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Legal Ethics/chain of custduy


QUESTION: Dear Mr Friedman Could you explain to me the meaning of the chain of custody or evidence and the broken chain and what happens if the chain is broken before the chain of evidence starts,meaning you you can prove their was tampering with evidence before the prosecutions date of chain of evidence began?.How does this work and if proven what happens to their chain of evidence?Does this their evidence can't be used in in discovery or court. Thanks Paul  Please Reply

ANSWER: Chain of custody means the prosecutor has to show the evidence was protected and remained the same from the time it was found until trial. The prosecutor has to prove who had it at all times.
If the prosecutor cannot prove the chain of custody, the evidence may be inadmissible at trial.

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

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QUESTION: Thanks for your reply Paul.What happens if the evidence [surgical item foreign body] does have chain of evidence but is not the same foreign body that was found in my body and not the same as the foreign on my x ray taken before removal of the foreign.please reply   Thanks Paul.


I am not sure of exactly what you are asking but I will give it my best shot.  When I have a client with a surgical implant that may be defective, we make arrangements for the physician to place it in an appropriate sealed container and pass it directly to the patient or a person we designate to maintain custody of it.  Then we place the sealed container in our safe and submit it directly to our expert who maintains possession and control.

If this is not helpful, let me know by asking a different question and I will attempt to answer it more accurately to what you are asking.

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

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Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.


I have been a practicing civil trial attorney since 1989 and have a master's degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy in comparative ethics of law, medicine and business.

I am Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and am Certified as a Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization.

I can answer questions dealing with general ethics principles, including legal ethics, medical ethics, bioethics and business ethics. I do not give legal advice over the internet.

For more information, you can view my website at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM


Experience in the area
I have been a practicing trial attorney since 1989 and I have a masters degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy regarding comparative ethics.

Organizations belong to
State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
Federal Bar
Licensed in Arizona District Court
Licensed in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Licensed in the United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association
National Board of Trial Advocacy
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
National Association of Realtors

Bachelor of Arts 1985
Juris Doctorate 1989
Master of Arts in Bioethics 2004
Doctorate of Philosphy 2006

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Who's Who

A list of my copyrighted publications and presentations is contained at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM

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