Expert Witness Services: After the Case Review
If the expert witness case review yields deficiencies in the evaluation report, what happens next becomes very important. While attorneys are experts at the law and may be excellent in presenting your legal case, they may not be as familiar with some of the psychological concepts and methods used by custody evaluators. Using an expert to provide litigation support often helps an attorney become more effective in their advocacy. Choosing the best one of three available options is very important.
1. Expert Witness Testimony After Case Review:
The expert witness can offer testimony during depositions and/or court regarding the deficiencies identified in the review of the evaluation report. In anticipation of this kind of testimony, the expert witness reviewer prepares and submits a report outlining their review procedures and their assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the evaluation report. The expert witness may include preparation of questions that facilitate their testimony. Click here for Dr. Dale's Statement of Understanding for Expert Testimony.
2. Litigation Support After Case Review:
The expert witness can provide assistance in preparing for trial and other litigation support services to the requesting attorney. When an evaluation is unfavorable to the attorney's client, this assistance usually takes the form of identifying general areas of inquiry and specific questions for the cross-examination of the evaluator. When the report is favorable but a challenge is expected from the other side, litigation support can help with strategies for organizing an examination of a favorable evaluator witness or for responding to the opposing parties' efforts to undermine the credibility of the expert or the report. Litigation support can occur prior to trial or at trial. Litigation support at trial consists of listening to testimony and suggesting cross-examination questions based on the evaluator’s testimony.
3. Limited Parenting Evaluation/Data Collection After Case Review:
And finally, the expert witness can perform a limited parenting evaluation addressing aspects of the custody evaluator’s initial evaluation that the party believes inaccurately portray certain data or issues. Here, the expert witness will seldom, if ever, be able to collect enough data to render an opinion about legal custody, residency, or parenting time because the favored party in the initial evaluation is unlikely to participate in another evaluation. An ethical expert witness cannot provide an opinion about a person he has not met or evaluated. When collecting additional data after an allegedly deficient review or as part of a limited parenting evaluation, the expert witness must qualify his findings as limited due to his inability to complete a more comprehensive evaluation.
2201 SW 29th Street
Topeka, KS 66611
Phone: (785) 267-0025
Fax: (785) 266-6546
Bud Dale, Ph.D., J.D., Licensed Psychologist