury to the locations, characters, conflicts, themes, and their role in the trial. Paco Duarte and Kim Benjamin
9:30am-10:30amClosing Arguments. Lecture and Demonstration. Paco Duarte and Kim Benjamin
10:45am-12:00pmFocus on Focus Groups. Charles Jones, David Lisko and Paco Duarte
1:00pm-2:45pmFocus Group One-Discovering the Story. Charles Jones, David Lisko and Paco Duarte
3:00pm-5:00pmFocus Group Two-Trial Rehearsal. Charles Jones, David Lisko and Paco Duarte
5:00pmDinner on Your Own
6:30pmRangers Baseball Game

Wednesday September 29, 2021

6:00amHike for those interested
9:00am-10:00amVoir Dire. Lecture, Exercise, Demonstrations. We approach voir dire at the end of the course, even though it is the beginning of a trial, because in order to start the process of persuasion with the jury, the defense lawyer must first understand the components of the story of the witnesses, the story of the case, and the story of the trial. These are the things that we have worked on the previous three days. We take these skills and apply them to the fundamental task of establishing ourselves as the guide to the jury, the person with rapport and credibility-as we start the process of leading them through their journey as our heroes of the case. Andrew Mishlove, Paco Duarte, Kim Benjamin
10:15am-12:30pmVoir Dire Breakouts. Paco and Kim, with Joe, Bell, and Andrew
1:30pm-2:30pmReview and Closing Ceremony. Andrew Mishlove


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