Forensic Expert Services

SERVICES I OFFERForensic Expert Services

Forensic expert services from Gianna Elms, LCSW is where someone may need assistance because he or she, or perhaps even a group of people such as a family, needs an expert to consult on a matter that Gianna has expertise and may even become a witness in a matter that involves litigation.

Gianna has several areas of expertise because of her experience involving mental health, disability, trauma and abuse, domestic violence, and military and veterans. Gianna is also very experienced in researching and writing policy and legislation, which gives her a unique advantage that many other expert witnesses do not share because they lack that experience.

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Expert Witness & Consultant

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.

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, disability, and matters of civil or criminal crimes.

As an expert witness or consultant, I will likely meet with you or your attorney, 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. It’s important to note that I do not accept every case that I am asked to be an expert witness. If the matter is beyond the scope of my expertise or if I believe that it is something that is not in-line with my conscience, I will not be involved with the case. I have worked on both the plaintiff and the defense side of matters, but again I follow my conscience and will not render an opinion that is not consistent with what my understanding of the facts and the law support.

There is good news though. Even if you have to involve an attorney and experts like me, most cases are settled before they go to trial with a judge or jury, particularly after the opposing side receives a copy of an expert’s report, if the facts are on your side. However, the opposing side will initially try to drag things out and play the game of trying to wear you out and make you run out of money so that you will just take whatever they offer you. That’s why it’s important that you get a good attorney, preferably one who will take your case on a contingency fee basis without “ripping you off” and ensuring that you can actually get all of your costs covered because most people cannot afford to hire an attorney and the opposing side knows that, whereas the opposing side likely has insurance to defend them and even pay for claims such as negligence.


  • What are your qualifications to be an expert witness?
  • Do you have a fee agreement if I were to retain you as an expert?

My education, licensure, certifications, and experience are summarized on this website for your convenience. Other areas on this website also outline a number of areas that I currently treat as it relates to mental health; however that is not all that I have experience in and may qualify as an expert, which is further outlined in my curriculum vitae (CV).

A law firm may also request a copy of my curriculum vitae (CV). If you are interested in considering me as an expert in a case, please CALL ME so that we may do a conflict check, first and foremost, and so that you may provide the case information in your request for a copy of my curriculum vitae (CV). I will not send a copy of my curriculum vitae (CV) or engage in other communication, such as via email or text messaging, until I have been assured that there is no conflict.

Yes. This is summarized under FORENSIC EXPERT AGREEMENT. However, I will provide the law office with a copy of the most up-to-date RETAINER AND FEE AGREEMENT in the form of a PDF document when I send a PDF copy of my curriculum vitae. The base fee is $250 per hour, but there is a cost to retain my services and in rare circumstances. This rate is higher than my clinical treatment and clinical consultation services because I am not the type of expert who charges more for time just because it’s based upon my expertise, and I am aware that I can make more money by doing it.

However, there are additional costs associated with being an expert witness. Which is part of why I am not currently accepting any legal cases that will require actual deposition or testimony, at this time. I am only accepting some cases for purposes of document review and case consultation, at the present time to assist attorneys in preparing. I do not want to be part of the “grand standing” on matters that attorneys are unwilling to properly litigate due to his or her refusal to pay an expert who gets the facts right on a case, or because he or she believes that he or she knows better than God, even to the point of telling himself or herself that “the ends justifies the means”.

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