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19 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 363 (2011-2012)
To Serve and Protect - Officers as Expert Witnesses in Federal Drug Prosecutions

handle is hein.journals/gmlr19 and id is 367 raw text is: TO SERVE AND PROTECT? OFFICERS AS EXPERT
Brian R. Gallini*
Members of law enforcement testify as experts in federal drug prose-
cutions. A lot. By deemphasizing an expert's educational credentials, the
Federal Rules of Evidence expressly recognize that specialized know-
ledge may assist the trier of fact and, accordingly, a witness may testify
as an expert if she has sufficient knowledge, skill, experience, [or] train-
ing.' Relying on that standard, federal courts regularly admit members of
law enforcement's expert testimony on a variety of topics, including those
relevant to federal drug prosecutions.2 Admitting members of law enforce-
* Assistant Professor of Law, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law. The author first
thanks Adam Bailey for his invaluable research assistance in preparing this Article. Second, the author
thanks Professors Stephen M. Sheppard, Jelani Jefferson Exum, Laurent Sacharoff, Rick Swedloff, Scott
Dodson, Dustin Buehler, and Donald P. Judges for their helpful comments on prior drafts. Third, the
author thanks the participants at the Washington University School of Law Junior Faculty Regional
Workshop and the 2010 Central States Law School Association Conference for their thoughtful feed-
back. Fourth, the author thanks the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law for a summer
research grant that provided support for this project. Last, but far from least, the author thanks his wife
to whom he owes a substantial debt for her endless patience in discussing this topic.
I FED. R. EVID. 702.
2 See, e.g., United States v. Barrow, 400 F.3d 109, 124 (2d Cir. 2005); United States v. Brown,
No. 99-5395, 2000 WL 1290368, at *2 (6th Cir. Sept. 6, 2000) (per curiam); United States v. Lua,
No. 99-10497, 2000 WL 1234618, at *1 (9th Cir. Aug. 31, 2000); United States v. Brumley, 217 F.3d
905, 911 (7th Cir. 2000); United States v. Harris, 192 F.3d 580, 588 (6th Cir. 1999); United States v.
Alexander, No. 99-4072, 1999 WL 694576, at *1 (4th Cir. Sept. 8, 1999) (per curiam); United States v.
Gibbs, 190 F.3d 188, 211-14 (3d Cir. 1999); United States v. Mancillas, 183 F.3d 682, 704-06 (7th Cir.
1999); United States v. Borda, No. 96-4752, 1999 WL 294540, at *9-10 (4th Cir. May 11, 1999); United
States v. Molina, 172 F.3d 1048, 1056 (8th Cir. 1999); United States v. Howard, 169 F.3d 127, 1130
(8th Cir. 1999); United States v. Love, No. 97-6360, 1999 WL 115523, at *8-9 (6th Cir. Feb. 8, 1999);
United States v. Doe, 149 F.3d 634, 636-38 (7th Cir. 1998); United States v. Spencer, No. 96-1280 (L),
1997 WL 592849, at *3 (2d Cir. Sept. 23, 1997); United States v. Akinrosotu, No. 96-1097, 1996 WL
414458, at *1 (2d Cit. July 25, 1996); United States v. Valle, 72 F.3d 210, 214-16 (1st Cir. 1995); Unit-
ed States v. Walls, 70 F.3d 1323, 1326 (D.C. Cir. 1995); United States v. Gil, 58 F.3d 1414, 1422 (9th
Cir. 1995); Headley v. Tilghman, 53 F.3d 472, 475-76 (2d Cir. 1995); United States v. Crass, 50 F.3d
81, 83 (1st Cir. 1995); United States v. Washington, 44 F.3d 1271, 1282-83 (5th Cir. 1995); United
States v. Speer, 30 F.3d 605, 609-10 (5th Cir. 1994); United States v. Muldrow, 19 F.3d 1332, 1338
(10th Cir. 1994); United States v. Tapia-Ortiz, 23 F.3d 738, 740-42 (2d Cir. 1994); United States v.
Taylor, 18 F.3d 55, 59 (2d Cir. 1994); United States v. Quiroz, 13 F.3d 505, 514 (2d Cit. 1993), abro-
gated in part by United States v. Plugh, 648 F.3d 118 (2d Cir. 2011); United States v. Straughter, 950
F.2d 1223, 1232-33 (6th Cir. 1991); United States v. Campino, 890 F.2d 588, 592-93 (2d Cir. 1989);



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