Expert Witness Name: “Dr.” Rick A. Swope
Witness Summary: Rick Swope is a former law enforcement officer turned defense expert. Swope is not a medical or scientific doctor, but rather holds a PhD in Engineering Management from California Coast University. There is an argument to be made that Swope’s doctorate is not recognizable outside the State of California–as California Coast University is not a nationally accredited distance learning institution, but only state (CA) accredited. While the University was attempting to obtain national accreditation, Swope had begun his doctoral candidacy. Two years later, the school was unable to obtain the national accreditation and informed the students, including Swope, of this, and would allow currently enrolled to complete their studies and obtain a PhD degree. However, it would take Swope more than a decade to complete and obtain his doctoral degree. It should also be noted that the doctorate in the Philosophy of Engineering has nothing to be with the scientific aspects of any engineering subject. He is the owner of Swope Reconstruction and regularly testifies in vehicular crash cases, but does sometimes testify regarding breath testing and the administration and performance of Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Swope is notorious for filing bar complaints against those prosecutors who challenge his credentials or who attempt to impeach him. He will often try to base his challenges to breath testing and SFSTs on old and, oftentimes unobtainable, studies, without providing copies of anything he references. Although Swope held permits as a Breath Test Operator and Agency Inspector for the Intoxilyzer 5000, he has never held permits for, and should be challenged on any opinion on, the Intoxilyzer 8000.