Effective Expert Testimony for Forensic Evaluation

Presented By Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP
Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP

10 hours | 10 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on Effective Expert Testimony for Forensic Evaluation is presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP. This badge-earning program can be shared digitally on platforms like LinkedIn or your resume and counts towards various certificates. Enroll to earn credit and share your new digital credentials with prospective employers and colleagues. This program counts as a foundational program in the certificates:

  1. Criminal Forensic Assessment Certificate
  2. Child Custody Evaluation Certificate
  3. Civil Forensic Assessment Certificate
  4. Juvenile Forensic Assessment Certificate
  5. Violence Risk Assessment Certificate

This program should interest all mental health professionals who testify in legal proceedings, regardless of their sub-specialty. The focus is on oral communication of one’s activities and opinions. Thus, the preparation of interrogatories, affidavits, and reports is not addressed.

First reviewed are the research examining and the general principles of effective communication in legal proceedings. This is followed by a discussion of the two primary contexts in which expert witnesses testify (depositions and trials/hearings), their similarities, and their differences.

Next reviewed are nuts and bolts strategies witnesses should employ, followed by an extended discussion of direct and cross-examination techniques and strategies.

The program discusses how professional ethics, practice guidelines, and rules of evidence and procedure shape expert testimony. Considerable use is made of case examples, using excerpts from trial and deposition transcripts and video recordings of experts testifying. 

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe the components/qualities of effective communication generally, and effective testimony specifically

Describe the differences between testifying at depositions and at trial and testify more effectively in each setting

Describe various ways in which credibility and expertise can be communicated when testifying

Communicate one’s expertise and credibility more effectively

Describe ethical requirements and practice guidelines that impact expert testimony and testify in accordance with them

Describe common/typical rules of evidence and procedure shape presentation of expert testimony and testify in a manner that is consistent with these rules

Describe and employ pre-testimony preparation strategies that will reduce anxiety

Describe an approach for effectively communicating their work and opinions to the legal decision-maker during direct examination

Describe and effectively respond to common cross-examination gambits.


Presented By

Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP

Randy Otto has been a faculty member in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy at the University of South Florida in Tampa since 1989. As part of his responsibilities at USF, Dr. Otto trains mental health professionals, attorneys, and judges on various matters regarding the intersecti...


1. Introduction

2. Clarity

3. Credibility

4. Certainty

5. Basic Testimony Principles

6. Question Session

7. Direct Examination

8. Cross-Examination

9. Impeachment

10. Inquiries, Questions, and Exhibits

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

Expert Instructors

Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

CE Credit

Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!


Earn Certificates

This is badge-earning course, which means it will help you earn a certificate that can be showcased on digital platforms like Linkedin.