The Portable Guide to Testifying in Court for Mental Health Professionals: An A-Z Guide to Being an Effective Witness / Edition 1

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A one-stop guide to testifying in court for mental health professionals

Even the most seasoned mental health professionals can find themselves unnerved by the prospect of appearing in court, especially when presented with it for the first time. Those in the mental health field usually have no formal preparation for testifying in court, even though they often play an important part in many types of cases.

The Portable Guide to Testifying in Court for Mental Health Professionals provides a concise yet comprehensive guide for practitioners preparing to appear in court. The authors employ their combined decades of legal work in the mental health field to provide a clear, no-nonsense handbook of what to expect, how to prepare, and what to look out for when testifying in court.

Along with a general introduction to courts and the legal system, the text details topics such as:
* Testifying both as an expert and involuntary witness
* Protecting clients when bringing therapy into testimony
* Preparing for testimony
* Tips to use and lawyers' tricks to look out for when testifying in court

Throughout the book, Bernstein and Hartsell use detailed case studies to provide specific examples. In addition, "legal light bulbs" offer important tips and facts, and appendices list relevant Web resources and provide common legal forms.

A one-of-a-kind resource, The Portable Guide to Testifying in Court for Mental Health Professionals gives a complete view of your role in courtroom proceedings, offering a vital tool for both legal and mental health practices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…is a well-written guide to the legal system for beginning-level psychologists or for any mental health professional.." (PsycCRITIQUES, 7/26/2006)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471465522
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

BARTON E. BERNSTEIN, JD, LMSW, is an attorney in private practice. He is also an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Arlington and a licensed master social worker.

THOMAS L. HARTSELL Jr., JD, is an attorney and mediator in private practice and an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and North Lake College.
Together, the authors have coauthored The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, now in its second edition, and The Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals (both from Wiley). They conduct workshops and seminars across the United States.

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Table of Contents


1. Our System of Justice.

2. Involvement in the Judicial System.

3. Lawyers: Their Functions.

4. The Expert Witness.


5. Therapist: Two Different Roles.

6. Ethics.

7. Confidentiality.

8. Resolving Conflicts before They Escalate.


9. Subpoenas.

10. Preparing for Discovery.

11. Preparing “Ask Me” Questions for the Lawyer.

12. Preparing for Deposition Testimony.

13. Preparing for Courtroom Testimony.


14. Testimony Tips.

15. Lawyers’ Tricks.

16. Challenges to the Expert Witness: The Daubert Case.


17. The Resume: Your Introduction to the Court.

18. Contracts.

19. Making Sure You Are Compensated.

20. What to Do If You Are Sued.


21. The School Counselor as a Courtroom Witness.

22. The Forensic Expert.

Appendix A: Useful Web Sites.

Appendix B: Useful Forms.

Example of a Motion to Quash Subpoena.

Example of a Motion for Entry of a Protective Order.

Example of a Qualified Protective Order.

Authorization for the Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information.

Checklist for Deposition Testimony.

Checklist for Direct Examination for Courtroom Testimony.

Checklist for Cross-Examination.

List of Federal Cases Involving Daubert Challenges of Mental Health Professionals.

Trial Vita (Sample Form).

Employee Evaluation Information and Consent Form.

Home Study Information and Consent Form.

Contract for Forensic Services and Information and Consent Form.


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