Alumni Fred Lauck ‘61 and Michael Meister ‘83 recently visited forensic science classes to share practical applications in related fields. Lauck, a trial lawyer for over four decades on high-profile cases throughout Metro Detroit, spoke on logic and reasoning as it relates to forensic science. Meister, a police officer for 34 years, spoke on analyzing crime scenes based on best practices within forensic science.
Lauck handled significant personal injury, civil rights, criminal, commercial, and divorce cases throughout his career, obtaining millions in recoveries and numerous verdicts in his clients’ favors in criminal cases. Lauck explained how logic and reasoning played key roles in the cases he argued, particularly in examining forensic evidence. Lauck explained to students the importance of cognitive power and free will in setting humans apart from other species, describing how the human person makes decisions based on thinking and feeling. Summarizing Lauck’s presentation, Nicklaus Williams ‘23 said:
“People who argue with feelings often have a closed mind and find it difficult to accept new ideas brought to them.This differs a lot from people who argue by thinking. Those people use logic and deductive reasoning to show and prove what they believe in. They also use critical analysis, which gives them the ability to have an open mind. People who argue by thinking will use critical analysis to see new ideas and if they are true or not. This gives them the ability to have an open mind.”
Lauck also related the concepts to faith, demonstrating faith as requiring both thinking and feeling. Lauck showed the class how to argue with both of these ideas in mind and encouraged students to develop a balance of the two throughout their lives.
Meister, also Catholic Central’s freshman football defensive coordinator, offered students a glimpse at his own firsthand experience in crime investigation.
Graduating from Catholic Central in 1983, Meister earned a degree in criminal justice and was a member of the US Army Military Police from 1984 to 1990. From there, he went on to receive numerous accolades with the Farmington Hills Police Department until his retirement in 2018.
Forensics classes learned about the process of forensics through Q&A. Students suggested examples of crimes, to which Meister replied with the steps he would take to analyze the crime scene and connect evidence to a suspect. The most important of these, which he dubbed the “Golden Rule”, was to never “touch, alter, move, or transfer any object at the crime scene unless it is properly marked, measured, sketched, and photographed.”
Meister supplemented the educational aspects of his presentation with interesting anecdotes, recalling examples from the field. Classes were able to gain a new understanding of both the typical and atypical duties of a police officer and how the job intersects with forensic science.