Letter from ACLM President, David Donnersberger (October 2018)

We are midway through the 2018 ACLM year and we have completed many of the items on our first half-year “to-do” list.  What follows is a summary of those activities, as well as next steps, or needed action items.   

50th Annual meeting Reports Publication 

One of the first actions taken and completed during the term year was the publication of the electronic supplement to the Journal of Legal Medicine entitled “The Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the American College of Legal Medicine.”  With much background investigative work completed, we gave Taylor & Francis (our publisher) the approval to publish in June.  The poster abstract publication is live with citable DOI reference numbers. 

Journal of Legal Medicine -- NEWS 

With much appreciation to Dr. Bill Hinnant and others on your ACLM Board of Governors, after many long months of negotiations, I am pleased to announce that the ACLM has a fully executed contract with Georgia State University-College of Law to take over the Journal of Legal Medicine, with a fair and equitable agreement.  We are confident in this relationship and are pleased to report that there will be a joint 3rd/4th publication published late November 2018, with four quarterly publications already laid out for 2019 and 2020, under Professor Leslie Wolf’s leadership.  

As background, the SIU School of Law agreement came to an end in May when the when the student-editors voted unanimously to terminate their work on JLM.   Richard Kelly, the editor-in-chief who successfully brought the Journal back to life after a long period of inactivity, ended his tenure as planned this past summer.  The College owes him a great debt of gratitude.   

Georgia State University will preserve the color, style and name of the Journal, with the College retaining control of the appointment of 50% of the Editorial Board.   

We are confident that this new relationship (rebirth of the JLM if you will), will bring fresh energy and new members to the College, both through a reinvigorated Journal and through a new partnership in a new major US city. 


I am pleased to report that the College has undertaken a small agreement with Michael Schmarak, PR professional at the Chicago-based first, Sidney Maxwell.  Together, we have agreed to a series of topics that will provide the underbelly to the ACLM position statements we plan to issue over the next 6 months.  It was decided that “chasing the story” provided no benefit to the ACLM and would not serve a purpose with regard to the value of the PR, so we have re-stated our intent to include the development and distribution of ACLM position statements through the contributions of our fellows.    

To that end, the College will soon be sending a survey to all fellows to include a short series of questions.  Your contribution and response are important, as once you and your fellow members answer the survey questions, your responses will be collected and summarized into a “majority” opinion of the College for purposes of developing position statements.   

Members of the Board of Governors, along with other College volunteers, will then be asked to form position statements on those topics and present to Mr. Schmarak for his review, polish and distribution.  These position statements will be used as support when there are breaking stories and a well-timed, well-thought out ACLM position would be considered a valuable asset to the news marketplace.  


All hands on deck as we get ready for one of our largest and most Annual Meetings yet!  Registration is OPEN on our website (www.aclm.org) and the program can be found online if you can’t wait for it in the mail!   

In addition to a spectacular program developed by Program Chairs, Robert Bitonte, Bruce Seidberg and Veling Tsai, special events:  

  • ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET: Litigation in Advancing Public Health and Healthcare Presenter: Thomas Girardi, JD, LLM, Lawyer of The Decade  

  • S. SANDY SANBAR LECTURE: Elected City Attorney as Health Care Advocate Presenter: Rockard Rocky”Delgadillo, JD, former City Attorney of Los Angeles (2001-09) 

  • STEWART REUTER LECTURE: AI, Machine Learning and Ethics in Healthcare Presenter: Sandra L. Johnson, PhD  

  • CYRIL WECHT LUNCHEON: Sport-Related Concussion and Neurodegenerative Disease: Paranoia vs. Legitimate Concern? Invited Guest Presenter: Professor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD – Chair, Department of Sports Medicine at the University of North Carolina 


The ACLM needs the membership and College fellows to get involved!  This is our College and your support is what keeps it vibrant and relevant.  The following ACLM committees need your attention – these committees represent a great deal of potential. Please let me know if you have interest in serving on one of these committees for the 2019 year.  

  • Marketing/PR 
  • Membership 
  • Amicus 
  • Ethics