Thread: CV/First Court Appearance Help!
11-02-2008, 01:38 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
CV/First Court Appearance Help!
Hello, I am fairly new to the field of fire investigation. I have nine years in the fire service. Almost two years ago I started working as a Deputy FM in town. I am a CFEI. Prior to working for the FM had some experience assisting with investigations and was a building official. I am young (24) and have a full two page resume. However, in looking around the different posts here a CV seems to be the way to go. Could use some help/guidance with this?
I recently was the lead/only investigator on a C&O for a small fire we had about two weeks ago. The property owner is already planning on taking the renter to court and they are already looking for the report from me. I have never been in court (or taken a court room class) for a fire investigation. I am expecting to take a beating because of my age/experience/education. Could use some help/guidance?
11-02-2008, 03:36 PM #2
The case you have explained is a civil matter. The owners insurance company is going bring in there own investigator to complete and O&C. If the insurance company makes the decision to subrogate against the renter they will want their own investigator to testify. There are exception but very few. They are obtaining a copy of your report to make sure there are not any surprises. An extreme example: The private O&C investigator calls the fire accidental electrical and your report states that you have positive samples for gasoline.
You should be fine provided that you complete your investigation iaw 921.
When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
"God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
But when 'tis out and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879
11-03-2008, 05:54 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
A Curriculum Vitae is much different than a resume. A resume is used to apply for a job. A CV is used, in this case, in the legal arena to demonstrate your education, training and experience to the court. The goal will be for the trier of fact-the judge-to allow you to testify as an expert witness.
Before you are allowed to testify as an expert witness, you will be subjected to a detailed scrutiny of your qualifications. It is called a "voir dire". The attorney using you as an expert witness will ask you questions to allow you to detail your education, training and experience to the judge and the jury. Your CV will be the foundation of this questionning.
A CV should not be formatted as a resume would. You are not looking for brevity. You are looking for detail. You want to bring out every single piece of information about you that may resonate with the judge. This includes any fire service training and experience you have, any code enforcement training and experience you have, your college work (even it is not related to the fire service), the professional associations you belong to, any articles you may have published, any awards you may have received, etc.
My CV is thirteen pages long. Yours won't be anywhere near that long. But that does not mean that you are any less qualified to testify than anyone else.
And do not worry about "taking a beating". The other side has an attorney that is being paid to do a job. His job is to serve as an aggressive advocate for his client. His goal is to exploit any weaknesses in your case and to downplay any strengths. Expect it and deal with it. Remember, no one knows this case better than you do. Have confidence and show it.
You mentioned your report. If you haven't written it yet, make sure that when you do, it is consistent with NFPA 921. Anticipate that your voir dire and your cross examination will be based on that document. If the attorney calling you is not familiar with it, make sure he has a copy before this case goes into the courtroom. Many Daubert challenges today are based on a failure to follow the methodology outlined in the document.
If you have any specific questions, please PM me. I will be happy to help.PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.
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