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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes the interface between neuropsychology and the law, in both theoretical and clinical areas. It covers both civil and criminal issues.
Purpose: According to the editors, "in order to address the urgent need for an authoritative reference work for the rapidly growing field, the Handbook of Forensic Neuropsychology has been published. [It] reviews the major areas in which neuropsychologists in independent practice can work effectively within the jurisprudence system." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: According to the editors, the book is intended for "forensic neuropsychologists in full or part-time practice and attorneys and judges who utilized neuropsychological data in their decision-making. Also, other professional(s) who enter the legal arena and rely on neuropsychological opinions such as forensic psychiatrists and forensic neurologists or clinical psychologists, school psychologists, social workers, counselors and special educators, among other healthcare and educational professionals, will find the [book] of considerable value." The editors and contributors are credible authorities and many of them hold diplomate status in clinical neuropsychology.
Features: The book begins with a discussion of historical and theoretical issues. It then covers clinical issues and how they are related to courtroom testimony. Both civil and criminal area are covered. This book also addresses special areas such as forensic neuropsychology with children, forensic neurotoxicology, and the assessment of competency to stand trial and NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity). The book is good because it contains many case examples and covers theoretical, practice, and ethical issues. It reviews all the major areas that one would expect and it is well written.
Assessment: What I like most about this book are the case examples. It is practical and valuable for those who work in the legal arena. The novice forensic neuropsychologist will gain the most because the book walks one through the process of typical courtroom events, such as depositions and how to avoid conflicts of interest.