Discovering Laboratory Procedures and Potential Mistakes

Interviewer: Is that one of things that you’ll look for? Do you subpoena standard operating procedures or books to see if they have a method and if they’ve qualified that method properly?

Leckerman: Typically, I don’t have to go the route of using a subpoena. I ask for this information through the discovery process. Generally, the prosecutor won’t provide the information without a court order, and then I have to go into court before the judge and make arguments for these items concerning the method and the calibration that was done for the machine or the verification and the separation mix that was also put into the machine.

Those are essential pieces of information that I need to get and an expert will need to review in order to determine if the laboratory did testing properly. Remember, this is science and it’s an issue of whether the laboratory followed accepted scientific procedures. If they didn’t, then the science is no good and the results would be invalid. Any true scientist will endeavor to make sure that the science is not only developed properly in order to identify drugs of abuse, but also execute it properly. If both of those aspects aren’t done according to the scientific process, then the results would be questionable.