AUSTIN (KXAN) — When you have three small boys running around your house, you also have a slew of electronic toys and gadgets that come along with it. To make sure she was always prepared for long road trips and car pools, Jennifer Buaas kept extra AA and AAA batteries in her vehicle, just in case one of her boys needed to power one of their toys.
Early Halloween morning, Jennifer heard a car horn going off in her driveway.
“My husband grabbed the keys, went to the garage, opened the garage door and the Suburban was completely on fire,” said Jennifer.
In a recent decision, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered an issue of first impression regarding the doctrine of spoliation. Maryland appellate courts had “not established how to apply the spoliation doctrine in the context of a situation” “where the physical object . . . that was destroyed [was] itself the subject of the case.” Cumberland Ins. Grp. v. Delmarva Power, No. 72, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 12, at *10 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Feb. 1, 2016). The court held that “it is appropriate to balance the degree of fault . . . on the part of the spoliator, on the one hand, with the level of prejudice that injures to the defense because the evidence has been destroyed on the other.” Id. at 11. The court explained that if this balance favors imposing a sanction, “the question then becomes what remedy is appropriate and whether a remedy less drastic then dismissal can cure the prejudice to the defendant.” Id.
From Out of the Abyss
This weeks article is written by Dr. Ruth Alexander. It is from the May 1956 VOL II No.4 issue ofthe California Conference of Arson Investigators' newsletter.
Our America: Treatment "Coddles" Juvenile Delinquents
This recall involves clear acrylic Hanukkah menorahs in a pyramid design that are 10.5 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and 2.3 inches high. Model number 240-14-0169 and bar code can be found on a round white label on the side of the menorah.
Get all the details at CPSC.
Although electrical fires constitute the greatest percentage of the main causes of building fires, the critical evidence used by fire investigators to identify electrical fires is not always convincing to the general public. In this study, we scrutinized the microstructures of fire-causing copper wires and simulated the external environmental conditions required for the formation of fire-causing arc beads. Our metallographic investigation revealed that the primary thermal dendrites of copper at the fire-causing arc bead grew parallel to one another, but in the opposite direction to the heat flow. We determined the relationships of the undercooling (?T0), the growth velocity (?), and the primary spacing (?) of the dendrites with respect to the electrical wire’s diameter. Accordingly, fire investigators can now identify fire-causing arc beads in terms of these metallographic characteristics, thereby providing clear scientific evidence for litigant judgments of electrical fires.
In the recent case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, 224 N.J. 102, 129 A.3d 316 (N.J. 2016), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a person violates the insurance fraud statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6(a), even if he or she does not succeed in duping an insurance carrier into paying a fraudulent claim. In doing so, the Supreme Court reinstated Robert Goodwin’s conviction for insurance fraud.
In concert with each of our semi-annual training seminars, CCAI sponsors and presents the International Association of Arson Investigators Expert Witness Testimony Class.
The IAAI Expert Witness Testimony Class has been developed to assist you, the fire investigator, in continuing your education, however it was primarily designed to help complete the requirements needed to obtain your Certified Fire Investigator credentials.
This class is essential for fire investigators who have the experience, education and training, but lack the two courtroom testimonies required to become a CFI.
The EWT was created to educate and train fire investigators in what is expected when preparing for, and actually having, the opportunity to testify in court.
This course is not easy. Prior to coming to the class, each student is expected to complete several assignments; develop a Curriculum Vitae, complete a photo collage, a diagram and an action plan.
If you are serious about your career and future, make sure you call the office and get your name on the list. This class usually fills up six months to one year in advance.
Wayne Tyson, Richard Knapp and Steve Huchting do an excellent job in selecting the best qualified attorneys to assist in the delivery of the class materials.
So, if your goal is to become a CFI through either CCAI or IAAI and you do not have the necessary mandated two courtroom testimonies, sign up now.
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