Education & Training

Capital Litigation Initiative: Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics Training

Webinar 6: OSAC Essentials: Forensic Science Resources

OSAC Essentials: Forensic Science Resources
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

OSAC Essentials: Forensic Science Resources - Representing over twenty-five forensic disciplines, the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) is a valuable resource for forensic science standards and guidelines. During this webinar the genesis of OSAC will be presented along with information about committee membership, organizational structure, stakeholder benefits and the relationship between OSAC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The panelists will discuss OSACís well-defined process to develop technically sound forensic science standards and familiarize attorneys with OSAC resources, including the OSAC Registry and newsletter.

Published standards, research and development needs, and the impact of OSAC on the legal community will be discussed. The webinar offers a judicial perspective on admissibility of evidence and expert witness testimony. Using case examples, the discussion will explore the analysis judges undertake to determine if expert testimony demonstrates a logical link between objective facts and offered opinion.

Webinar panelists include:

  • Kenneth Melson Kenneth E. Melson was most recently the Senior Advisor on Forensic Science in the Office of Legal Policy at the US Department of Justice. Prior to that position he was the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, having been appointed by President Obama. Mr. Melson has been an adjunct professor at The George Washington University for over 35 years, teaching law and forensic science courses at both the Law School and the Department of Forensic Sciences. He is published in both scientific texts and legal journals.
  • Mark D. Stolorow Mark Stolorow is the Deputy Director of the Special Programs Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he is also the Director for OSAC Affairs (Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science). Mr. Stolorow also serves as the program chairman of the International Symposium on Forensic Science Error Management convened by NIST in 2015 and 2017. Mr. Stolorow has significant forensic laboratory and courtroom experience, having served as the training coordinator for the statewide forensic serology program and as the research program administrator for the Illinois State Police Bureau of Forensic Science, as well as serving as the Executive Director of Orchid Cellmark, a forensic DNA testing laboratory.
  • Hon. Christopher J. Plourd Christopher J. Plourd is the presiding Judge of the Imperial County Superior Court in El Centro, California. Plourd was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to Superior Court in Imperial County California in December 2011. Prior to his judicial appointment, he was a practicing litigation attorney for over 31 years in San Diego and El Centro, California where he specialized in cases involving Forensic Scientific Evidence. Since July 2014 Judge Plourd has served as the Legal Resource Committee (LRC) chair and a member of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC).

Course materials:

View the webinar recording.

This webinar is designed for both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Attendees who complete this webinar will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education credits. The Stetson Office of Professional Education will work with each individual participant for reporting specifics. CLE applications will be made to Florida and other states per individual requests. Please email for further information and state specific requests.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-CP-BX-K006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.