Root Cause Analysis in Forensic Laboratories in Principle and in Practice

Sunday September 23rd, 2018 // 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm // 101A

Standard Registration$75.00

Successfully researching and identifying the “root cause” of an adverse event or failure provides valuable information for the prevention of future events. Practical information regarding the principles of root cause analysis and how it can be effectively conducted in a crime laboratory will be presented. Speakers with first-hand experience will discuss lessons learned from root cause analyses performed in crime laboratories and detail the factors contributing to adverse events. Attendees will participate in an interactive practical exercise using real life case examples and practical tools for root cause mapping that can be taken back to the laboratory.


Learning Outcomes:

By attending the workshop, attendees will:

  1. Understand the principles and general processes of root cause analysis
  2. Appreciate when root cause analysis may be necessary or useful for a crime laboratory
  3. Learn how an effective root cause analysis is conducted in a laboratory setting
  4. Be exposed to practical considerations for conducting a successful root cause analysis
  5. Gain insights from root cause analyses performed in crime laboratories
  6. Recognize the contributing factors that can lead to adverse events or failures


Intended Audience:

Anyone with interest in evaluating adverse events and preventing future adverse events is invited to attend, including crime laboratory directors and section managers, QA/QC managers and personnel, analysts, auditors/inspectors, attorneys, judges, consultants and academics.



1:00 – 1:45RCA Principles and ProcessJohn Hollway
1:45 – 2:15RCA in the Laboratory & Practical ExerciseCharlotte Word
2:15 – 2:30BREAK
2:30 – 2:45Practical Exercise ContinuedCharlotte Word
2:45 – 3:05Beyond the RCABarry Logan
3:05 – 3:50Lessons LearnedLynn Garcia
3:50 – 4:00Discussion



Private: Charlotte WordChair


Charlotte Word is currently a consultant in Human DNA Identification testing. She has performed technical reviews on many 1000’s of cases from several public and private DNA testing laboratories and has participated in the validation of various DNA test systems.  Charlotte has testified as an expert witness in over 300 trials and admissibility hearings around the country since 1990. 

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Private: Lynn Garcia

General Counsel, Texas Forensic Science Commission

Lynn Garcia serves as general counsel to the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a position she has held since December 2010.  Ms. Garcia’s assists nine Commissioners appointed by the Governor with investigating allegations of professional negligence and misconduct in accredited crime laboratories.

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Private: John Hollway

Executive Director, Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice

John F. Hollway C’92, the founder of a consulting firm specializing in criminal justice reform research projects, has been named the first Executive Director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he will also serve as an Associate Dean.

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Private: Barry Logan

Sr. Vice President of Forensic Science Initiatives, Laboratory Director, Chief Scientist, NMS Labs

Dr. Barry K. Logan is Sr. Vice President of Forensic Science Initiatives, and Laboratory Director (IFS) and Chief Scientist, at NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, where his responsibilities
include management of toxicology resources, new test design and development, Criminalistics services and expert testimony in forensic toxicology and chemistry.

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