Expert Articles

PSYCHIATRY: Assessing Civil Competence

Practicing psychiatrists are not often asked to assess their patients’ mental capacity (competence) to perform ordinary contractual tasks, such as selling a house...Read More

DEFAMATION: The Rising Tides of Defamation - Bigger Awards and More Sympathetic Juries

Defamation of character lawsuits have changed significantly since I started writing about them in 2003 – from back-page news with jury awards topping at $150,000, to page A1 news in The Washington Post, with an award of $500,000 for emotional distress a...Read More

PARATRANSIT: A Wheelchair Passenger Slips Out of Their Chair During Transport: Who's At Fault? The Answer Might Surprise You.

Injuries involving elderly, disabled, or infirm passengers, suffered while riding in wheelchair accessible vehicles are so common that, any given time, there are 100s of active lawsuits in our country involving this dynamic. A major case hurdle is the fac...Read More

DENTISTRY: Claims Abuse as it Relates to Dentistry

When it comes to evaluating a case for dental damage, regardless if it is a motor-vehicle accident, slip and fall, or assault, there are 7 broad categories that I assert are important to evaluate......Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY: Deception; A Prevalent, Adaptive and Profitable Phenomenon

Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment. Few of us have made it into adulthood without engaging in, or entertaining the notion of malingering or feigning illness. My first conscious recollection of malingering began at age 8. You see, I was ......Read More

PSYCHOLOGY: Fitness for Duty Evaluations

Ultimately, a Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FFDE) should assess whether the individual’s work capacity is at least equal to or greater than the work demands. Whether an individual is a police officer, pilot, or construction worker, the individual must ....Read More

PSYCHIATRY: Attorneys: Servicing Mentally Ill Clients

Working with a client who suffers from a major mental illness can be challenging and frustrating for the client and yourself. Mental health issues manifest in many ways, but there a certain features that are often shared across disorders. ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY: Does the Abel Assessment of Sexual Interest Meet the Daubert Criteria for Evidence?

The Abel Assessment of Sexual Interest (AASI)is an objective measure of a person’s sexual interest in various potential sexual partners, including males and females, of preschool, grade school, adolescent, and adult ages....Read More

HANDWRITING: Thou Shalt Not Buy Assumptions

There are a number of basic guidelines for a cross-examiner in handling an opposing expert. Experts who present on such things wax prophetic of the inevitable doom awaiting the wayward lawyer transgressing whatever the expert is expounding at the moment. ...Read More

ONCOLOGY : Standard of Care: What Standard, Who Cares?

A hundred years ago, one man could master the cumulative medical knowledge of all humanity. Today, one man could spend a lifetime reading the new findings published in a single year. ...Read More

CASE CONSULTING: What If Your Client Is Deaf?

Serving a client who is deaf is an uncommon experience for most attorneys. Here are some essential issues that are relevant to providing competent legal assistance to deaf individuals....Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY: Three Myths of Neuropsychology

Often, neuropsychological reports will reflect the beliefs of the neuroscience of twenty-five years ago, rather than more current research. ...Read More


There are two medical problems that often result in preventable disability or death during incarceration, especially in small, short-term lockups. ...Read More

PSYCHIATRY: Losing Your Rights: Complications of Misdiagnosis

Violation of civil rights, forced treatment and commitment under the guise of psychiatric care are depicted in two cases involving female physicians who became “patients” in non-medical situations in different states....Read More

INSURANCE: Insurance 'Bad Faith' Cases Are Alive and Well in California

Insurance companies in California customarily follow what are known in the industry as “good faith” claims practices....Read More

CROWD CONTROL: Questions to Ask During a Crowd Management Case

The following are some key questions that need to be examined during a sport or music industry crowd management case. The questions can be asked of witnesses, parties, and/or expert witnesses....Read More

RADIOLOGY: Radiological Demonstrative Evidence

Radiology is a critical component of most medical care. As a consequence of this, legal cases in which individuals are claiming injuries will frequently have imaging studies as a central aspect of the record....Read More

HOSPITALS: How to Make Discovery More Effective in Hospital Lawsuits

Attorneys bringing lawsuits against health care organizations and providers face great difficulties discovering what they will need to successfully advocate for their clients....Read More

ENTERTAINMENT : Unpublished Authors and the Battle of Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is a hot topic in the entertainment industry and I have worked on my fair share of cases on this issue....Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The Psychologist’s Role in Litigation

My involvement with the courts and the legal profession has become more frequent over the past ten to fifteen years. My clinical focus however is that of a generalist practice of clinical psychology....Read More

INSURANCE : The World Trade Center Property Insurance Trial: Lessons Learned?

Had the tragic events on 9/11/01 not occurred, we would have never learned about negligence, mistakes, errors and omissions, inconsistencies, and confusion that plagued the placement and negotiation of the property insurance program for the WTC; this was...Read More

ENDOCRINOLOGY : Forensic Endocrinology

Endocrinology is the medical specialty that deals with the endocrine glands and the hormones they secrete. Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel through our blood and carry out a multitude of functions....Read More

ECONOMICS: Effective Use of Statistical Experts

Suppose for a moment you’re a grocer and you’ve ordered a truckload of apples. You open the crates and find, mixed in with different kinds of apples, a bushel of potatoes, a bushel of pineapples, and a couple of bushels of limes....Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The Gifted Child's Response to the Disintegration of the Family

There is a great diversity in children’s response to divorce and remarriage. Some experience more adverse consequences and some are more resilient and manage to cope and even thrive following the marital breakup....Read More

FOOD SAFETY: Behind the Label A Critical Review of Hidden Allergens and Toxins in the US Food Supply

Are they cursed? Or are patients with complex medical problems, who appear to resist responding to treatments that are standard of care, merely reacting to an environment they do not see or know? Are their physicians incompetent or merely ignorant of ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY: Workplace Hostility

While it is impossible to prevent workplace hostility and violence, much can be done to limit its occurrence, protect employees and mitigate the impact. The basic foundation of any hostility mitigation program is to have a comprehensive policy. Often, m...Read More

ECONOMICS: Gross Cash Flow And Business Valuation Issues: Analyzing Perquisites

In litigating many dissolution cases, a material issue is often the determination of the real income of one or both of the parties to the case. The reason? The existence of perquisites and/or fringe benefits....Read More

PSYCHIATRY: Psychiatric Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) affect close to 2,000,000 people in the US each year. Currently, 3.2 million Americans are living with disabilities related to a TBI. TBI is a trauma-induced structural and functional injury to the brain, including closed a...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY: The Complexity of Psychological Malingering

In personal injury cases, disability claims or industrial accident cases that involve potential emotional distress damages, a defense expert may describe a plaintiff as a “malingerer”, indicating that that the plaintiff is exaggerating or faking psych...Read More

PSYCHIATRY: Mission Creep: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and The DSM-5

For more than thirty years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association has been the “bible” of psychiatry. This book has become the major guideline for making diagnoses and evaluating emotional distress in most civi...Read More

FAMILY LAW : Child Custody Evaluations and Psychological Testing – Valid and Invalid Expectations

Often, requests are made for psychological testing as part of the child custody evaluation (CCE) process and too often, the results are disappointing....Read More

LICENSING : Naked Licensing: Not As Rare As One May Think

In the last 10 years, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided two cases involving naked licensing: Barcamerica International v. Tyfield Importers (9th Cir. 2002) 289 F.3d 589, and Freecyclesunnyvale v. The Freecycle Network (9th Cir. 2010) 626 F...Read More

ENGINEERING : A Guide to Workplace Safety Practices

Workplace injuries and deaths are a frequent source of lawsuits. These lawsuits are usually civil actions but criminal prosecution is a possibility. This article presents a framework of accepted good practice....Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Development of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis

As a young doctoral student at the University of Arizona in the early 1970s, I had the opportunity to work with what was then known as the Veterans’ Administration, providing counseling services for men and women returning from Vietnam and related comba...Read More

ONCOLOGY : Radiation Oncology and Medical Malpractice

I have been actively engaged in the clinical practice of Radiation Oncology for the last 40 years, and over the last 10 years have been asked to participate in a variety of medical malpractice cases. Radiation therapy, together with surgery and chemothera...Read More

EMERGENCY MEDICINE : Recognizing EMTALA Cases (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act)

Regulating emergency care can be dangerous to the hospital as well as the patient...Read More

ECONOMICS : Ensuring Effective Presentation of Economic Damages at Trial

What must a litigator do to ensure that economic damages will be presented effectively at trial? That is a very important question. ...Read More

SECURITIES : The Failure of Securities Arbitration

If you have ever been wronged by a broker, chances are you feel emotionally frustrated and financially abused, to say the least. There may be little you can initially do to rectify the situation since it is almost like water over the dam....Read More

INTERNET : Keyword Infringement Surveys: The New Frontier in Measuring Likelihood of Confusion

In recent years, keyword advertising has become an increasingly important activity for marketers. Compared with other elements of the marketing mix, such as newspaper or television advertising, keyword advertising is still relatively new....Read More

ENTERTAINMENT : Economic Damage Claims In The Entertainment Industry — Speculative or Beyond a Reasonable Certainty

The large majority of lawsuits that involve individuals in the entertainment industry revolve around lost wages or fees. The entertainment industry is nothing like the traditional job market....Read More

COMPUTERS : Always Analyze an Analytic Analysis

A lawyer presented me with the following situation; two doctors in practice together for 15 years terminated their relationship. Each doctor set up his own office. One of the doctors created a new website with a link from the old website. Their dispute ...Read More

ENGINEERING : Defective Construction and the Building Envelope

Wood construction of multi-family, high-density housing became a preferred method of building during the housing boom. Unfortunately, in wet climates insufficient measures were taken to protect the building envelope from weather intrusion, resulting in a ...Read More

ONCOLOGY : Opioid Therapy for Chronic Cancer-Related Pain

Safe and effective chronic opioid therapy for chronic cancer related pain requires clinical skills and knowledge in both the principles of opioid prescribing and on the assessment and management of risks associated with opioid abuse, addiction, and divers...Read More


A grotesque string of cannibalistic events has catalyzed internet discussions/rumors about a pending “zombie apocalypse”. Within several weeks, horrifying accounts have come from Canada, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland....Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : One Suit Doesn’t Fit All: The Role of Pediatric, Young Adult Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychological Assessments

Attorney: “I understand that you tested my client several months ago when she had carbon monoxide poisoning. I see that your report indicated that Maddy suffered from cognitive and emotional symptoms....Read More

DISABILITY : Disability Evaluations and Aging

Many variables need to be considered when determining the extent and presence of disability. Physical, cognitive and emotional injury influence one another when assessing initial disability level and the ultimate extent of recovery. Age and illness are ...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : The Detection of Malingering During Head Injury Litigation

Depending on the source cited, 3 to 10 million head injuries occur each year. However, due to safety advancements...Read More

PSYCHIATRY : Psychiatric Impairment Assessment

Psychiatric impairment is a major determinant in many individuals' ability to return to work. There exist numerous non-medical factors ...Read More

PEDIATRIC NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Differential Considerations Between Pediatric Neuropsychology and School-Based Psychology

The American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPdN) defines pediatric neuropsychology as a specialty within the field of psychology and related health-care sciences. The emphasis in pediatric neuropsychology is the study and understanding ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Employment Litigation

Claims of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are made in all types of employment litigation; mental and emotional injuries constitute the bulk of an employer’s exposure. Psychiatric evaluation of PTSD claims in employment litigation often demonstrate ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The Hidden Costs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As a psychologist I have worked with many individuals suffering from PTSD as a result of warfare, trauma, accidents and injuries. In addition, I have provided expert witness consultation and testimony on a variety of personal injury and workplace involve...Read More

PSYCHIATRY : Challenging the Reliability of Confessions with Expert Testimony

Over 200 individuals confessed to the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. They were all rejected as suspects. The man charged with the crime refused to confess—even when offered commutation on the eve of his electrocution in 1936....Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Child Abuse: A Worklist

There is nothing so tragic as an abused or neglected child. Emotional injuries stemming from this behavior can last a lifetime. Recognizing the signs of abuse or neglect early on can save lives....Read More

PSYCHIATRY : Collaboration, Continuous Quality Improvement and Counting Pennies in Correctional Institutions

Last week I entered a cell-block in Jailtown, USA. The facility was several decades old, a crumbling fortress of concrete and steel. It sorely needed new paint, air conditioning to alleviate the soaring humidity, and a good old-fashioned scrub down....Read More


Dilantin (Phenytoin) has been used for decades to treat seizures in adults and children, primarily for epilepsy as well as during and after surgeries. The Epilepsy Foundation says that over three million Americans have some form of seizure disorder, with ...Read More


The FDA is under fire from Senate members to ban the use of Avandia, the popular diabetes drug from GlaxoSmithKline. It has been speculated that as many as 80,000 heart attacks have been initiated by the use of Avandia....Read More

PHARMACOLOGY : Ibuprofen and SJS

There has been a great deal of attention paid to Motrin/Advil/Ibuprofen lately and its connection to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). Ibuprofen is known to the general public to be a safe anti-inflammatory, even at prescription strengths....Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Immigration Psychology

Psychologists can provide a needed service to attorneys and their clients who are involved in the process of immigration. The immigration process presents many challenges to both foreign nationals who seek to settle permanently in the United States and ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Jury Victim Bias

A recent study examined 136 jury cases between 2000 and 2009 involving exposure to toxic chemicals (specifically asbestos, toxic mold and lead poisoning). The jury verdicts show an “indentifiable victim bias” (IVP) causing jurors to make more emotiona...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Kids Who Kill: Attachment Disorder, Antisocial Personality And Violence

More and more children are failing to develop secure attachments to loving and protective caregivers. These children are left without the most important foundation for healthy development, and are flooding our child welfare and juvenile justice systems ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Mental Health Experts In Civil Litigation

In civil litigation, a mental health expert can serve as a consultant, a treatment provider or a forensic evaluator. For example, a plaintiff sues his/her employer for emotional damages and a mental health professional is sought to treat these emotional ...Read More

PHARMACOLOGY : Nicotine and Its Effects On The Brain

Smoking is the most common method of consuming tobacco and consequently it is the most common substance smoked. The World Health Organization reports that ongoing tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and causes 5.4 million death...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

While the word “traumatic” in the term “traumatic brain injury” has been traditionally used to denote a physical trauma, the very nature of a significant accident that leads to brain injury often involves significant emotional trauma as well. It...Read More

PHARMACOLOGY : PTSD and Ecstacy – It’s Not A Joke

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is sometimes difficult to treat; witnessing sexual/physical abuse or injury, or actually suffering from the experience can lead to repeating nightmares, paranoia, sleeplessness, a sense of numbness and flashbacks....Read More

NEUROLOGY : Tardive Dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia is a serious neurological disorder, characterized by rapid, continual blinking, grimacing, involuntary movements, as well as impaired mobility of the fingers. Elderly patients, especially women, are at greater risk to contract Tardive...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Who Doesn’t Have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Claims of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in civil litigation have increased in recent years. These are often supported by a letter or report from a therapist and/or an independent evaluator retained by the Plaintiff’s attorney. However, it is important f...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Is There Evidence for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury? A Case for the Expert Neuropsychologist

One of the most controversial, yet persistently disabling injuries involved in litigation is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is typically defined as an injury to the head resulting in brief-or-no loss of consciousness, pos...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism and other autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are increasingly common diagnoses for children throughout the world. A growing number of legal matters, including child custody cases, involve at least one child with such a diagnosis. Children with auti...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Parents of Sexually Abused Children

Much has been written about the emotional trauma experienced by the sexually abused child. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, over 85,000 children are sexually abused in America each year. ...Read More

PSYCHIATRY : How To Read A Psychiatric Report

All psychiatric reports evaluate something, but not always the same thing. For example, eligibility for benefits, or fitness to do a job—for HR purposes or wrongful termination litigation. To make sense of the report, the reader must determine what is b...Read More

CASE CONSULTING : Optimizing Criminal Defense Dollars in a Shrinking Funding Cycle: Utilizing the Case Consultant

With few exceptions, many jurisdictions around the country are limiting defense expenditures across the board; creating extraordinarily difficult situations (at best) for attorneys working to assure their clients receive effective representation under th...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Psychological Assessment of Malingering and Symptom Validity

Plaintiffs and other petitioners often sue for damages due to reported cognitive or emotional impairment. These impairments are often said to be the result of traumatic brain injuries suffered in accidents, toxic exposures or medical procedures. Such im...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : A Lawyer’s Guide to Cults

The term "cult" is a widely misunderstood term. Certainly, over the years, "cult" as a descriptor has taken a pejorative cast, and is often used lightly and inappropriately by the media and the average person. However, I will use the term “cult” as a ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The “Borderline” Plaintiff: Fascinating for a Psychologist, A Nightmare for an Attorney

Clinical psychologists may dread treating the patient who is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, often referred to as a “Borderline.” Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder are among the most difficult, provocative, unstable and...Read More

CASE CONSULTING : The Role Of The Expert In The Courtroom

The courtroom is a special place with special rules that must be understood in order for the most effective presentation of the clinical data to occur. The process is adversarial, which is generally contrary to the experience of clinicians or academicians...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Recovery Course And Damages

Diagnosing, treating, and managing Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is one of the most complex issues for clinicians and attorneys who deal with this population. It is estimated that 70-90 percent of all treated TBI cases are mild, with approximately 1...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Psychology And The Law: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

While the word “traumatic” in the term “traumatic brain injury” has been traditionally used to denote a physical trauma, the very nature of a significant accident that leads to brain injury often involves significant emotional trauma as well. It ...Read More

