AUSTIN (KXAN) — When you have three small boys running around your house, you also have a slew of electronic toys and gadgets that come along with it. To make sure she was always prepared for long road trips and car pools, Jennifer Buaas kept extra AA and AAA batteries in her vehicle, just in case one of her boys needed to power one of their toys.
Early Halloween morning, Jennifer heard a car horn going off in her driveway.
“My husband grabbed the keys, went to the garage, opened the garage door and the Suburban was completely on fire,” said Jennifer.
In a recent decision, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered an issue of first impression regarding the doctrine of spoliation. Maryland appellate courts had “not established how to apply the spoliation doctrine in the context of a situation” “where the physical object . . . that was destroyed [was] itself the subject of the case.” Cumberland Ins. Grp. v. Delmarva Power, No. 72, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 12, at *10 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Feb. 1, 2016). The court held that “it is appropriate to balance the degree of fault . . . on the part of the spoliator, on the one hand, with the level of prejudice that injures to the defense because the evidence has been destroyed on the other.” Id. at 11. The court explained that if this balance favors imposing a sanction, “the question then becomes what remedy is appropriate and whether a remedy less drastic then dismissal can cure the prejudice to the defendant.” Id.
From Out of the Abyss
This weeks article is written by Dr. Ruth Alexander. It is from the May 1956 VOL II No.4 issue ofthe California Conference of Arson Investigators' newsletter.
Our America: Treatment "Coddles" Juvenile Delinquents
This recall involves clear acrylic Hanukkah menorahs in a pyramid design that are 10.5 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and 2.3 inches high. Model number 240-14-0169 and bar code can be found on a round white label on the side of the menorah.
Get all the details at CPSC.
Although electrical fires constitute the greatest percentage of the main causes of building fires, the critical evidence used by fire investigators to identify electrical fires is not always convincing to the general public. In this study, we scrutinized the microstructures of fire-causing copper wires and simulated the external environmental conditions required for the formation of fire-causing arc beads. Our metallographic investigation revealed that the primary thermal dendrites of copper at the fire-causing arc bead grew parallel to one another, but in the opposite direction to the heat flow. We determined the relationships of the undercooling (?T0), the growth velocity (?), and the primary spacing (?) of the dendrites with respect to the electrical wire’s diameter. Accordingly, fire investigators can now identify fire-causing arc beads in terms of these metallographic characteristics, thereby providing clear scientific evidence for litigant judgments of electrical fires.
In the recent case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, 224 N.J. 102, 129 A.3d 316 (N.J. 2016), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a person violates the insurance fraud statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6(a), even if he or she does not succeed in duping an insurance carrier into paying a fraudulent claim. In doing so, the Supreme Court reinstated Robert Goodwin’s conviction for insurance fraud.
Tom Campuzano, our good friend and a dedicated California Conference of Arson Investigators Board member, passed away in 1999. Tom served on the Board of Directors for CCAI from 1995 until his passing. He became very active during the 1995 IAAI Conference, which was hosted by CCAI in the City of Los Angeles. He had decided, after much persuasion, to work his way through the chairs in CCAI. He had announced that he would accept the nomination for the office of Second Vice President, which he would have assumed in January of 2000 in San Luis Obispo.
Shortly after his passing, the Board of Directors established the "Tom Campuzano Memorial Scholarship Fund." The goal of the fund is to promote, recognize, and foster dedicated service in the field of Fire Investigation. The fund will be financed through donations, with a recurring donation of $1,000 per year by Attorney Sandy Burnette.
This notice is being posted in hopes that some in-need fire investigator out there may be interested in attending the next CCAI Conference, compliments of the Tom Campuzano Memorial Scholarship Fund. The CCAI Board of Directors will award a $500.00 scholarship for each seminar to a worthy investigator who may not otherwise be able to attend either of the semi-annual seminars.
"CAMPY" Scholarship applicants can be either public or private fire investigators. Applicants must provide documentation indicating that their employer does not have funding available for the conference. "Campy" scholarships are limited to one awardee per conference. The "Campy" scholarship award is $500. This scholarship funding can be applied toward:
1) Membership registration (if not a current member) 2) Conference registration 3) Hotel lodging 4) Meal expenses 5) Travel expenses
Go here to print and fill out the application .
Please contact me with regard to any questions, comments orÂ suggestions.
"SKI Scholarship" applicants must be a public sector investigator and be from an agency that does not have funding available. Applicants that are forced to pay out of pocket in order to attend our conferences are encouraged to apply. The number of available scholarships is dependent on the amount of contributions we receive, but there can be as many as three recipients per conference. Scholarship funding can be applied toward:
1) Membership registration (if they are not current members) 2) conference registration 3) hotel lodging 4) meal expenses 5) travel expenses
Go here to print and fill out the application.
Bill Kilpatrick Chairperson Scholarship Committee
The California Conference of Arson Investigators offers scholarships to each of their training conferences. Both the “SKI” and “CAMPY” scholarships are a result of generous contributions from our corporate sponsors.
Please contact me with regard to any questions, comments or suggestions.
Donations can be made at the CCAI online store.
Thank you for your support.
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