This self-paced training program on Interviewing, Report Writing, and Testifying in Child Custody Cases is presented by Dr. David Martindale.
The differences in interviewing techniques, styles, and questions in clinical versus forensic settings are highlighted. Interviewing elements are discussed as are additional elements such as scheduling matters, cognitive and attitudinal biases, and interviewing styles. There are many components involved in interviewing adults and children. This course describes how to interview litigants, non-party sources, and collateral sources and also describes how to interview (a) credentialed professionals, (b) individuals presumed not to be aligned, and (c) individuals presumed to be aligned. General issues regarding the usefulness and weight of collateral sources are also discussed.
Elements of Interviewing children are discussed, including: Assessing cognitive capacity and maturity; the use of interview facilitation mechanisms; the issue of possible coaching of children; addressing source misattribution; and interviewing the allegedly alienated child(ren). Potential problems with interviewing, including refusals to respond, invocations of Fifth amendment, and requests for assistance or emotional support, are also discussed.
Participants learn about organization issues, formulating opinions, preparing drafts and general issues in relation to Report Writing. Organizational issues include data integration and how to deal with discrepant, incomplete, unreliable, or missing data; and how to conceptualize the intended audience.
This course uses case studies and case law examples to guide participants through how to formulate your opinions in your report. Participants learn how to decide what format to use when drafting the final report and whether it should be reviewed; and who is entitled to review it. The report delivery and distribution are also briefly overviewed. General issues regarding reports are also discussed, including: Descriptive reports v. Prescriptive reports; Dispassionate reports v. Persuasive reports; Data, opinions, and recommendations; and articulating limitations.
Finally, the course addresses the issue of offering expert testimony. General issues in establishing the contract, financial responsibility, payment arrangements, discovery, and defining expert are described. Participants also learn about preparing for trial including file organization, homework, and updating your CV; along with learning opportunities from judicial decisions and trial transcripts. The elements of effective and ineffective testimony by court-appointed evaluators and elements of effective testimony on direct, use of jargon, complex explanations, and more are discussed. Skills needed to respond effectively to aggressive cross-examination; testimony by retained work product reviewers; case-blind didactic testimony; and testimony by treating practitioners are also topics that are covered.
The fee for this training program is $500.00 and includes all materials.
This course is relevant for mental health professionals who conduct forensic evaluations or who intend to add forensic evaluation to their practice. Legal professionals will also find this workshop to be of particular interest if they are involved as counsel to plaintiffs or defendants in civil rights and personal injury litigation. This course is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.