The 2019 Ross Lecture in Litigation

The 10 Year Anniversary of the NAS Report: Two Steps Forward or One Step Back?

Presented by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack

March 25, 2019 | 11:45 AM
Duane Morris LLP Moot Court Room
Klein Hall • Temple University Beasley School of Law

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In February 2009, the National Academy of Sciences issued a landmark report, Strengthening Forensic Science: A Path Forward. The Report recognized the value of forensic discipline evidence but concluded that except for DNA most disciplines lacked reliable scientific research to support their findings and to be able to conclude that a piece of evidence (such as a fingerprint) came from one person to the exclusion of all others.

This conclusion was not surprising to Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, who, prior to her judicial appointment, co-founded and led the Michigan Innocence Project. In the decade since the Report’s release, Chief Justice McCormack has been integral to efforts to improve forensic discipline evidence – on the bench, as a member of the National Commission on Forensic Science, and as an author published in the U.S. and abroad.

Photo of Bridget Mary McCormack

Bridget Mary McCormack

MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became the Chief Justice in January 2019.  

An NYU Law graduate, Chief Justice McCormack started her legal career in New York City.  In 1996 she joined the Yale Law School faculty. She then joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty, in 1998, where she taught criminal law, legal ethics, and various clinics. She was named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs in 2002.  

Chief Justice McCormack was elected to The American Law Institute in 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed her to the National Commission on Forensic Science in 2014. She serves as an editor on the ABA’s preeminent journal, Litigation, and as a member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners Torts Drafting Committee. She continues to teach at the University of Michigan each year as well as publish in professional journals and law media.

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Watch Live

The 2019 Ross Lecture will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.
The live stream begins March 25, 2019 at 11:30 PM

About the Ross Lecture in Litigation

Edward Ross died well before any of his family or colleagues were ready. His life and career spanned some 65 years, first as a son and brother then a husband, father, teacher and lawyer. His work in the early years was the quiet labor of helping people in a general practice in first Philadelphia and then New Jersey.

In 1992, Ed partnered with Stephen C. Rubino and together they began a 15 year run as specialists in the area of adult survivors of early childhood sexual abuse. Ed was a tireless voice of justice to hundreds of diverse clients in desperate need of representation against the most powerful governmental and religious institutions in society. His devotion to his family is what drove him to excellence and what defined him as a man and as an attorney.

Ed had a tireless work ethic. He was also a man who could make you laugh in the worst of times. An adventurer who traveled the entire U.S., including Hawaii, as well as the eastern Arctic in Nunavut Canada. A deep thinker. A humane and decent man. Unrelenting. Kind. A person who you could count on no matter how dire the circumstances. A person who put the task at hand and the interest of others before himself.

A bright light went out on January 5, 2008. We will never hear his laugh again but we will always have his memory and that can bring a smile to the face of anyone who knew him.