Report Writing for Forensic Evaluation

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

10 hours | 10 CEs

This On Demand professional training program on Report Writing for Forensic Evaluations is presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP.

Conducting well-constructed forensic psychological evaluations is not enough to persuade judges, attorneys, and other referral sources about the adequacy of one’s work and opinions. Reports and affidavits are the primary vehicles by which psychologists communicate to judges, attorneys, and others what data they considered, what actions they took, and the opinions they formed and the underlying reasoning.  Thus, writing clear and concise reports is a critical component of most forensic psychologists’ practice. Research on forensic examiners’ report-writing practices is reviewed; how forensic practice guidelines, the ethics code, and rules of evidence and procedure shape reports are considered; principles for the organization and structure of forensic reports are proposed; and elements of good and bad reports are highlighted using multiple real-world examples from redacted reports.  More focused matters such as the use of jargon; specificity in word choice; identifying sources of information; distinguishing between observation and inference; and common report writing errors are considered, as well. Finally, preparation of affidavits, and how their structure and substance differs from reports, is tackled.

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 various functions that reports and affidavits which summarize forensic evaluations serve

Describe reports that meet obligations imposed by common rules of evidence and rules of procedure

Describe reports that meet obligations imposed by the ethics code and related practice guidelines

Describe 3 reasons for, and the value of, including in forensic reports competing for hypotheses, alternative explanations, and data that are inconsistent with one’s expert opinions

Describe reports that make clear distinctions between facts, assumptions, reasoning, opinions, and expert opinions, and describe the value of doing so

Describe jargon that is most typically included in reports and the advantages and disadvantages of including such

Describe reports that are jargon-free

Describe common report writing errors

Describe test results in their reports in two different ways

Describe the primary purpose of affidavits and describe how they differ from reports in function and development

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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...

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PAU

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