Having spent over 20 years as a rebuttal expert has been a great amount of fun, but there have been disappointments.
I never underestimated the opposition. Never!
I found the disappointment was due to the opposing expert. I would review the file. I would review the Certified Forensic Locksmith report, or engineer’s report and would find ambiguous language, speculation stated as fact. I had one report that stated “If I could have found the ignition lock, the dent puller with a broken bolt, May have been used to force the lock out of the dash.” This report was used in a criminal case!
The only facts this expert could attest to was that the car was reported stolen and recovered burned. He could not find the remains to the ignition. He found a dent puller in the vehicle. He then went on to state he or the business he worked for was not aware of any method to defeat the GM PK III with the ignition ripped out of the dash. Well, unfortunately for my client, the ignorance of this expert got him charged with insurance fraud and other felonies.
Many know the PK III is antiquated, designed about 1994 and is easy to bypass. This expert however was not aware of this fact. Since he could not find the ignition, he had no idea if it was attached to the dash. It could have suffered fire damage, melted, dropping the remains in the burn debris on the driver’s floor. We don’t know if that dent puller was in that vehicle at the time of the fire. It could have been in another vehicle and tossed inside the insured’s vehicle. Here was an expert claiming to have performed a forensic examination, and all his facts were either he used speculation as fact, and demonstrated his ignorance on the anti-theft transponder system.
When I testified, I gave about 6 different ways the vehicle could be stolen. I even had video to support my testimony.
The expert was inside the court room when I testified. I was told he didn’t agree with me, but as I said, I had video. Every way I addressed to steal that vehicle would not be picked up by forensics because of the fire.
when I was finished testifying, I sat in for the rest of the trial. The closing statement from the attorney was based on my testimony.
The prosecutor argued, but to no avail.
My client was acquitted of all charges.
The point of all of this is everytime I have gone up against a Certified Forensic Locksmith that authored a report for an insurance company on a reported stolen vehicle, there have always been problems on their side.
They know using the Certified Forensic Locksmith title, the jury will assume they are like the CSI people on TV. The jury will imagine their capabilities are DNA recovery and the like. They envision this expert as actually being able to determine the last key used (which they don’t) but they are the expert and no one in the court knows what they are telling them, other than accusing the insured of having the last key used.
I am disliked because I expose them.
I do everything possible to prove their unprovable theories. I have learned over 20 years of studying, testing,writing about testing procedures for peer review, working with tool mark experts, chemists, metallurgists from across the globe, I don’t claim to have all the answers. However, it appears I know a lot more than the experts I oppose.
In fact, there are a couple that take it personal.
One expert flat out lied to a judge about me! He didn’t appreciate me making him look like a fool in many cases.
To demonstrate his superior aptitude on auto theft, he examined a stolen recovered burned Yukon. He stated the ignition lock suffered from blunt force trauma and was last rotated with the insured’s key. He stated there was no signs of stripping.
The client attorney was very concerned with the blunt force trauma statement. We set up a meeting at the auto auction for me to inspect the vehicle. Present were the attorneys, the expert, the insurance investigator and myself.
I looked at the vehicle and did not spend much time. He stated no stripping, yet there were no steel seat frames. No plastic trim panels melted. The seats had obviously been unbolted and the interior had been stripped before the fire. I was absolutely amazed he missed this. It was very obvious! I supplied my report and the insurance company settled immediately!
This was the same expert in a California trial that said a vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type.
I cut some keys that were visibly different than the owner’s key. 4 different keys to be exact and then I coded the lock to match the vehicle in question.
The lock and keys were passed around to the jury. Then the question was; which of the keys were of the proper type?
The jury believed me and the case cost Farmers $375,000.
There is another CFL that didn’t like losing, and illustrated what a professional he isn’t and that will be for another post.
Anyone needing my services, my name is Rob Painter. Phone numbers are 1-866-490-1673 or cell 1-903-513-7808. My email is robo14@AOL.com and I work anywhere in the US.