FORENSIC EXPERT WITNESS AND CONSULTATION
- Do you need an objective review of your civil and/or criminal case from an expert in mental health, alcohol and substance use, trauma, domestic violence including intimate partner violence, or disability?
- Are you an attorney working on a case(s) for any of the areas listed above or any of the areas that I have identified that I specialize
- Have you been falsely accused of domestic abuse?
- Are you struggling to get your disability benefits through Social Security, Veterans Administration, Worker’s Compensation, or other civil matter?
- Do you have questions about the potential risks and benefits of an expert and/or a psychotherapist being involved in your case?
We all need help from time to time and litigation should always be the last resort. But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are having to fight for your rights or need to enforce your rights because you have been harmed by someone else, your attorney will likely suggest that you involve an expert. There is a minimum federal standard that has been set for experts to meet, but the standard varies state-to-state, and each Court will ultimately determine whether an expert is qualified to testify in your matter. Technically speaking, an expert is anyone who knows more about the topic than the average person and can explain it to the Judge or jury.
EXPERT WITNESS AND CONSULTING SERVICES
An expert witness or consultant can be a valuable asset to you and/or your attorney when it comes to matters of civil and criminal litigation. However, facts and truth must be on your side or else, the expert may only be able to assist by offering support to your attorney’s legal argument about potential mitigating circumstances, such as in the case of offenders who have committed acts of intimate partner violence or offenders who sold lethal drugs such as fentanyl. It’s unethical and even illegal for an expert to be “coached” to change their opinion based upon what the attorney wants the report to say, particularly in areas of mental health. As an expert witness or consultant, I will likely meet with you, review documents, and at times I may even need to speak with others in order to render an opinion. The laws vary by state as to whether my review is admissible and at what point it becomes admissible, so please consult an attorney and perhaps even get a few different opinions on this issue before you engage my services.
ALTHOUGH YOU MAY SEE THE BENEFITS OF FORENSIC EXPERT WITNESS AND CONSULTATION SERVICES, YOU MAY STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROCESS…
I am concerned that I won’t be able to get you to see it my way and agree with me, so that your report reflects what I believe.
This is a common dilemma that many people face when they consider retaining an expert and also an attorney. While I cannot give you legal advice and I certainly wish that more attorneys would be upfront with clients regarding the merits of their case(s) and aggressively seek social justice for them, my role is to be a fact finder and to render an objective opinion based upon what my client shares with me and any other facts that are available to me support. This is why it is imperative that clients be honest with me, so that there are no surprises that may come up later because I always reserve my right to change my opinion if the facts support doing so. I do not typically request a retainer until I have at least gotten a sense of what the case is about, so that I can even decide whether it is something that I should be involved in, which may not have anything to do with the merits of your case.
What qualifications do you have that allows you to do what you do?
I have two master’s degrees, one in Educational & Counseling Psychology (CORE accredited Rehabilitation Counseling) and one in Social Work (CSWE Clinical Social Work). Prior to completing my graduate degrees, I also earned a B.S. in Disability Studies. Since completing graduate school, I have also completed a post-graduate Fellowship in Psychoanalytic Thought, as well as maintained continuing education units as required for my certifications and licensure. I have a valid license to practice as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Arizona and Missouri and I am a qualified supervisor in Arizona. I also have a national certification as a rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and ADA coordinator (ADAC).
During my 14 years of practice as a rehabilitation counselor, psychotherapist, and expert consultant, I have written reports and provided testimony in matters related to my areas of specialization. I have also advocated for the rights of others through lawmakers, written policies and legislation, and studied case law for more than 22 years. I am currently in the process of completing clinical level certified domestic violence counselor, certified forensic social worker, and complex trauma specialist, level II.
How do I know if you are the right expert for me or my client?
My specialized training and experience are summarized on this website for your convenience. I am available for an initial consultation and my curriculum vitae is available upon request. I believe that it’s important that the decision as to whether to retain me as an expert or consultant should be mutual, as noted above, I do not accept every client who requests my services either on their own or through their attorney, particularly in light of civil and criminal matters. I also cannot serve as both a client’s psychotherapist and an expert in a case because it is unethical to do so.