Accident Scene: Best methods and strategies for investigating, documenting, measurement of scenes and how to litigate these cases (with examples)

Megan Toney-Bolger
Anne Marie Ellis
Paul A. Alarcón
Megan Toney-Bolger | Exponent
Anne Marie Ellis | Buchalter
Paul A. Alarcón | Buchalter
On-Demand: October 28, 2022
Accident Scene: Best methods and strategies for investigating, documenting, measurement of scenes and how to litigate these cases (with examples)

$195.00 2 hour CLE

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Program Summary

This program will feature Megan Toney-Bolger, PhD, PE from Exponent, Anne Marie Ellis, Esq. and Paul Alarcón, Esq. from Buchalter.

Ms. Toney-Bolger will be discussing investigating and documenting circumstances surrounding an incident which can be critical to enable a thorough assessment of incident specifics. Effective documentation of relevant physical evidence can enable detailed understanding of how an incident occurred, even in the absence of direct witness descriptions. In this program we will discuss methods and strategies for investigating and thoroughly documenting events surrounding an incident, both immediately following a reported event and/or after some period of time has passed.

We will discuss how to utilize techniques for documentation and measurement of scenes, equipment, and incident sites, including photography, photogrammetry, and laser scanning. This program will also cover how these types of documentation can be used to reconstruct incidents and will present case examples illustrating effective application of these strategies to gain further insight into incident specifics.

Ms. Ellis and Mr. Alarcón will then discuss how to litigate these cases beginning with an analysis of the relevant case law in this area. We will address how to subpoena records to gather evidence to support your case. We will discuss the importance of preservation of digital evidence including cell phone data (messages, app data, location data, recordings, and other smartphone evidence). There will be a discussion on how to make sure evidentiary protocols are followed and how to admit this evidence in trial.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Investigating and documenting circumstances surrounding a specific incident
  • Effective documentation of relevant physical evidence
  • Methods and strategies for investigating
  • Techniques for documenting and measuring scenes
  • Equipment and Incident Sites
  • Case samples
  • Litigating these cases – analysis of relevant case law
  • How to subpoena records
  • Preserving digital evidence
  • Evidentiary protocols
  • Admitting evidence to trial

Date: October 28, 2022

Closed-captioning available


Megan-Toney-Bolger_Exponent_myLawCLEMegan Toney-Bolger | Exponent

Dr. Toney-Bolger is a Managing Engineer in Exponent’s Biomechanics practice based out of the southeast Michigan area. Her areas of expertise include kinematics, dynamics, neuromechanics, motor control of human motion, and human injury mechanics. Dr. Toney-Bolger’s work experience includes the analysis of a variety of injuries involving motor vehicles, recreational activities and equipment, pedestrians, occupational accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents as well as participating in and conducting sled and vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests.

She has investigated hundreds of injuries resulting from accidents and is a skilled investigator with extensive knowledge in methods for documenting incident sites and involved vehicles, including occupant restraint systems.


Anne-Marie-Ellis_Buchalter_myLawCLEAnne Marie Ellis | Buchalter

Anne Marie Ellis is the California Chair of Buchalter’s Products Liability practice group. Her practice focuses on product liability defense, general liability, personal injury litigation including sexual assault and misconduct, commercial litigation, premises liability, regulatory compliance, and client counseling. Clients appreciate her practical, cost efficient and results-oriented approach to handling complex issues. She has helped clients including manufacturers, retailers, distributors, importers, and franchisors across a variety of industries including motor vehicles, motorcycles, food and cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, off-road vehicles, sporting goods, power tools, exercise equipment, large scale wildland fires, restaurants, trash and recycling haulers and amusement park venues.

Understanding that litigation is not the only problem plaguing companies, Ms. Ellis also provides advice and counsel to clients dealing with complex regulatory schemes such as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and California’s Proposition 65. Anne Marie has been recognized as a thought leader on Prop. 65, and frequently publishes and speaks about defense related issues. Ms. Ellis has been successful in helping clients fight back against Consumer Legal Remedies Act, false advertising and unfair business practices shakedown suits. Anne Marie routinely defends lawsuits and claims involving Title III of the Americans with Disability Act, and corresponding California statutes including the Unruh Civil Rights Act for brick-and-mortar stores and website accessibility.

With extensive experience in complex litigation, Ms. Ellis has effectively defended cases of all sizes in state and federal courts across the country, including catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death/survival lawsuits and class actions, and has played a key role in all phases of litigation and trial. She is also well

versed on a wide-range of discovery issues and procedures including handling of e-discovery and trade secrets.

Anne Marie brings her litigation and regulatory experience to a variety of industry groups, including the Hockey Equipment Certification Council Inc. which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks out, evaluates, and selects standards and testing procedures for hockey equipment.


Paul-A.-Alarcón_Buchalter_myLawCLEPaul A. Alarcón | Buchalter

Paul A. Alarcón’s practice is focused on appellate and complex commercial litigation. He has authored briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and numerous U.S. District Courts and California Superior Courts. His extensive litigation experience in state and federal courts includes:

  • Appellate Law
  • Class Action Defense
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Torts

Following law school, Mr. Alarcón served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable J. Leon Holmes, Chief Judge on the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas and went on to serve as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Mr. Alarcón was named “One to Watch” in Appellate Practice by Best Lawyers in 2021 & 2022.


I. Investigating and documenting circumstances surrounding a specific incident | 2:00pm – 2:10pm
II. Effective documentation of relevant physical evidence | 2:10pm – 2:20pm
III. Methods and strategies for investigating | 2:20pm – 2:30pm
IV. Techniques for documenting and measuring scenes | 2:30pm – 2:40pm
V. Equipment and Incident Sites | 2:40pm – 2:50pm

  1. Photography
  2. Photogrammetry
  3. Laser Scanning

VI. Case samples | 2:50pm – 3:00pm

Break | 3:00pm – 3:10pm

VII. Litigating these cases – analysis of relevant case law | 3:10pm – 3:22pm
VIII. How to subpoena records | 3:22pm – 3:34pm
IX. Preserving digital evidence | 3:34pm – 3:46pm
X. Evidentiary protocols | 3:46pm – 3:58pm
XI. Admitting evidence to trial | 3:58pm – 4:10pm