How to Examine Mental Health Experts: A Family Lawyer's Handbook of Issues and Strategies

Designed as a quick and accessible reference, this book helps lawyers understand and address the array of mental health expert issues they will encounter in their cases.

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Do you feel uneasy when preparing to deal with mental health experts? Can you spot, analyze, and address key issues related to their work and testimony? This accessible, updated edition by John A. Zervopoulos, a lawyer and board-certified forensic psychologist, gives you tools to address these concerns. As a result, you'll more competently deal with mental health experts and upgrade your case preparation and presentation.

With new and refreshed material organized in four parts, this book--the companion to the author’s 2015 book, Confronting Mental Health Evidence--unpacks the key question that lawyers should demand of mental health experts: How do you know what you say you know?

Part 1 features calls to think like a lawyer, to wrap your case in a compelling story, and to apply a lawyer's "mindset" when managing experts in depositions and in court.

Part 2 summarizes the four-step PLAN Model--each step based on Daubert/Frye caselaw and on psychology’s ethics, professional guidelines, and literature--that enables you to systematically analyze an expert’s work and testimony, develop effective lines of deposition and examination questions, and organize your oral or written arguments about the quality of the testimony.

Part 3 offers 20 short, handbook-style chapters related to experts and their testimony. Each chapter highlights an issue frequently encountered in case prep and in court, and examines three critical aspects of the issue--spot the issue, analyze the issue, address the issue--to help you more effectively critique experts' qualifications, methods, and assertions. Issues include: how qualified is qualified; recognizing and challenging experts' biases; managing experience-based testimony; and much more.

Finally, Part 4 accents the action, showing how to integrate the book's previous material with procedure and practical strategies to deal with mental health experts at depositions, at Daubert/Frye admissibility hearings, and at trial.

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