Forensic Chromatography - DUIDAn attorney who represents persons accused of drunk and drugged driving cannot do it effectively unless they have the specialized education and experience with chemical testing. Almost every case involves a breath test measurement of bodily alcohol or a blood test for the presence and measurement of drugs. What we are talking about is science which many attorneys are afraid of or simply think they do not need to learn. The fact is that an attorney can represent a person for drunk driving and do no more than accept the results of a chemical test as accurate and plea them guilty. That is not an effective and expert drunk driving lawyer. That is not a lawyer who the prosecutors fear and judges respect.
Understanding exactly how and why these chemical tests work is necessary for the best possible defense. Further the attorney must understand the way drugs and alcohol effects the body. That is especially true for drugs these days as police officers all over the country are receiving specialized training on investigating drugged driving offenses. They are being trained as “Drug Recognition Experts (DRE)” and given training like the “Advanced Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement (ARIDE)“. An attorney fighting these cases must be specifically trained on the science behind blood drug testing and how these drugs effect the human body.
The American Chemical Society sponsors this training through three courses held at the Axion Laboratories in Chicago, Illinois. They are called the Hands-On Forensic Chromatography Training Courses. In June of 2014 Barton Morris graduated from the third one , having completed the first two. This course focused on Driving under the Influence of Drugs Offenses. It was taught by Dr. Lee Polite and Dr. Jimmie Valentine, two nationally renowned experts in the field of analytical chemistry and pharmacology, respectively. The course materials included lectures on the five different major drugs of abuse including Benzodiazepines (such as in Xanax, Valium, and Ambien), Opioid Analgesics pain drugs (heroine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Morphine), Sympathomimetic Amines (Methamphetamines, Ecstasy) , Cannabinoids (marijuana) and Cocaine. We learn specifically about the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamincs of drugs which teach us how they effect the body. What makes this course different than any other in the country, is that we are taught hands on drug analysis techniques where we use a real analytical science laboratory and perform the same testing of drugs on biological samples using the same equipment used in state forensic science laboratories. This hands on experience provides the attorney with a real life training and understanding of how the tests are performed and a real understanding of how mistakes can be made. This class dispels the notion that science and chemical testing is always right. Many attorneys simply want to believe a blood test because getting the knowledge to fight it is a lot of work. They can still make money by getting a plea bargain and pleading people guilty. The only way to truly fight these cases is to learn how they do it, understand how it works and then fight them in court. That is what Axion DUIDthe Axion course teaches lawyers to do.
Barton Morris has already used his scientific knowledge from his two previous Axion classes to the benefit of his clients very effectively. What is even better is that more and more prosecutors are learning that Barton Morris knows what he is talking about when it comes to chemical testing and how drugs and alcohol effect the body. Having completed the third class gives Barton Morris even more knowledge possessed by very few attorneys to effectively fight drunk and drugged driving cases. In fact, to date, Barton Morris is the only attorney in Michigan to complete all three classes and one of only 50 lawyers in the United States.
To commemorate the dedication of the time and expense of taking these courses, the American Chemical Society provides a designation called the “Attorney-Scientist Designation” to all attorneys that complete all three courses and pass a comprehensive examination. It is the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers. Barton Morris is scheduled to take the examination in October of 2014 and plans on being the first and only attorney in Michigan to be designated as an Attorney – Scientist by the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry and the Law Division.

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