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A Psychologists Role in Litigation Support

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

There are a number of reasons a psychologist may be called to get involved in giving litigation support. In Orlando, litigation support is a common service provided at Psychological Affiliates.

While an attorney is preparing for trial, and in many cases, in the midst of a trial, an attorney may need the assistance of a psychologist to translate a psychological evaluation presented by opposing counsel. The psychologist may even offer the attorney an alternative perspective of the case for the court. Many psychologists work with attorneys so that they can have a better understanding of a legal situation from the perspective of everyone’s mental and emotional standing currently, and interpretation of the past, concerning behavioral patterns, in addition, what the possible emotional implications could be, given a certain ruling in the court of law. These are generally considered consulting services offered by the firm or individual psychologists ("Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc.", N.D.).

 

Expert Testimony is very common in a courtroom when the stakes are high, or just when the testimonial support of a psychologist could help a jury or judge better understand a person or situation on topic in the courtroom. Expert testimony has mixed reviews, and sometimes a psychologist may be brought in for expert testimony just to translate a previously given psychological evaluation by another doctor. It is common that the results need expert testimony to be broken down into laymen terms for a courtroom to avoid any convolution. There are two different expert testimonies, a psychologist that has a general psychological practice may not be as highly respected in a court of law as a clinical forensic psychologist. Clinical psychologists tend to be well received in a courtroom by officials (Blackman, Cascio, Ceci, & et al, 1994,).

 

Psychologists that are expert witnesses may be brought onto the stand to identify deficiencies in reports. This would occur after an attorney has already sought the expertise of this doctor for consulting services beforehand. Many times, a psychologist has been brought in for support in articulating a favorable report for the case.

 

Social Investigations often require the assistance of a psychologist, in addition, to many other legally binding mediations. When there are custody hearings, a parenting plan may need to be put into place, and a judge may require the expert opinion of a psychologist.

Relocation Evaluations for Interstate Divorces commonly seek the help from a clinical psychologist for deliberations ("Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc.", N.D.).

Court ordered Counseling and Psychological Assessments are commonly ordered by a judge following proceedings to expedite a court decision, and in many cases, these assessments may determine alternate rulings if the parties are not in compliance with the judge’s ruling ("Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc.", N.D.).

 

When there is a case with a prominent client involved, or high stakes and sometimes even media coverage, attorneys can enlist the consulting services of a psychologist to prepare a witness for testimony. An attorney must know every angle and button the opposing counsel will push. And the attorney is going to want to know if the witness can handle it, and what the breaking points are for that person ("Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc.", N.D.).

At Psychological Affiliates, they provide a wide variety of services, including consulting services, in addition to psychology in Orlando, FL. With combined efforts, Psychological Affiliates offer expertise on a professional level bringing vast experience to the table for in and out of the courtroom. Life is delicate, and whether it is criminal or civil cases, our doctors know how to handle even the most delicate cases and witnesses with kid gloves. Witnesses with disabilities need extra gentle attention from a skilled professional, and need to be guided in order to be able to appear in a courtroom and remain stable. Psychological Affiliates have countless cases where they assisted in the development of direct or cross examination questions before and during trials. Psychologists play a vital role in litigation support from behind the scenes, to the forefront in battle (Blackman, Cascio, Ceci, & et al, 1994).

 

References:

Blackman, J., Cascio, W., Ceci, S., Melton, G., & Miller, M., (1994). Psychology in Litigation and Legislation. Retrieved from apa.org.

Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc. (N.D.). Retrieved from http://forensicpsychologicalcenter.com


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