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Rules of Professional Conduct

Article IV.5 of the By-laws of the ABC allows for disciplinary actions by the Board including denial and revocation of Certificates. Articles IV.5.1 through IV.5.3 state reasons for such action as follows:

  1. An intentional misstatement or misrepresentation, or concealment or omission, of a material fact or facts in an application or any other communication to the Board or its representative(s).
  2. Conviction of an applicant for certification or holder of a certificate by this Board by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude.
  3. Issuance of a certificate contrary to or in violation of any of the laws, standard rules, or regulations governing the Board and its certification programs at the time of its issuance; or determination that the person certified was not in fact eligible to receive such certificate at the time of its issuance.
  4. Article IV.5.4 also allows for disciplinary actions for the following reason:

  5. Violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the ABC by an applicant or holder of a certificate of this Board.
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The following are the Rules of Professional Conduct of the ABC, as referred to in Article IV.5.d, and together with Articles IV.5.1 through IV.5.3, they stipulate situations and rules which may, if violated, cause disciplinary action by the Board to be taken.

These rules describe conduct in the profession of forensic science (criminalistics) and are meant to encompass not only work done by Applicants, Affiliates, Fellows and Diplomates, but to the extent possible, work supervised by them as well. They meet general acceptance by peers in that profession. They specify conduct that must be followed in order to apply for, receive, and maintain the certification status provided for by the American Board of Criminalistics.

Applicants, Affiliates, Fellows and Diplomates of the ABC shall:

  1. Comply with the By-laws and regulations of the ABC.
  2. Treat all information from an agency or client with the confidentiality required.
  3. Treat any object or item of potential evidential value with the care and control necessary to ensure its integrity.
  4. Ensure that all probative exhibits in a case receive appropriate technical analysis.
  5. Ensure that appropriate standards and controls to conduct examinations and analyses are utilized.
  6. Ensure that techniques and methods which are known to be inaccurate and/or unreliable are not utilized.
  7. Ensure that a full and complete disclosure of the findings is made to the submitting agency.
  8. Ensure that work notes on all items, examinations, results and findings are made at the time that they are done, and appropriately preserved.
  9. Render opinions and conclusions strictly in accordance with the evidence in the case (hypothetical or real) and only to the extent justified by that evidence.
  10. Testify in a clear, straightforward manner and refuse to extend themselves beyond their field of competence, phrasing their testimony in such a manner so that the results are not misinterpreted.
  11. Not exaggerate, embellish or otherwise misrepresent qualifications, when testifying.
  12. Consent to, if it is requested and allowed, interviews with counsel for both sides prior to trial.
  13. Make efforts to inform the court of the nature and implications of pertinent evidence if reasonably assured that this information will not be disclosed to the court.
  14. Maintain an attitude of independence and impartiality in order to ensure an unbiased analysis of the evidence.
  15. Carry out the duties of the profession in such a manner so as to inspire the confidence of the public.
  16. Regard and respect their peers with the same standards that they hold for themselves.
  17. Set a reasonable fee for services if it is appropriate to do so, however, no services shall ever be rendered on a contingency fee basis.
  18. Find it appropriate to report to the Board any violation of these Rules of Professional Conduct by another Applicant, Affiliate, Fellow or Diplomate.