Category Archives: Expert witness

Professional Ethics,”partisan allegiance,” and expert witness liability

Daniel Murrie and his colleagues have produced a series of recent studies on “partisan allegiance” in forensic expert witness work (see citations below). They define partisan allegiance as the tendency for experts to bias their testimony in favor of the side that calls them. They demonstrate this through ingenious experiments with PCL-R ratings. The response […]

Thriving as a forensic psychologist

A nice article by William Foote PhD in APA’s Good Practice (Winter 2014) is worth a look for students who think they might be interested in forensic psychology. Contrasting clinical and forensic psychology, he writes, “But the field is not for everyone…Forensic psychology is also much more confrontational. You’re often in an adversarial position, with […]

Assessing Homicidal Mental States at the Time of Offense IV: The 2011 Norway Massacre: Criminal responsibility analysis using the R-CRAS.

The use of forensic assessment instruments is a distinguishing factor in the quality of forensic reports (Fuger, Acklin, Nguyen, Ignacio, & Gowensmith, 2013). In insanity determinations, the Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS, PAR, Inc.) are without peer as an aide to organizing and analyzing case data. It is a systematic coding measure which permits […]

Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) — a method for de-biasing forensic decision making

I recently attended a three day workshop on school, campus, and workplace threat assessment and became acquainted with ACH. It is a methodology developed by the CIA and is used to consider evidence when factors are complex or ambiguous. Given the many factors that can influence forensic decision making, including examiner decision thresholds, cost of […]

New variety of shark sighted in Hawaii waters

Readers may remember my post on “Swimming with Sharks” a few months back–a set of guidelines and admonishments to clinicians working in and around the Hawaii Family Court. Well, a new variety of shark has recently been sighted in Hawaii waters. These are mainland forensic psychologists who have started coming to Hawaii to sell their […]

Disclosure, denial, delay, recantation, and confirmation in CSA

Despite several years of high quality research in CSA, courts continue to hear that patterns of disclosure, denial, delay, and recantation are (or are not) dispositive of CSA. In their review of these issues in a recent special issue of Memory, London, Ceci, Wright, and Ceci (2008) draw the following conclusions: “We have argued that, […]

Psychological Experts in CSA Trials

Back in September 2011, I mused about how helpful psychological experts are in CSA trials. Testimony will inevitably have to address developments in several areas, including patterns of disclosure, memory, suggestibility, quality of forensic interviews, and error rates of CSA decision-making, highly technical stuff. The work of Bruck and Ceci has remained authoritative for almost […]

The new Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (APA, 2011)

The new SGFP have been finalized by APLS (Div. 41 of APA). The Guidelines are available at the following link http://goo.gl/usU0 The SGFP provide guidance and standards of practice for forensic psychologists. They are worth careful study for the practitioner wishing to do sound and ethical, i.e., high quality, forensic work. The SGFP define the scope […]

Is the testimony of experts at child sex abuse trials helpful?

The testimony of experts in child sex abuse trials is controversial. There are serious legal constraints on expert testimony concerning credibility of the witness, properly the domain of the trier of fact (see US vs. Brooks, a court martial, where my testimony was rejected by a military court of appeals as crossing the line).  Thus, […]

Clinical Report: Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This superb article sums up the information comprehensively. Available at the American Academy of Pediatrics website in pdf. http://tinyurl.com/cy4kbq6