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Dr. Paul Michel

Fellow; American Academy of Optometry
Board Certified Therapeutic Optometrist
Former specialist investigator; Los Angeles Police Department
Officer Involved Shooting Investigations Unit

Eyewitness Expert Testimony & Opinions

Dr. Paul Michel provides eyewitness expert testimony and opinions and legal testimony regarding human vision as it relates to eyewitness identification, motor vehicle collision, and threat identification in self defense. Dr. Paul Michel also provides scientific assessment of what an individual could or could not discern in various conditions pertaining to vision. These conditions might be affected by lighting levels, distance, movement, time constrains, refractive conditions, eye disease and other variables.



1977-1981: Southern California College of Optometry; Fullerton, California.
Degrees: Doctor of Optometry.
Bachelor of Science: Visual Science.

1976-1977: California State University; Long Beach, California
Graduate Studies; Perceptual Psychology.

1972-1976: California State University; Long Beach, California
Degree: Bachelor of Arts.
Honors: Cum Laude; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Major: Psychology


Specialty Experience:


Year 2016:

  • Stewart vs. Boone County, Kentucky (Federal Court, plaintiff’s witness/officer involved shooting).
  • Texas vs. Ansiso (Vision issues in brandishing weapon case).
  • Texas vs. Lugo (Vision issues in brandishing weapon case).
  • Minnesota vs. Stavish (Vision issues fatal DUI case).
  • O’Connell vs. Los Angeles County (Federal Court, Plaintiff’s witness / police misconduct).
  • Hempstead v. City of Cincinnati (Federal Court, plaintiff’s witness / officer involved shooting).
  • Guest lecturer: University of Colorado, Criminal Justice Administration. Topic: Visual Science for Law Enforcement Personnel.
  • Kimble v. John Hancock Insurance (Plaintiff’s witness / security guard shooting).

Year 2015:

  • Ohio vs. Brelo (criminal defense / officer involved shooting).
  • Testimony: Georgia State Grand Jury, College Park Police Officer Wesley White.
  • Colorado vs.Rios (Eyewitness identification issues of felony suspect).
  • California vs. Harrington (Vision issues in brandishing weapon case).
  • Colorado vs. Ackerman (Vision issues in vehicular homicide case).
  • Colorado vs. Johnson (Vision issues in brandishing of weapon case).
  • California vs. Lockman (Eyewitness identification of suspect issues).
  • Davies vs. Lakewood (Federal Court, civil litigation, police officer involved shooting).

Year 2014:

  • DeKalb County, Georgia, District Attorney's investigation, Police shooting of Antoine Cantrell.
  • Dealth Penalty, Writ of Habeas Corpus Hearing, California vs. Kenneth Gay.
  • Lecturer, Annual Seminar, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Writ of Habeas Corpus, California vs. Jermaine Smothers; California Innocence Project/ California Western School of Law.

Year 2013:

  • Texas vs. Morino (appeal criminal conviction) first degree homicide.
  • Minnesota vs. Boeshe (criminal defense) eyewitness identification, leaving scene.
  • California vs. Espinosa (appeal criminal conviction).
  • Florida vs. Medlin (criminal defense). Eyewitness identification, felony assault.
  • Georgia, Habeas Corpus Hearing, The Savannah Three (wrongful conviction, Homicide).

Year 2012:

  • Participated in CBS: 60 Minutes on scene investigation pertaining to conditions of visibility from witness's vantage point during a homicide.
  • Recognized at annual meeting/ Centurion Ministries, Princeton, New Jersey, for work resulting in release of innocent man after 28 years of wrong incarceration.

Year 2011:

  • California vs. Thulleys (Third Strike, 25 year minimum enhancement).
  • Colorado vs. Hernandez (Appeals, attempted homicide).
  • California vs. Darn (Appeals cases) invalid eyewitness identification in homicide case.

Year 2010:

  • Arizona vs. Williamson (attempted homicide trial).
  • Alabama vs. Danner (homicide trial).

Year 2009:

  • Arizona vs. Aronica (vehicle homicide defense case).
  • California vs. O'Connell (appeal of murder conviction based on impaired eyewitness identification).
  • California vs. Donovan (conditions of visibility at homicide scene).
  • Arizona vs. Van Brakel (vehicular homicide defense case).

Year 2008:

  • Colorado vs. Rimpson (State Court, criminal defense, established that prosecution witness could not have seen what was alleged).

Year 2007:

  • Lobata vs. City of Denver (Federal Court, Police Officer involved shooting, Defense in Civil rights case, Officer perceived soda can as weapon during search of crime scene).
  • Texas vs. Spencer (vacating of 20 year old wrongful conviction, eyewitnesses could not have seen what they reported).

