Mastering Expert Testimony: A Courtroom Handbook for Mental Health Professionals

By William T. Tsushima; Robert M. Anderson Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
THE CLINICAL EXAMINATION

"So, after one session with the patient, you're prepared to testify in this case?"

After the doctor has been qualified by the court to testify as an expert witness, the next series of questions is directed at the actual examination of the client. In nearly every instance, the lawyers have a copy of the mental health evaluation, that includes a description of the evaluation procedures. You will be asked to explain how the examination was conducted, what findings were obtained, and what conclusions were reached.


DIRECT EXAMINATION

The attorney who called the witness to testify proceeds with the direct examination. Standard questions are asked of a psychologist (or psychiatrist) in order to reveal the process that led to the witness' professional conclusions. For ease of reading, the following example consists of the minimum basic questions rather than a more detailed and prolonged direct examination.

Q. Doctor, in your practice, have you had occasion to see Ms. Annette Anderson?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you first see her?

A. On August 9, 19__.

Q. Was she referred to you by anyone?

A. Yes, she was referred by her gynecologist, Dr. Jean Bernstein.

-25-

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Mastering Expert Testimony: A Courtroom Handbook for Mental Health Professionals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Chapter 1- The Art of Expert Witnessing 1
  • Chapter 2- Witness Qualification 11
  • Chapter 3- The Clinical Examination 25
  • Chapter 4- Psychological Testing 42
  • Chapter 5- Psychotherapy 59
  • Chapter 6- Criminal Law 76
  • Chapter 7- Child Custody Disputes 95
  • Chapter 8- Personal Injury 113
  • Chapter 9- Mental Competency And Dangerousness 132
  • Chapter 10- Faking and Malingering 149
  • Chapter 11- Neuropsychological Assessment 164
  • Chapter 12- The Nondoctoral Witness 176
  • Chapter 13- Deposition 191
  • Appendix Annotated Reference List Books 206
  • References 209
  • Author Index 213
  • Subject Index 215
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