"Education is a critical foundation for serving as an expert. Whether it’s educating the client, the judge and/or the jury, it is the expert’s responsibility to simplify potentially complex scientific scenarios so that the concepts are understandable by everyone.”

- Steven M. Schorr

Legal Logistics and Technology: Don’t Let Catastrophic Events Turn into Catastrophic Verdicts:

Speaker: Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

Technology is expanding exponentially in all areas of our lives from being able to “speak commands” to units that unlock our doors, create shopping lists and then actually order goods and services for us; to units that provide diagnostics to keep our house, office and vehicles properly serviced. The “wave” of new technology will not be ebbing anytime soon. Even in the world of forensic engineering, every year brings change. This seminar will provide an overview of some of the newer technologies that have been, and/or are just being used to help evaluate vehicular collisions and other failure events. 3D demonstrative evidence; event data recorders, telematics and infotainment; the epidemic of distracted driving; autonomous and/or driver assisted vehicles; drones; 3D laser scanners; and the engineering analysis of surveillance video are just some of the topics covered in this fast-moving, dynamic presentation. Real-world case examples will provide a context of how this technology is properly applied so it will be accepted into evidence by the Court.

Interpreting Engineer-ese: Collision Reconstruction Deconstructed

Speakers: Robert T. Lynch, P.E., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer and Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

This seminar will provide a “Crash” (pun intended) course for lawyers and legal professionals in the field of collision reconstruction, while presenting in layperson’s terms, some of the basic principles of physics, mathematics, and engineering that can be applied to an event. This seminar will appeal to both the new and seasoned attorney who practices auto law. Topics include evidence preservation, event data, GPS data and surveillance video, with a specific focus on how to utilize this data to evaluate your case. We will also address new and emerging vehicle technologies, such as forward collision and lane departure, along with what data can be accessed from these systems to help explain how a collision occurred.

Elder Abuse & Neglect

Speaker: Stacy L. Donnelly, RN, BSN, Nursing and Nursing Home Expert

Continuing Education Credits: 1 Substantive

Elder abuse and neglect are often topics that are difficult to think about, however, they are real and do occur. Both are common and often result in serious medical, social, and psychological consequences. One way to decrease elder abuse and neglect, along with its negative impacts, is to provide education, including the warning signs and how to prevent it from occurring. In this 60-minute presentation by Stacy L. Donnelly, RN, BSN, Nursing and Nursing Home Expert, attendees will learn about the various types of abuse and neglect; examples of abuse and neglect; how to identify warning signs; and the steps to take if elder abuse and neglect is suspected. Ms. Donnelly will also discuss the techniques used in the investigation of these cases, providing real-life cases studies. There will be opportunities to ask questions and discuss throughout and after the presentation

Engineering Animations: What Makes Them Legally Credible?

Speakers: Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer and Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

We are all familiar with the breathtaking animations created by major movie studios. Beautiful, dynamic, and compelling...but are they accurate? In this age of Daubert, it is critical that any demonstrative piece of evidence, whether a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional "animation" showing special relationships, is accurate and, as such, will meet the standards of admissibility for expert testimony. Is the demonstrative to-scale? Are the movements consistent with the applicable laws of physics? Does the exhibit accurately demonstrate the results of the engineering analysis?

The seminar will discuss how a proper "engineering" animation (one that adheres to the principles such that they will be admitted by the court) is created. We will discuss the manner in which data is collected; show how all objects within the environment need to be and are presented "to-scale"; define movements based on the laws of physics; and confirm that what is shown in the exhibit properly "demonstrates" the results of the analysis. Proper planning and understanding provide the opportunity to assure that these effective exhibits will be accepted into evidence. Actual case examples of excellent (and not so excellent) exhibits will be used as part of the presentation.

Master the Metaverse: How to Command the Courtroom Through the Use of 3D Demonstratives and Cutting-Edge Exhibits

Speaker: Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer and Laurence R. Penn, CFVT, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist

Continuing Education Credits: 1 Substantive

Having been relegated to zoom depositions and virtual trials for the past 2 years, stepping in front of a live jury has a familiar, yet distinctly different feel in a “post-covid” world. Has dealing with the pandemic hardened the hearts of jurors, or will jurors now view most plaintiffs as sympathetic given our recent collective burden? Given the increased behavioral uncertainty surrounding trials, it is more important than ever to present a case that is captivating and memorable for a jury. In a world centered around the power of the visual, the best way to communicate a message that will stick in an observer’s mind is through cutting-edge, 3-dimensional exhibits and animations.

