Expert witnesses are permitted by the court to testify during a trial based on specific knowledge and experience in a field relevant to the case at hand. We are available to provide expert testimony services when it is necessary to litigate. If we perform any evaluations such as child custody, parental fitness, psychological evaluations or chemical dependency evaluations as court-ordered, we may act as an expert witness if the case goes to trial and then of course are open to full use by the court. We may also be called as an expert witness to answer questions about the psychological issues related to divorce as well as issues related to the best interest of the child.
It’s important to note that any information discovered in court-ordered evaluations is not confidential, unlike other clinical psychology services we offer. When functioning in the capacity of an expert witness, we must maintain ethical boundaries and offer unbiased recommendations based off the facts and determinations we conclude from our expertise as mental health professionals. While in a clinical setting a psychologist is an advocate for the client, but in a forensic setting, a psychologist is only interested in an unbiased accuracy.
Our experts can also review the evaluations performed by others and testify about whether or not we find weaknesses in their evaluation, or we can be available for helping clear up whether or not an evaluator has utilized accepted professional procedures. Weaknesses in someone’s evaluation could include poor procedures, inaccurate interpretation of data, lack of consideration of alternative hypotheses, or conclusions by an evaluator that are based on unproven theories.
To learn more about our experts or get in contact with us at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, please call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020.