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:
- Criminal Forensic Assessment Certificate
- Child Custody Evaluation Certificate
- Civil Forensic Assessment Certificate
- Juvenile Forensic Assessment Certificate
- Violence Risk Assessment Certificate
It is devoted to expert testimony that mental health professionals provide in depositions, trials, and administrative hearings. As such, this program should be of interest to 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.
Throughout the program, how professional ethics, practice guidelines, and rules of evidence and procedure shape expert testimony are discussed. Considerable use is made of case examples, using excerpts from trial and deposition transcripts and video recordings of experts testifying.
This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals
This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.
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.
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...
5. Basic Testimony Principles
6. Question Session
7. Direct Examination
10. Inquiries, Questions, and Exhibits
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