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Jon Katz in the News on Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

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Recently I blogged here and here about the junk science of horizontal gaze nystagmus in drunk driving cases.

Lawyers USA recently interviewed me in relation to the recent Illinois HGN case —  Illinois v. McKown (IL, Feb. 19, 2010) — that I blogged about on March 18.

The article references my interview as follows:

Jon Katz, a criminal defense lawyer in Silver Spring, Md., said that he uses a variety of tactics to challenge arresting officers’ HGN testimony.

Last year, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that a state trooper’s testimony about a defendant’s performance on a HGN test constituted expert testimony subject to the rules governing the admissibility of expert testimony  (Maryland v. Blackwell, 971 A.23 296).

Katz said that sometimes, he can “keep that [HGN] testimony out of evidence merely by the prosecutor not notifying me in advance that they’re going to have an expert witness.”

He has also successfully argued that to be qualified as an expert “at a minimum there has to be a training course patterned after the type of course approved by the NHTSA.”