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Choosing a psychologist as an expert witness in any legal case is daunting. Even a highly qualified expert in one discipline may not be the right choice for a specific type of case. Here are 9 tips to help you choose a psychology expert for your legal case.
- Review the curriculum vitae. This will help you determine if his or her area of expertise is in the necessary discipline for the particular case. An expert in family law, no matter how well qualified, may not be the best expert for a workers’ compensation case.
- Does the psychologist have a license for practice in the appropriate field for which you need an expert? There are several levels and types of licenses. Make sure the psychologist has the license for diagnosing, treating, and evaluating in the specific discipline for which you need the testimony.
- Check for memberships in relevant professional organizations.
- Determine if the psychologist has any published works on the topic for which his or her expertise is required.
- Call to discuss the possibility of employing the psychologist as your expert. Ask if the psychologist has testified before. If so, ask how many times for the plaintiff and how many times for the defendant.
- Assess whether, in the phone call, the psychologist’s presentation was logical, understandable, easy to follow, and convincing. This may be key to the way the witness will present testimony in court.
- Determine if the psychologist uses psychological testing that is generally accepted in both the psychological and legal communities. If so, is he or she familiar with interpreting test results within the context of the particular issue for which you need expert assistance.
- Is the psychologist familiar with the most current and relevant literature applicable to the case in which you need an expert?
- What is the psychologist’s reputation within the psychological community?
You can rely on Expedient Medicolegal Services to help you find the best psychological expert for your particular legal case.