Expert testimony mental health professionals in court
Download
1 / 33

Expert Testimony: Mental Health Professionals in Court - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 105 Views
  • Uploaded on

Expert Testimony: Mental Health Professionals in Court. Viola Vaughan-Eden, PhD, LCSW IMPROVING INVESTIGATION & PROSECUTION OF CHILD ABUSE October 21, 2009. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance Tracy 2007. Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Expert Witness

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Expert Testimony: Mental Health Professionals in Court' - darius-maynard


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Expert testimony mental health professionals in court

Expert Testimony: Mental Health Professionals in Court

Viola Vaughan-Eden, PhD, LCSW

IMPROVING INVESTIGATION & PROSECUTION OF CHILD ABUSE

October 21, 2009



Federal rule of evidence 702
Federal Rule of Evidence 702

Expert Witness

Someone who by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education will assist the trier of fact (a judge or jury) to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue


JUST BECAUSE A JUDGE RULES YOU ARE AN EXPERT, HAVING A FEW CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT


How do I best assist the trier of fact? CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT


FEAR is a CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

GOOD THING


  • Be Prepared CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

  • Be Proactive

  • Be Professional


Prepare
PREPARE CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

  • Know Why You Were Summoned

  • Know the Question Before the Court

  • Thoroughly Review Case Material

  • Know the Current Research Literature

  • Attend Child Abuse Specific Trainings


Subpoenas
SUBPOENAS CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

  • Witness Subpoena

  • Records Subpoena

    Subpoena Duces Tecum


Why have I been summoned? CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

What do they think I know that could help their case?


What is the question before the court? CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT


Review
REVIEW CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

  • Thoroughly review all records

  • Don’t rely on your memory

  • Review reports and letters word by word

  • Timeline of your involvement

  • Be able to explain your relevance

  • Be able to explain what you relied on


Simple things are often overlooked
SIMPLE THINGS CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERTARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED

  • Know how many times you met with the child and the dates

  • Know who was present

  • Know who brought the child

  • Explain why you met with the child and where if it was a different location

  • Know how many times other professionals met with the child and their conclusions


Research
RESEARCH CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

  • Know the leading authorities

  • Join recognized child abuse organizations

  • Know the current professional literature

  • Read peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Read books published by reputable sources

  • Attend national conferences & trainings


“Knowledge of the rules of evidence and applicable case law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

Myers, 2005, p xxxiii


Eight common myths about child sexual abuse
EIGHT COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

Myth 1. Normal-appearing, well educated, middle-class people don't molest children.

Myth 2. People are too quick to believe an abuser is guilty, even if there is no supporting evidence.

Myth 3. Child molesters molest indiscriminately. 


Myths about child sexual abuse
MYTHS ABOUT law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Myth 4. Children who are being abused would immediately tell their parents.

Myth 5. Children who are being abused will show physical evidence of abuse.

Myth 6. Hundreds of innocent men and women have been falsely accused and sent to prison for molesting children.


Myths about child sexual abuse1
MYTHS ABOUT law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Myth 7. If asked about abuse, children tend to exaggerate and are prone to making false accusations.

Myth 8. By using repeated interviews, therapists or police can easily implant false memories and cause false accusations among children of any age.

The Leadership Council


Myths that place children at risk during custody litigation
Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

Myth 1. Allegations of sexual abuse are common during custody disputes and the vast majority of allegations are false, unfounded or unsubstantiated.

Myth 2:  A history of battering has nothing to do with child abuse.

Myth 3:  Custody transfers to abusive parents are rare.


Myths that place children at risk during custody litigation1
Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

Myth 4:  Fit mothers do not lose custody.

Myth 5:  Parental alienation syndrome is a common, well-documented phenomenon.

Myth 6:  Children are more likely to be abused in the care of a woman than a man.

Dallam. S. J., & Silberg, J. L. (Jan/Feb 2006). Myths that place children at risk during custody disputes. Sexual Assault Report, 9(3), 33-47.


Proactive
PROACTIVE law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

  • Do Everything Necessary to be Prepared

  • Get Releases of Information

  • Contact Attorneys

  • Contact Collateral Sources


Attorneys
ATTORNEYS law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

  • Don’t wait for them to call you

  • Clarify your role

  • Clarify expectations of your testimony

  • Reconfirm date and time


Consultation
CONSULTATION law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

Consult with other professionals

  • Guardians ad litem

  • Social Workers

  • Law Enforcement

  • Teachers

  • Therapists

  • Medical Doctors


Professional
PROFESSIONAL law is not enough to succeed with the challenging litigation” of cases of interpersonal violence. “…you must possess a thorough grounding in the pertinent medical and psychological literatures.”

  • Demeanor

    Calm, Sincere, and Courteous Tone

  • Attire

    Appropriate and Businesslike

  • Credible

    Honest, Humble, and Understandable Language

  • Punctual

    Arrive at least 30 minutes early, Patience

  • Ethical

    Truthful, Objective, and Knowledgeable


The expert witness must not only educate the jurors, but convince them that he or she should be trusted.

Stern, 1997, p. 25


On the stand
ON THE STAND convince them that he or she should be trusted.

  • Be Professional

  • Have an updated copy of your resume or curriculum vitae and know what it says

  • Answer the Question Asked

  • Ask for Clarification

  • Follow the Lead of the Attorney

  • Respect the Judge’s Rulings

  • Look at the Judge and/or Jury


  • Ask to see Documents convince them that he or she should be trusted.

  • Things are often taken out of Context

  • Don’t Exaggerate

  • Don’t Underestimate Attorneys

  • Don’t take notes on the stand unless you plan to turn them over


Be Honest Before and During Your Testimony About What You Know and What You are Qualified to Talk About


Don’t Discuss Your Testimony Potential or Otherwise with Anyone Except Privately with the Attorneys


Safety
SAFETY Anyone Except Privately with the Attorneys

If you feel at risk,

leave with others or ask for an escort


Debrief
DEBRIEF Anyone Except Privately with the Attorneys

  • Get feedback from Attorneys and Other Professionals

  • Discuss Ways To Improve

  • Review the Transcript


Suggested reading
SUGGESTED READING Anyone Except Privately with the Attorneys

Vaughan-Eden, V. (2008, Summer/Fall).

Be prepared, be proactive, and be professional: Key points to testifying in child abuse cases. APSAC Advisor, 20, 23-26.


Viola Vaughan-Eden, PhD, LCSW Anyone Except Privately with the Attorneys

Child and Family Resources

610 Thimble Shoals Blvd

Suite 301 D

Newport News, VA 23606

757-303-6799 cell

www.violavaughaneden.com


ad