Be Aware of Evidence on Social Media Involving Anticipated or Pending Investigations or Litigation

By Eric Marcy |   Dec. 27, 2016

            Under the recent case of State v. Hannah, Docket No. A-5741-14T3, (N.J. App. Div. Decided December 20, 2016; approved for publication), the courts have confirmed how Twitter postings may be authenticated.   Social media postings may now be authenticated as any other “writing” under New Jersey Rule of Evidence 901.  Despite the ease in which digital media may be manipulated, the court rejected an argument for a higher standard for authentication.  The court confirmed that a combination of circumstantial factors related to the posting, such as context, prior communications, expressing specific knowledge of an event/issue, profile information, and photographs may establish sufficient authentication.  Social media has become a rich source of information for litigation and authentication is possible through direct proof, circumstantial evidence, contents/knowledge, reply and other miscellaneous methods of establishing reliability as any other form of writing.

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Topics : Criminal Law, Evidence, Social Media, twitter evidence, evidence spoliation, Investigations, Authentication | 0 Comments Read More

The Millon™ Clinical Multiaxial Inventory Testing The Use And Validity Of The MCMI-III™ In Court Cases

By Eric Marcy |   Feb. 4, 2016

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (“MCMI-III”™) is a popular assessment tool used by clinical psychologists, that has been in use since approximately 1977. This instrument has been the subject of many articles and books.[1] The theoretical basis derives from Millon’s theory of personality development, personality types, and personality disorders. The instrument relies on 175 “self-report” true false questions, which are dependent upon a subject’s self awareness and providing accurate responses to the questions. [2] Similar to other testing instruments the Millon attempts to build in validity scales to account for any misrepresentation of symptoms and attempts to “detect” "invalid profiles.”[3] The MCMI-III Manual itself specifically acknowledges “limitations and qualifications” regarding its use. The data derives from clinical sampling and “are applicable only to individuals who evidence problematic emotional and interpersonal symptoms or who are undergoing professional psychotherapy or a psycho diagnostic evaluation” and “the samples employed for such purposes are best drawn only from comparable clinical populations.” (T. Millon, R. Davis, P. Millon, , MCMI-III Manual, 2nd ed. (1997), at p. 6.[4] It “is not a general personality instrument to be used with normal populations or for purposes other than diagnostic screening or clinical assessment.”[5] Similar to the MMPI-2, the MCMI-III results may generate computer generated report, the manual itself cautions that “reading a computerized report is no substitute for clinical judgment. Only those trained in the limits of psychological tests are qualified to interpret them."[6] Read More

Topics : Criminal Defense, Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), Scientific Evidence, Criminal Law, Psychological Test, discovery, Eric Marcy, Parole, Domestic Violence, Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), Evidence, Healthcare, experts | 0 Comments Read More

MISUSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS IN COURT

By Eric Marcy |   Jul. 7, 2015

THE MINNESOTA MULTIPHASIC PERSONALITY INVENTORY (“MMPI-2”)

CHALLENGING THE MMPI-2

The use of the MMPI-2 is not designed for specific forensic evaluations (i.e. evaluations for legal issues). The MMPI-2 is what is called “broad-band test.” That means it is a tool for general diagnosis. It is based upon test results taken from populations of individuals with already determined psychiatric diagnoses and personality traits to enable psychologists to test a subject and assist in rendering a diagnosis. Without a proper and fair clinical evaluation, the use of MMPI-2 by itself is an unreliable tool for forensic evaluations that present serious legal consequences.

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Topics : Criminal Defense, Scientific Evidence, Criminal Law, Parole, Health Care, Evidence | 0 Comments Read More

Proposed New Jersey Legislation Seeks to Protect Privacy Interests in Motor Vehicle’s “Black Box” Data

By Ellen Torregrossa-O'Connor |   Nov. 18, 2014

In past investigations into automobile collisions, drivers often faced little challenge to their claims that they adhered to speed limits but somehow lost control of the car, that they applied their brakes but could not slow down in time, or that they steered to avoid animals who invariably left no footprints as they scampered away leaving twisted metal and carnage in their wake. In the absence of full scale accident reconstruction investigations, such assertions could not be scientifically proven or dispelled, and accident causation was often left to a battle of credibility between biased and fallible “eye-witnesses.” Times have changed. Few drivers realize that today, even when they are alone in their vehicles, they travel with an ever-present eyewitness to their driving – the car itself.

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Topics : traffic, Scientific Evidence, Criminal Law, Vehicular Homicide, Death by Auto, Evidence, Accident Investigations | 0 Comments Read More

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