The Office of Indigent Defense Services provides assistance to North Carolina attorneys litigating complex scientific evidence through its Forensic Resource Counsel. Lawyer Sarah Rackley Olson works with public defenders and private appointed counsel and improves counsel’s ability to understand forensic science evidence and achieve better outcomes in their cases.
Through individual case consultations, continuing legal education programs, and the Forensic Resources website, Sarah educates attorneys about relevant forensic science issues and assists with litigating claims related to forensic evidence at the trial, appellate and post-conviction phases of representation. Resources including sample motions, information about experts, lab procedures, online trainings, relevant publications and news articles are easily accessible through the website.
Sarah is available to provide confidential forensic consultation on any public defender, private appointed counsel, or IDS contractor case in North Carolina courts. Please contact the Forensic Resource Counsel to schedule a case consultation. Advice cannot be given if a conflict of interest exists.
It is the policy of the IDS Forensic Resource Counsel to protect the confidentiality of all communications regarding case consultation. Any information provided during a consultation with the Forensic Resource Counsel will be treated as confidential client information and covered under the Rules of Professional Conduct as appropriate. Release of any confidential information discussed with the Forensic Resource Counsel will require informed consent of the client whose information is requested.
Prior to working as Forensic Resource Counsel, Sarah was an Assistant Public Defender in Durham, NC where she represented clients in Durham’s District and Superior Courts. After law school Sarah completed a fellowship with the Fair Trial Initiative where she worked as a part of defense teams representing clients in capital cases throughout North Carolina. She has served as Chair of the Criminal Defense Section for the NC Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), Co-Chair of the NCAJ Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, and Co-Chair of the Forensic Science Resource Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Sarah is a North Carolina native who graduated summa cum laude from the Wake Forest University in 2001 and earned her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006.
Sarah Rackley Olson
Indigent Defense Services
123 West Main Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
fax (919) 354-7201