This presentation will focus on engineering animations from a variety of fields such as collision reconstruction, medical, mechanical, biomechanical, and more. We will explore the nuance and applicability of each demonstrative, along with the different levels of detail. This will transition into a discussion of how recorded video (surveillance video) can be misleading, and ways in which video and engineering analyses can combine to unlock and illustrate the objective truths oftentimes hidden in plain sight. Finally, state-of-the art interactive and immersive exhibits are unveiled and provide the attendee a preview of the future (and for the most forward-thinking, the present) of courtroom exhibits.

What Has Your Vehicle Done for You Lately: Occupant Protection in Vehicular Collisions

Speakers: John R. Yannaccone, P.E., Principal Mechanical Engineer

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

Cases involving vehicle crashes typically have two main questions, how did the crash occur and why was the occupant injured. A collision reconstruction and analysis of data such as that from an event data recorder can provide insight into the cause of the crash and the factors that contributed to it occurring. However, in order to understand how and why occupants were injured requires an understanding of the vehicle systems and components present to protect the occupant. Most vehicles now include safety features beyond the basic lap belt, shoulder belt, and airbag. Items such as pretensioners, load limiters, inflatable seatbelts, and a multitude of different airbags are now found in vehicles. Having a basic understanding of how these new features function, and are intended to enhance the safety of a vehicle, is important when evaluating cases involving occupant injury.

The Seatbelt Defense – If the Belt Fits… The Path to Proving (or Disproving) Seatbelt Usage

Speaker: John R. Yannaccone, P.E., Principal Mechanical Engineer

Continuing Education Credits: 1 Substantive

In several states, including New Jersey and New York, a defendant can offer what is known as a “seatbelt defense” to reduce the monetary damages awarded in motor vehicle collision cases. There are four major criteria that must be proven by the defendant proffering a seatbelt defense:

  • A functional seatbelt was available to the plaintiff
  • Plaintiff was not wearing the seatbelt at the time of the incident
  • Failure to wear the seatbelt resulted in the injuries sustained by the plaintiff and
  • Proper utilization of the available seatbelt would have reduced the plaintiff’s injuries

The path to proving, or disproving, these four factors vary depending on the facts of the case and the available evidence. This seminar will provide information to assist litigators in evaluating when a seatbelt defense should be considered, or conversely when a plaintiff would be able to counter-argue a proffered seatbelt defense. We will discuss the types of information needed to evaluate both the crash and the occupant’s injuries relative to the ability of the seatbelt to protect the occupant. Case studies will demonstrate scenarios where the use of a seatbelt can protect an occupant, and those times when it would not.

It’s Not You… It’s DME (Digital Multimedia Evidence)

Speakers: Laurence Penn, CFVT, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist and Timothy R. Primrose, Mobile Forensic Analyst

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

Technology is continuously changing. As experts in the field of digital and multimedia evidence, it is our job to keep up with this evolution and expand our knowledge of these devices and how they may affect forensic investigations. The vast number of devices, paired with constant software updates, presents a repetitive challenge to data collection methods.

This seminar will address the best practices for extracting data from computers, smartphones, infotainment systems, event data recorders, and surveillance video systems. It is imperative that digital and multimedia data is collected and preserved according to industry standards to ensure that data is not manipulated or lost.

Laurence Penn, CFVT, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist, will review types of surveillance video systems and other sources of digital video, the basic structure of digital video, and how the data should be properly forensically extracted. Preliminary analysis for authentication and preservation of the data will also be discussed.

Timothy Primrose, Mobile Forensic Analyst, will identify what data can or cannot be retrieved from smartphones, infotainment systems, and event data recorders. Participants will be introduced to practical and theoretical obstacles surrounding mobile and vehicle forensics, along with the intricacies of analyzing the data retrieved through real-life case studies and extractions.

Photogrammetry, Striving for Accuracy Through Distortions of Imagery

Speaker: Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist and Hugh B. Borbidge

Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive Photogrammetry, the process of extracting spatial information from photographs, is a powerful tool for forensic accident reconstruction. This presentation will include several case scenarios and different applications of the science. The quality and resolution of the imagery can also present challenges in the process and affect the final outcome. Methods in which the data needs to be interrogated to obtain optimal results will be reviewed. The DJS Associates custom-built photo scanning system, MIMICS, will also be demonstrated.

Meet Our Speakers

Justin P. Schorr

Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D.

Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer

R. Scott King, BSME, CFEI

Principal Automotive/Mechanical Engineer

Robert T. Lynch, P.E.

Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer

John R. Yannaccone, P.E.

Principal Mechanical Engineer

James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME

Collision Reconstruction Engineering Analyst

Timothy P. Reilly, P.E.

Civil Engineer

Hugh Borbidge, BSME

Director of Engineering Animations

Lan T. Tomasi, BSME

Engineering Analyst

Timothy R. Primrose

Mobile Forensic Analyst

Laurence R. Penn, CFVT

Senior Forensic Animation / Video Specialist

Jon W. Adams

Director of 3D Reality Capture

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