ANJSS logo sm Astar National Judges Science School

Sunday, November 18 - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

William and Ida Friday Conference Center
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina



1. Acquisition of the terms of reference applicable to next generation genetic technologies.

2. A review of the evolution of genetic technologies, from first use of biological trace evidence to next generation technologies.

3. A review of the current practices of vendors holding out predictive diagnostic inventories as a result of (claimed) selective or whole genome laboratory analyses and presented in reports.

4. Trial judges' evidentiary gate keeping reviews under jurisdictions' applicable laws of evidence as applied to proffers of DTCGT reports.

5. Robust discussion of how sample courtroom situations might be managed in criminal, civil and family cases -- with no ASTAR imposition of prescriptions, decisions or model rulings.



Only minimal copies will be distributed at registration. Judges are encouraged to download on their laptops, or tabular devices or smartphones materials they wish to review prior or use at the JSS.  The Friday Conference Center also provides universal Wi-Fi access and judges are encouraged to bring their electronic devices to the JSS.


Full Program Materials (pdf)

Complete Agenda (pdf)

Slideshow presentations: Jim Evans

Participant Roster (pdf)



In addition to preparatory materials cited in each participant’s JSS travel authorization, your training conference organizers recommend that you visit the following links as useful background and preparation.

1. Interesting recent news story regarding misinterpretation of genetic information and its impact on a student and his family- click here

2. Report of the 2009 National Academies of Science Cross-Academies Workshop on Direct to Consumer Genetic Tests.

3. U.S. General Accountability Office’s 2010 study of direct to consumer genomic tests. DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER GENETIC TESTS: Misleading Test Results Are Further Complicated by Deceptive Marketing and Other Questionable Practices. GAO-10-847T, Jul 22, 2010.

4. Journalistic coverage of DTCGT matters by Bloomberg News reporter John Lauerman.  To access click here.

5. John Lauerman’s genome as published in Harvard University’s Personal Genome Project.  To navigate the site, go to At the top of the homepage entitled “PGP Community” you will see a link called “view public profiles.”  Click on it.  Go to PGP16, participant code huA90CE6.  We will go through this exercise at the JSS’s plenary session, 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM on Tuesday, November 20 as we look at the actual evidence produced by DTC genomic tests.

6. Familiarity with "The Talking Glossary of Genetic Science" published on-line at  Mobile app:  iTunes: Talking Glossary of Genetics

7. Dr. James P. Evans’ commentary on DTCGT
December 7, 2011 issue of JAMA, volume 36, no. 21 at 2377.  Pdf

8. Four representative direct to consumer genetic test vendors - 23 and Me, Inc. (Animated gene testing educational videos in website) - decode Genetics - The Genetic Testing Laboratories, Inc. - Navigenics, Inc.

9. A 2011 comparison of DTC test organizations by the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University is available here-



Dr. James P. Evans, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chief Editor, Genetics in Medicine: Historical overview, current DTC providers and practices, regulatory status and ethical implications.

Joseph Putnam Evans, JD Candidate, University of North Carolina School of Law, 3rd Year.  Mr. Evans will provide case law search support for this judges science school

Jaclyn Ellis, MA, Ph.D. candidate, University of North Carolina, and author of ASTAR’s instructional program on risk assessment, will assist this JSS in a general staff capacity.

Genetic Counselor Panel.  UNC’s outstanding genetic counselor group has been invited to assist JSS sessions, and to provide perspectives gained from patient contact and supportive services.  Listed individually in the JSS roster, ASTAR is most grateful for their assistance to judicial science education:
Cecile Skyrznia; Emily Hardisty; Beth Hudson; Debbie Keelean-Fuller: Cristi Lee.

Douglas B. Mishkin, Esq., Partner, Patton Boggs, Washington, DC, and Head, PB Employment Law Practice: Applicable mixed legal and ethics domains, including, but not limited to the Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act, P.L. 109-392.

Edward Ramos, Ph.D., Research Fellow and Science Policy Analyst, Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, conducts research on predisposition to diseases, ancestral informative markers and the policy implications of findings and interpretations.

Hon. Peter B. Swann, Judge, Arizona Court of Appeals, 2009 Arizona ASTAR Fellow: Moderator of all technical presentations in the program agenda and contributor to adjudication clinic reports, presiding judge for case scenario plenary report-back sessions.

Franklin M. Zweig, Ph.D., JD, ASTAR Senior Fellow, JSS coordinator, provides background on expert witness requirements in DTC proffers and general utility resource person for adjudication clinics.



William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

Situated on quiet, beautifully landscaped grounds, with convenient access from all points in the Triangle, the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education provides an ideal setting for continuing education programs of all descriptions. The Center hosts more than 700 events with approximately 73,000 participants annually. The Friday Center is located at 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, approximately three miles east of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, just off Highway 54 East (Raleigh Road). The Center is a short distance from Interstate 40 (from Raleigh, I-40 exit 273A; from Greensboro, I-40 exit 273).

Courtyard Chapel Hill
100 Marriott Way
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27517 USA



This JSS is sponsored by the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR), Box 199, 5505 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015. This program is supported principally by a grant to ASTAR from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 2010-DD-BX-K010.  This grant is a cooperative agreement with ASTAR and supports the National Resource Judge Program. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a unit of the Office of Justice Programs that also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime Control, and the Office for Victims of Crimes.  Views and opinions set forth in this document are those of the grantee or contractors, and do not necessarily represent the view or policies of the U. S. Department of Justice. This training conference’s non-financial cosponsor is the Bryson Institute for Human Genetics, The Department of Genetic Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine.