Dear BACDL/FACDL-Miami members:
Last night I had a conversation with Mike Satz regarding the Broward County Medical Examiners office and their procedures with respect to the testing of bodily fluids. If you had a case in Broward in the past ...years, where your client's or witnesses bodily fluids were sent to the M.E.'s office for testing of a controlled substance, etc, you may now have some more work to do. This could potentially result in new information that you could use to request a new trial, etc. This could affect DUI's, DUI manslaughter's and any other case where they tested for a controlled substance. The M.E. has specifically advised that it does not include tests for alcohol content (I do not yet know how or why). The current M.E. has now sent the attached letter to Mr. Satz who has forwarded same to me.
The letter basically states that the new M.E., DR. Craig Mallak, has ordered the investigation of all testing of bodily fluids that were conducted during the past 10 years. (i.e., under the previous administration).
The letter states, in part,:"Most likely, the results provided to the State Attorney's office in the past have been accurate; however I felt a moral and ethical obligation to provide you with this information. In early September, I directed to staff to begin gathering data on the number of live persons' samples that tested positive for drugs in the past ten (10) years; that data was provided to you in hard copy during our meeting today and comprises approximately 3600 individual cases. It is my understanding there is no definitive evidence to suggest that the actual results reported were inaccurate; however, the methods used to extract the information were not previously scientifically
Our question of their expert in any case is logical. Can you state with any degree of scientific certainty that the test results in this case are accurate? After the above statement, how could they answer yes in a deposition, hearing or trial?Mr. Satz advised me that he has also advised Howard of these developments. I have placed a call to Howard Finkelstein to discuss this matter further.
I will keep you informed as I receive further information.