Friday, September 11, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT

Add to Calendar 


This is an online event. 



To Be Announced  


Valerie Weil 
Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners 

2020 SAFE Conference 

The 2020 SAFE Conference will be held on two days:  September 11 and October 2, 2020.

As soon as the line-up is finalized, it will appear here.  Below, please note our amazing speakers and topics they will be presenting at our conference this year.

Dr. Max Houck – Forensic procedures

Bio:    An international expert in the forensic sciences, Dr. Max M. Houck has nearly 30 years of expertise in casework, research, speaking, and writing.  His casework includes the Branch Davidian Investigation, the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon, the D.B. Cooper case, and the West Memphis Three, among hundreds of others. His committee work includes the White House, the National Academies of Science, the Royal Society, and Interpol. Dr. Houck is one of the most published professionals in his field. He is Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Science International: Synergy, the first Gold open access journal in the discipline. Dr. Houck is also Editor-in-Chief of the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Dr. Houck is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a retired member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
Abstract:  Classification and comparison are the mainstays of the scientific method but all the more so for forensic science. Despite their importance classification and comparison are little studied or explored as foundational to the forensic process. Identifying what a piece of evidence is (classification) identifies the traits to be used for potential comparison. The salience of the features chosen, their alignment between the source (known) and target (questioned), and their appearance due to higher-order systematicity all allow forensic scientists to reach their conclusions; they also explain why exclusions are stronger than inclusions. This presentation will review the elements of classification and comparison, break down the reasons for their utility, and give the audience a better understanding of what forensic science can and cannot achieve methodologically.

Graham Saunders – Security ink

Bio:  Mr. Saunders has worked for 34 years with S.I.C.P.A as a Customer Technical Service Representative / Technical Manager. S.I.C.P.A is a trusted security provider and adviser to governments, security banks, high security printers and industry. S.I.C.P.A provides secured identification, traceability and authentication solutions and services. His role at S.I.C.P.A is to provide technical support to security printers that use S.I.C.P.A ink by trouble shooting technical problems and providing expertise in the use of security inks and designs that use those inks.  Before joining S.I.C.P.A in the U.K, Mr. Saunders held the position of Security Inks Laboratory Manager with Bradbury Wilkinson Banknote printers where he formulated security inks for use on banknotes and cheques.  He has provided technical expertise to the Governments of the U.S.A for Banknote and Passport Redesign and printing as well as other high security documents, to Mexico and Canada for currency printing on paper and polymer substrates and to Iran for Currency Printing.  Mr. Saunders Lives in Fredericksburg Va. with his Wife, two children and a rescued dog called Albert. When Mr. Saunders is not travelling for work, he enjoys fly fishing and fly tying.
Abstract:  Mr. Saunders presents different types of security inks, how they are formulated and used, and methods of discovery.

Hal Stern – Statistical techniques

 Bio:  Hal Stern is a Professor of Statistics at the University of California – Irvine. Hal is known for his research in Bayesian statistical methodology and model assessment techniques, and his current areas of research include applications of statistical methods in psychiatry and human behavior, atmospheric sciences and forensic science.  He received his BS degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and MS and PhD degrees in statistics from Stanford University.  He has significant experience in addressing the role of statistical methods in the practice of forensic science. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for an Arnold Foundation funded American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) quality and gap analysis of the forensic science literature. This two-year project is setting up teams to review the literature in ten different forensic fields. Stern also served on the NIST-NIJ Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis, which assessed the effects of human factors on forensic latent print analysis and recommended ways to reduce human error at various stages in the interpretation of latent print evidence.
Abstract:  Every expert has encountered statistics, measurement, or likelihood ratios in their work at some point, or even on a daily basis. Professor of Statistics Hal Stern is the Director of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Science (CSAFE) will present some of the research and findings that he has found in researching statistics and it’s use in forensic science – specifically in pattern evidence.

Nick Rishwain, JD

Bio:  Nick Rishwain, JD, is the Vice President of Client Relations & Business Development for Experts.com, and primary author of the company blog. Formerly a local government employee, Nick was frustrated with the inefficiency that plagues government and bureaucracies at all levels. With a passion for law and technology he took a position with a legaltech company, Experts.com, where he has been able to use his legal education to make litigation more efficient and cost effective. Having been in the legaltech field for nearly 10 years, Nick has a deep desire to improve access to justice and lower the cost of legal services through the use of technology and collaboration.  Nick is fully immersed in legal technology professionally and personally. In his own time, he is the co-creator and co-host of a live video legal technology show called LegalTechLIVE. The show has been online for more five years and presently focuses on legal technology startups. The show promotes the legal technology startup journey. Nick is proud uncle of three nieces and one nephew. He is also an avid dog lover.
Abstract:  Remote deposition performance. Presentation and appearance as the focus for communicating your expertise, appearing authoritative, and maintaining your credibility. 

Dr. Michael Caligiuri

Bio:  Dr. Caligiuri attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he received a Ph.D. in the neurosciences with an emphasis in human motor control and movement disorders.  He has published over 120 research articles on disease and drug-related effects of movement including handwriting and co-authors the book ‘The Neuroscience of Handwriting: Applications for Forensic Document Examination”.  For over 30 years, his research has been supported by grants from the VA, NIH, NIJ, and several private foundations. He served as member and on the editorial board of NIST’s Work Group on Human Factors in Handwriting Examination.  His research over the past 10 years has focused on handwriting kinematics to enhance our understanding of cognitive, neuromotor, and behavioral sources of variability in handwriting and the FDE decision-making processes.
Abstract:  Dr. Caligiuri will present the effects of different forms of dementia on handwriting.

Loren Vogt, Esq.

Bio:  Lauren Vogt is an attorney at Rizio Lipinsky whose practice focuses on personal injury and employment law. She received her Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from California State University of Fullerton. Ms. Vogt also received her Juris Doctor from University of La Verne, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  While at the University of La Verne, Ms. Vogt was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law Business and Ethics and competed and placed in 2 National Moot Court Competitions. Upon graduation, she began working as a law clerk here at Rizio Lipinsky, serving as a zealous and loyal advocate for our clients and striving to conduct herself, at all times, with dignity, courtesy, and integrity.
Abstract: Understanding the foundational basis for an opinion. For your opinion and testimony to be admitted into evidence, the proper foundation mus be laid to establish the validity and provenance of the evidence.


Doug Cobb

Bio:  Doug Cobb is a Paper Scientist and Document Security Expert with over 28 years of professional experience. He provides technical investigations, analysis, reports and testimony towards the resolution of conflicts involving disputed documents, including wills, trusts, checks, contracts, deeds, mortgage documents, prenuptial agreements, voter registration forms, and ballot cards. He specializes in the investigation and analysis of substituted documents, dating paper, suspect documents, identity theft, alterations, and altered medical records and forms.  Throughout his career, Doug has worked in over 50 paper mills and has developed unique paper solutions for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Cannon, McDonald’s, and Deluxe Check. He has developed new science-based methodologies to eliminate document fraud and improve document security, including processes to determine if questioned documents come from the same source or paper.    Doug earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Products, with a specialization in Paper Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is a frequent invited speaker at professional organizations for document examiners and handwriting experts; including training sessions on topics of paper and print characteristics, and legal document security. Doug has developed two patent-pending technologies for advancements in forensic document examination and legal document security.  
Abstract:  Doug will present new research on the topic of paper identification.