Year 2005:

  • Colorado vs. Robertson (State criminal defense eye witness identification issue).
  • Colorado Dental Board vs. Dori Papir, DDS (State Dental regulatory agency discipline hearing).

Year 2004:

  • Arizona vs. Lovelace (Criminal defense of police officer charged with homicide in on duty shooting).

Year 2003:

  • New Jersey vs. Moore (Criminal defense, appeal of 1986 rape case, confirmed that victim's original statements were valid. The statements given subsequent to later hypnosis were not consistent with conditions of visibility).
  • Parker vs. Swansea (Federal Court, defense Police Officers in Civil Rights case).
  • Colorado vs. Thomas. (Criminal Defense, private citizen acquitted after shooting suspect, threat identification an issue).
  • Carr vs. Oklahoma City (Federal Civil Rights case), police officer involved shooting.

Year 2002:

  • Colorado vs. Miller (Criminal Defense, suspect identification issues).

Year 2001:

  • Ohio vs. Roach (criminal defense, Police Officer acquitted in shooting of unarmed suspect after furtive gesture).
  • Taylor vs. Penick (vehicle collision, determination of the effect of plaintiff's speed on defendant's ability to see oncoming traffic).

Year 2000:

  • Lecturer: Smith & Wesson Academy Series: Officer Survival 2000. This was a lecture tour for police on surviving violent encounters with criminals. It included techniques for investigating officer involved shootings and determining the lighting conditions during night time criminal investigations.
  • Colorado vs. Avellani (criminal defense, eyewitness identification issues).
  • California vs. Gay (death penalty re trial of penalty phase, evaluation of multiple eyewitnesses and which ones could have seen suspect at crime scene).
  • Tafayo vs. Denver (Federal court, Police officer involved shooting, Defense in Civil Rights case).
  • Washington vs. Delgado (criminal defense, homicide case).
  • Colorado vs. Canister (criminal defense, death penalty case).

Year 1999:

  • Michigan vs. Nixon (State Supreme Court review, written arguments pertaining to lighting levels and ability of witness to see suspect in dark).
  • Colorado vs. Bittner (defense of home owner charged in shooting of intruder, threat identification an issue).
  • Texas vs. Cook (Innocent man vindicated after 21 years on death row. Case detailed in book:”Chasing Justice" by Kerry Max Cook.
  • Colorado vs. Bills (homicide, threat identification an issue).
  • New York vs. Carroll (Police Officer charged in shooting of unarmed suspect, threat identification an issue).

Year 1998:

  • Provided analysis for the defense in Idaho v. FBI Special Agent Lon Horiuchi. (This case involved the incident commonly known at Ruby Ridge and the shooting of Vicky Weaver).

Spring 1997-1998:

  • Instructor: Physiological Psychology, Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colorado.

Year 1996:

  • Flores vs. Los Angeles (Federal Court, Police Officer involved shootings, Defense in civil rights case).

Year 1995:

  • Munoz vs. Los Angeles (State court, Police Officer involved shooting, Civil liability)

Years 1995-Present:

  • Private practice, Therapeutic optometrist, Colorado.

Years 1982-1995:

  • Staff Optometrist: Mullikin Medical Centers/ Pioneer Hospital, Artesia California.

Years 1993- 1999:

  • Appointed Specialist Reserve Police Officer: Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery Homicide Division. As requested, assisted the officer involved shooting investigations unit. My specialty was documenting the levels of illumination and visibility at shooting scenes.

Years 1976- 1983:

  • Line Reserve Police Officer, Huntington Beach California. Graduated Goldenwest Police Academy.  Extensive patrol experience. Also worked full time in Special Investigations Unit and the Jail bureau.


Foreign Language:

  • Fluent Spanish



May 1998:

  • Published, Identification of lethal versus non lethal items in low lighting. “The Law Enforcement Bulletin of the FBI."

January 1997:

  • Published, Vision Problems in Low Light. “Law and Order Magazine.

November, 1996:

  • Published, Did the Witness Really See What They think They Saw? “The Champion" (National Association of Criminal defense Lawyers).

November 1995:

  • Published, Consideration of Illuminations As a factor In Investigations of Officer Related Shootings: “Law and Order" Magazine.

December 1994:

  • Inducted, Fellow: American Academy of Optometry.

July 1991:

  • National Certification of Competency: National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

April 1982:

  • Published: The Effects of Tropicamide on Ocular Blood Flow, “American Journal of Physiological Optics and Optometry".