Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder arising as a result of an emotionally overwhelming experience. In litigation, a forensic psychiatrist is the Expert Witness best trained in making an accurate diagnosis of PTSD, a medical condition. Psychiatrists recognize PTSD in individuals who have suffered a variety of kinds of trauma. The symptom complex…

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Because my field is so specialized, I believe it is one of my duties to assist attorneys in preparing direct examination and cross-examination questions for psychiatrists and psychologists testifying as Expert Witnesses, so the attorney can understand that aspect of the case better and elicit testimony informative to the jury. I taught on this specific…

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There is no limit on the amount a jury may award for emotional distress / pain and suffering.*  The only guidance for the jury is an amount a reasonable person could possibly estimate as fair compensation. Although a psychiatrist may not testify to the value of emotional distress damages, he or she is permitted to…

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Fitness for Duty examinations are asked for in my practice relatively frequently, and Threat Assessments when needed. I have performed more than a thousand, for both public and private entities. Sometimes the exam is requested as a pre-employment evaluation because there is a past history of psychiatric illness including drug or alcohol problems. On other…

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A “psychiatric evaluation,” “psychiatric assessment,” “IME” (Independent Medical Evaluation) or “mental evaluation” mean the same thing: a psychiatrist evaluates the psychiatric condition of an individual in the past and/or present, in order to answer specific questions (such as those with legal implications for the person being examined). Elements of the evaluation vary from case to…

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Fitness for Duty examinations are asked for in my practice relatively frequently, and Threat Assessments when needed. I have performed more than a thousand, for both public and private entities. Sometimes the exam is requested as a pre-employment evaluation because there is a past history of psychiatric illness including drug or alcohol problems. On other…

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Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist: How to Decide the Best Choice As An Expert Witness When a medical-legal question has medical aspects to emotional states or behavior, such as chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, permanent physical disability (partial disability or total disability), a psychiatrist by virtue of his or her training[1], will have expertise to understand the…

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A psychiatric disability exists when a person is mentally impaired by a psychiatric disorder.  Impairment can be partial or total, temporary or permanent, and must be taken in the context of performance of varying types of tasks.  For example, can a job be performed (or performance in a particular occupation)? Carrying out tasks of daily living?…

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A “psychiatric evaluation,” “psychiatric assessment,” “IME” (Independent Medical Evaluation) or “mental evaluation” mean the same thing: a psychiatrist evaluates the psychiatric condition of an individual in the past and/or present, in order to answer specific questions (such as those with legal implications for the person being examined).  Elements of the evaluation vary from case to case depending…

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A Will is not a contract because it does not represent a promise to perform a service or execute an action for another person (including corporations).  It is solely an allocation of a person’s wealth on death.  A contract, such as a Trust, implies the potential for an adversarial relationship if one of the parties…

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