Forensic Meteorology. Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) brings weather to the courtroom. Earning the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Consulting Meteorologist certification opens the door for the world’s premier meteorologists to exercise their technical competence, professional character and field experience in weather-related legal cases. Only a couple hundred are present in the AMS’ directory. Less than eight hundred certifications have been earned and West Coast Weather is proud to have one, Meteorologist Mike Witiw
CCMs are known for doing jobs often exclusively available to them, such as delivering testimony in court cases involving slip-and-fall accidents, aviation tragedies and other insurance settlements. Qualified witnesses are experts from education, training or other knowledge leading to experience and skill. A CCM’s meteorological acumen and wisdom can help the trier of fact in a courtroom comprehend weather evidence, based on the reliable application of scientific principles and methods.
The trier of fact – a position filled by the judge or a jury – has the job of ensuring that reliable principles and methods reliably apply to the facts relevant to the case. “Vigorous cross-examination, presentation of contrary evidence, and careful instruction on the burden of proof are the traditional and appropriate means of attacking shaky but admissible evidence.” 509 U.S. at 595
Many things should be considered repeatedly throughout an expert’s testimony. Are experts testifying about phenomena and conclusions that have stemmed from natural research or are they merely opinions generated for the case? Has an unjustifiable extrapolation from accepted scientific conclusions been offered? Have alternate explanations been adequately considered or ruled out? Is the same care fostered that the expert witness exercises in his or her professional work outside of paid litigation consulting? Does it maintain the field’s standard “intellectual rigor?” Is the field of expertise chosen based on sound science and known to reach reliable results as contextually cited by the expert’s testimony?
Whatever is wielded needs to be unfolded in layman’s terms to adequately communicate with outsiders foreign to the field of expertise. Forensic Meteorology CCM are needed to be able to comprehend details about the weather as they’ve been ascertained by history’s meteorologists and also be able to articulate all of the relevant details to satisfactorily sway the judge or jury.
Written by Meterologist Geoff Linsley