Frequently asked questions
- How much do you charge for your services?
While I prefer not to publish my fees on the web, I charge a reasonable advance which is subtracted from the amount of the final invoice. I also charge by the hour at reasonable rates. The amount is basically the same as I have been charging for the past year but may be higher depending on the circumstances (such as a rush job which would require me to re-prioritize my schedule). I will be happy to send you a detailed fee schedule upon request.
- Why do you consult as an expert?
I was employed as a sworn law enforcement officer for eleven years and have considerable respect for the profession. I firmly believe, however, that officers who knowingly violate the civil rights of citizens erode the respect and good reputations of thousands of professional law enforcement officers. Case review provides me a venue to interface with police and legal practitioners while evaluating real-world police problems. Virtually everything I have done in my professional life – my practical police experience, formal education, book authoring, research in police matters and college teaching in criminal justice – has paved a logical trail to expert witnessing in police litigation cases. The stakes are high and I take very seriously my role in the litigation process.
- How do you maintain your objectivity?
I have no axe to grind with regard to police matters, policy or the criminal justice system. I know the police profession well as I come from their ranks, but I am willing to side with the plaintiff if the actions of the police egregiously violate the constitutional rights of innocent citizens. I believe law-abiding, hard-working and dedicated police officers are unfairly and negatively impacted by the actions of rogue cops. Civil redress is one important way to professionalize the police service. Working for both plaintiff and defense gives me objectivity as I favor neither side.I am a full-time, tenured college professor by trade and as such do not require the income I make from being an expert witness as my main source of income. My expert witnessing is strictly a sideline that I enjoy. This gives me the freedom to pick and choose the cases with which I become involved. Typically, when I turn down a case it is because I either consider the case frivolous or I disagree with position of the inquiring attorneys.
- How do you maintain your expertise?
One of the greatest strengths I can offer, and one that separates me from other experts, is the fact that I am a published author. All of my publications deal in one way or another with police work and are all published by nationally recognized publishing houses which include Prentice Hall (Pearson Education), CRC Press & Elsevier Publishing (associated with Anderson Publishing Co.). The majority of my six books are revised regularly, requiring me to be up-to-date on issues, the law and new police procedures. Before publication, all books undergo an extensive peer-review process by criminal justice professionals (practitioners and academics) nationwide.
- Are your books ever used outside academia?
Yes. Law enforcement agencies across the nation have adopted my texts as training guides for their officers. For example, the San Antonio, Texas Police Department adopted several hundred copies of my criminal investigation book; the Dearborn Police Department requires candidates for promotion to read my criminal investigation book in preparation for their Sergeant’s exam; the Drug Enforcement Administration had adopted copies of my Practical Drug Enforcement book for its national library in Washington D.C.
- Have you testified in federal court and been recognized by federal (and state) courts as a expert in police procedure?
Yes. I have been qualified and have testified as a police procedures expert in jury trials in state and federal courts. For a list of locations see “Maps.”
- Do you have any practical experience in the development of police policy?
Yes. Not only did I develop policies for two state police organizations when I was a law enforcement practitioner, but in 2006 I co-authored a model policy on digital imaging for the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP). IACP model policies are used by police administrators nationwide as guidelines for departmental policy development. Furthermore, I teach a graduate-level class on the development and evaluation of standard operating procedure that creates actual standard operating procedures for police departments. The majority of the policies that are developed under my supervision are adopted for implementation by law enforcement organizations.
- In what states are you willing to work?
I am willing to work nationally and have been retained as an expert throughout the United States and the District of Columbia. For a list of locations see “Maps.”
- What is the percentage of defense versus plaintiff cases with which you have been involved?
The estimated breakdown of cases I have been asked to review:Plaintiff: 80%
- Do you prefer to testify for plaintiff or defense?
Stated simply, I have no preference as I recognize that there are valid points to make on both sides of most issues. Having a preference would be suggestive of a bias and I pride myself in being objective and impartial to both sides. In a perfect world, I would like to have a 50-50 split of defense and plaintiff cases but I have no control over which side contacts me nor do I have control over the quality of cases that come to my attention. I consider all cases according to their own merits.When I do receive an inquiry, I generally have a brief conversation with the inquiring attorney and I may or may not agree to accept a case. In addition to working with some of the most professional and prestigious plaintiffs law firms in the nation, I have also worked on the defense side with state, county and municipal law enforcement organizations.Examples include: The Chicago Police Department; The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department; The Clarksville Police Department (Tennessee); The Boston Police Department; The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas); The Phoenix Police Department; The Chandler Police Department (Arizona); Tunica County Sheriff’s Office (Mississippi); Onawa, Iowa Police Department; Skokie (Illinois), Police Department; Port St. Lucie Police Department (Florida); The Missouri Attorney General’s Office; Fort Worth Police Department and the Virginia State Police to name only a few.
- Have you ever turned down a case?
Yes, many. I have declined acceptance of cases based on my initial conversation with the inquiring attorney and have also sent cases back to attorneys after reviewing the case file and deeming them as having no merit. I have rejected an estimated 10-15% of cases referred to me since 2001.
- Is there anything in your background that would pose credibility problems for you in court?
No. I have a clean record and background both personally and professionally. During the course of my law enforcement career, I never had a public or internal complaint nor was I ever disciplined in any fashion. Furthermore, I have never been the subject of criminal or civil proceedings.
- How many cases have you reviewed total as an expert?
I have reviewed and have provided written opinions in over 375 cases since summer of 2001.
- Have you faced any challenges under Daubert?
Yes! My credentials and qualifications have been scrutinized on three occasions under Daubert. To the best of my knowledge I have successfully prevailed each time.
- How many times have you testified in civil or criminal matters?
I estimate that I have testified on over 400 occasions in both federal and state court actions (civil and criminal). These include hearings, trials and depositions.