Forensic Pathology in Civil and Criminal Cases Revised Fourth Ed
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The professional knowledge and practice of the forensic sciences are increasingly becoming more technical, complex, and sophisticated with each passing year. What's more, areas of scientific and medical knowledge are required so frequently in various civil and criminal legal matters that particular forensic specialties have evolved in response to this need, e.g., pathology, toxicology, odontology, anthropology, entomology, epidemiology, and others.
It is therefore imperative to have a solid reference book like Forensic Pathology in Civil and Criminal Cases, Fourth Edition for all those whose work must engage with both this highly specialized knowledge base and the specific concerns of the legal profession. Now in its fourth edition, Forensic Pathology addresses the needs of a diverse, equally skilled audience---forensic scientists, physicians, trial attorneys, medical and law school librarians, as well as the various local, state, and federal government agencies that deal with forensic medicine---to bridge the gaps and foster collaboration so that the ends of justice may be better served.
As one reviewer observed, it is an authoritative, work, one accessible to the layperson, that humbly began as a medicolegal textbook but became a magnum opus on the subject.
This revised Fourth Edition has been extensively and meticulously edited by Dr. John W. Blenko, a retired Anesthesiology Specialist in Baltimore, MD with over 42 years of experience in the medical field.
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., is a forensic pathologist, medical-legal consultant, lecturer, and author. An actively practicing forensic pathologist, Dr. Wecht has personally performed more than 19,000 autopsies and has reviewed or supervised an additional 39,000 post-mortem examinations. Dr. Wecht is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology in the specialties of Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology.
Michael A. Graham, M.D., is a forensic pathologist, Chief Medical Examiner for the City of St. Louis, and Professor of Pathology at St. Louis University School of Medicine.
Randy L. Hanzlick, M.D., is a forensic pathologist, Chief Medical Examiner Fulton County, Georgia, and Associate Professor of Forensic Pathology at Emory University School of Medicine where he is also the Director of Forensic Pathology Training.
"It is a superior book to any forensic pathology textbooks previously published because the book contains new areas of legal interpretation and explanation for a role of forensic pathologists who are often called to testify in court. Because of authors’ long years of experience in legal medicine and forensic pathology, this book presents unique and new information to currently practicing forensic pathology. Further this book is beyond technical discussion, but it presents all phases of investigational aspects. I would be proud to have this book on my book shelf."
- Thomas T. Noguchi, MD, President of the World Association for Medical Law and Professor Emeritus of Forensic Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and former Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, County of Los Angeles
"Dr Wecht is the platinum standard from which all other forensic pathologists are measured. This latest work raises the bar even higher if that's possible. It's a comprehensive and exhaustive treatise that is also totally accessible to the non medical practitioner. It's almost malpractice not to have this book in your library and arsenal."
- Mark Geragos is the only lawyer besides Johnnie Cochran ever named "Lawyer of the Year" in both Criminal and Civil arenas. California Law Business Magazine named Geragos "One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California" three years in a row, and Geragos has repeatedly been voted by his peers as one of Los Angeles' SuperLawyers.
"Dr. Cyril Wecht is world renowned as the most accomplished, knowledgeable, expert forensic pathologist. Dr. Wecht is without equal; his expertise remarkable. Now, you can access Dr. Wecht’s insights, analyses, and recommendations in his Forensic Pathology in Civil and Criminal Cases (Fourth Edition). If you wish to be prepared in a civil or criminal matter that addresses forensic pathology issues, then Dr. Wecht’s comprehensive compendium is a must."
- Robert K. Tanenbaum, Esq. former Assistant District Attorney in New York County, where he ran the Homicide Bureau, served as Chief of the Criminal Courts, and was in charge of the DA’s legal staff training program. He also served two terms as mayor of Beverly Hills and taught Advanced Criminal Procedure for four years at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and has conducted CLE seminars in California, New York and Pennsylvania.
"This is the most complete coverage of medical-legal investigation in Forensic Medicine that I have ever read. It covers the subject matter applying the highest professional standards. The information presented in this book is based on Dr. Wecht’s years of experience as Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner with Allegheny County, PA. Throughout his career he has demonstrated the ability to obtain information from people, assess the veracity of that information, and obtain confessions from suspects as well as clear individuals accused of crimes they didn’t commit. Wecht’s book provides the reader with information that can be applied within any investigation to help obtain accurate facts and information from autopsy, and to assist with the assessment the information from the scene to the body. In addition, the book also addresses issues such as expert witness testimony, admissibility of scientific evidence, report writing, certification and standardized procedures. The authors have written a genuinely fascinating and informative book that reveals the details of forensic pathology and its interaction with the legal field. There is much to learn from this engrossing book."
- Dr. Henry C. Lee, Distinguished Chair Professor & Associate Vice President, University of New Haven, Founder, Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science, Director, Forensic Research & Training Center
"This important new volume uniquely and clearly describes how the rapidly developing forensic sciences can be of great value for forensic scientists and trial attorneys in the preparation of forensic evidence in civil and criminal matters."
- Dr. Michael Baden is the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and past Co-Director of the New York State Police Medico-Legal Investigations Unit.
"Doctors Wecht, Graham, and Hanzlick are highly-respected and imposing founts of knowledge on the subject of forensic pathology in court. In this 644 page fourth edition, intended as a legal reference textbook, they have produced a magnum opus. Other textbooks on forensic pathology are written primarily for the medical practitioner and do not include sections of significance to the litigator such as: Chapter 12. Common Frustrations Related to Court Appearance; Chapter 19. The Agonal Period: Events, Activity, and Pain; or Chapter 53. Checkpoints for Trial.
Woe be to the litigator who does not have this text on his shelf!"
- Victor W. Weedn, MD, JD, Professor and Chair Department of Forensic Sciences, George Washington University
“Forensic Pathology in Civil and Criminal Cases, is a very interesting, read. It engages different vantage points of professional responsibilities and standards for forensic pathology amidst a climate of scrutiny of forensic science and efforts to heighten the quality and standard of death investigation in America. Given its creation by sage physicians and academics in Wecht, Graham, and Hanzlick, it’s surprising how simple the book is to follow and absorb. The book is therefore quite informative for attorneys and other personnel outside of the scientific arena, and even general audiences who want a better, meaty understanding of forensic pathology. But an early career pathologist would also do well to study this blueprint for how to approach one’s cases as a best-practice professional and also within specific areas. Terrific guidance is to be found in chapters on the pretrial conference and on testimony.
Death investigation is the staple of forensic pathology, and those seeking nuts and bolts and nuance for the science will heartily digest chapters on the agonal period, the time between fatal wound and death, in particular. A chapter on special aspects of homicide is very useful to a range of forensic scientists and law enforcement and investigators alike. Chapters on the death scene and on blood drops, stains and patterns were my particular favorites for their practicality.
A chapter on malpractice claims merges legal thresholds and their inherent challenges with why forensic pathology assists in the bedeviling area of causation. Medicolegal work often highlights deviation from standard, but successful cases do rise and fall on resolution of direct causation. For causation, pathology input is underrated and most useful.
There is a significant amount regarding court testimony, the court system and the admissibility of forensic science. Even the touchy subject of fraudulent and unethical testimony and remedies to protect the court are discussed. The authors also detail how peer review is an important component of quality assurance and how mechanisms are emerging for its implementation to a broader degree in forensic pathology assessment. Well done.
Dr. Wecht and his colleagues provide practical input, distilling experience, in ways that traditional scientific texts and teaching does not. Theirs is a wealth of experience generously shared for next generations to follow.”
- Dr. Michael Weiner MD, Chairman, The Forensic Panel; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine