Forensic Services

Forensic Services

A significant portion of my practice consists of addressing forensic issues. I provide evaluation and consultation services to assist the courts, attorneys, agents of the legal system (e.g., Guardians ad Litem, case managers), as well as private individuals when advisable. Consistent with the clinical portion of my practice, I work with a variety of psychological concerns across the age- and developmental spectrum. A synopsis of my activities follows.

Parenting and custody questions. Since the late-1980s, I have conducted over 600 psychological evaluations in state dependency, parental custody, and placement cases. While over half of these have focussed on parental capacity, many other have centered on the child or adolescent, other relatives or foster parents, or the whole family as a unit. In these complex and critical projects, I collect information in several forms in order to understand the situation and offer recommendations that are balanced, empirically solid, and reasonable. Over time, I have developed a unique "three-dimensional model" to consider the relevant factors leading to a valid understanding and useful recommendations. This model has received very positive responses from attorneys, judges and court officers, and behavioral science colleagues, as well as helping parents and family members understand key strengths and weaknesses and how to change for the better.

Juvenile forensics.
I regularly conduct evaluations of juveniles' mental capacity, competency, waiver of juvenile status ("decline" as referred-to in Washington State), and disposition/recommendations for treatment. These are thorough, empirically sound, and informed by my developmental and ecological background. They have often led the way to creative solutions in these difficult cases.

Competency and capacity.
In recent years, I have conducted a growing number of evaluations of adults' mental capacity. Thanks to my work over more than 30 years with individuals with disabilities, I am often called-on to consider subjects who have some form of disability.

Civil litigation. My expertise has proven useful to help resolve questions regarding the presence and severity of damages.

Expert witness consultation and testimony. I am consulted and testify or respond to questions in numerous cases regarding disability, child- and adolescent behavior, and parenting. I have served as a Medical Expert in over 2000 Social Security cases.

Special projects. My training and experience as a research psychologist has given me the opportunity to devise and carry out several projects to answer legal or programmatic questions empirically.

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