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY : Coup Contre Coup (The Neglected Brain Injury)

Closed head injury is an extremely frequent occurrence in personal injury cases. According to the CDC, in the United States approximately 1.4 million individuals suffer from this type of trauma each year. By far, the predominant cause of traumatic brain i...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Victimization and PTSD: Diagnostic and Clinical Challenges

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has its roots in the military and the psychological impact of war on those who endure the trauma of combat. In part due to this history, the diagnostic criteria for PTSD requires that an individual have experienced a ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Neurocognitive Malingering: The Importance of its Assessment in Criminal and Civil Forensic Evaluations

Malingering is the intentional (conscious) fabrication or gross exaggeration of symptoms of mental disorders in order to achieve an identifiable goal. Mental health professionals who conduct forensic evaluations should assess the examinee’s response sty...Read More

CASE CONSULTING : Increasing Damages in Class Action/ Mass Tort Cases

Forensic psychologists can significantly increase damages and awards in class-action and mass tort cases. This is an area of damages often ignored by attorneys; there is a sense that it will affect little change in the outcome of the settlement, or that ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Understanding Work-Related Emotional Distress

The next time you’re at a party, count how many pleasantries you exchange before the topic of work arises. I’d lay some pretty good odds that “what do you do” is a heavy favorite as the question most likely to follow the initial glad-handing and ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Symptom Magnification & Waddell's Behavioral Signs

For many individuals that sustain an injury, there is a close correlation between subjective complaints and objective pathology. Since most physicians are trained in treating physical pathology, the outcome of treatment is usually satisfactory for all con...Read More

PSYCHIATRY : The Psychiatric Autopsy and Its Application in Law

At first blush, “Psychiatric Autopsy” appears to be a misnomer. The historical mainstay of psychiatric assessment and treatment is the psychiatric interview and psychotherapy. Obviously, a decedent is unable to participate in traditional psychiatric a...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Digital Threats: Emerging Predatory Behaviors in the Workplace

Human Resources/Risk Managers have become increasingly familiar with violence in the workplace and the warning signs of a threat potential for physical violence. However, malicious, digitally-based threats have appeared in the workplace as a new weapon fo...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Stalking: the State of the Science

Since the behavior of stalking was criminalized in California in 1990, we have seen literature on the topic bolstered by dozens of new studies each year. Although definitions of the crime vary, there seems to be a legal consensus that three elements are n...Read More

PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY : Psychopharmacology In Court

The perfect storm of insurance restrictions for non-pharmaceutical interventions, combined with the introduction of better-tolerated psychiatric meds, has led to unprecedented use of powerful, prescription drugs among the public. Psychotropics that were ...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The Psychological Autopsy As A Forensic Tool

The Psychological Autopsy (PA) is used for research; it functions as a medical-legal tool to aid in the certification of deaths. It is also a forensic procedure for both criminal and civil cases. The PA has become an invaluable tool in wrongful death ca...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : The Role Of Personality Disorders In Employment Litigation

You may not be familiar with the formal diagnostic term, Personality Disorders, but as a practicing attorney, you undoubtedly have encountered individuals with these conditions. It’s a fair bet that most of those encounters ended unpleasantly. For the...Read More

PSYCHIATRY : Sexual Abuse: An Addictions Perspective

Sexual abuse cases always hinge on interactions between individuals. Addiction, often unacknowledged, can sometimes provide telltale evidence that changes the outcome of a case. Yet, civil cases of alleged sexual abuse frequently do not consider the imp...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Are Adults Faking ADHD for Secondary Gain?

Despite general agreement on the importance of symptom validity assessment in medico-legal contexts, the issue as a necessary practice in the examination of college students who show signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was, until 2007...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Determining the Mental Capacity of a Decedent

Forensic psychologists and neuropsychologists regularly give expert opinions about a person’s mental capacity in the criminal, family law and civil courts. The evaluative process involves clinical interviews, psychological/neuropsychological testing, re...Read More

PSYCHOLOGY : Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Legal Implications

The legal community frequently encounters individuals who are suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, because ADHD is one of the most misunderstood disorders in the psychological system, attorneys don’t always unde...Read More

CASE CONSULTING : Understanding Malpractice In The Field Of Psychology, Family Therapy And Counseling

Almost every state in the United States licenses and regulates the practice of psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work, and counseling. There are hundreds of thousands of practitioners in these fields of non-medical treatment of emotional ...Read More