Mastering Expert Testimony: A Courtroom Handbook for Mental Health Professionals

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

CHAPTER 11
NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
"Are you telling us that you, who are not a medical doctor, can diagnose brain damage?"In recent years, clinical neuropsychologists have increasingly been called on to testify in forensic cases, particularly involving personal injury suits that claim brain injury as one of the consequences of an accident or incident. When brain damage is alleged to be a permanent condition due to a head trauma, the financial repercussions can be monumental because the victim's usual occupation and earning power are severely affected. Because of the potential monetary stakes involved, both the plaintiff's attorney and the defense attorney are expected to maximize their legal experience and skills to vigorously question the input of the neuropsychology expert.In the standard approach to a head injury case, clinical neuropsychologists administer a battery of tests and make inferences about the likelihood and severity of brain injury, the etiology of brain injury, and the consequences of brain injury for daily life. Their credentials and claims may be challenged in all the ways reported in the other chapters of this book. There may also be challenges unique to the neuropsychologist.This chapter discusses the following forensic issues:
qualifying as a neuropsychologist
diversity of assessment approaches
inferences from neuropsychological test results to brain injury
isolating test data
use of a psychometrist

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