The Psychiatrist as Expert Witness / Edition 2

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Forensic psychiatry is growing in popularity, and many a practitioner feels the urge to explore this fascinating realm of endeavor. The second edition of The Psychiatrist as Expert Witness, by Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D., is a highly readable and practical guidebook for those interested in entering the field while navigating the dangers inherent in courtroom testimony. This volume is a thoroughly revised and updated edition of his highly successful first edition. The earlier edition has been used in nearly all forensic psychiatric training programs in the U.S. and Canada since its publication in 1998.

A professor of psychiatry at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center-Harvard Medical School, Gutheil draws on his decades of experience in the courtroom and countless beginner's mistakes to help readers avoid the pitfalls of serving as an expert witness. While of great value to newcomers to the field, the book offers insight and guidance to early-career and seasoned expert witnesses as well.

As in the first edition, this volume explores the role of the expert witness, moral issues, basic principles, depositions and trials, writing for the court, and ethical marketing. Besides the requisite updating of references and suggested readings, this latest volume features expansions and additions of particular benefit to prospective expert witnesses: • A glossary of useful terms • Expanded definitions of key concepts• A lengthened discussion of bias in testimony• Additional illustrative examples• A model forensic consent form for examination• Cases and principles that have arisen since the first edition

The Psychiatrist as Expert Witness provides the practical, hands-on mentoring and guidance that were not readily available in the past. Concrete advice replaces abstract theorizing, and informal discussion in a user-friendly tone replaces scholarly discourse. These attributes combine to make this a book that is highly accessible and usable in real world courtroom settings.

While some in society decry the expert witness function, the courts will continue, from all evidence, to require expert witness testimony in increasing numbers. The author seeks to help his colleagues meet the courts' needs with ethical, effective and helpful testimony through the publication of this revised volume. At the same time, Gutheil strives to make the often complex arena of forensic psychiatry more understandable to those who wish to enter the field and to seasoned experts eager to keep up with contemporary changes in forensic psychiatry.

American Psychiatric Publishing

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews


The second edition of Dr. Gutheil's classic for nonforensic and new forensic psychiatrists issignificantly revised and better than the first, but retains its conveniently small size. The book is concise, well organized, and eminently readable. The principles are clear and the advice very practical, with many case illustrations and examples of the author's dry wit (don't try that during testimony).

M.D. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry Bradley W. Freeman

Dr. Gutheil's guide for the expert witness is a bright lighthouse for practitioners who are eager to navigate the difficult yet exciting waters of forensic psychiatry. Psychiatrists new to the forensic arena ill greatly benefit from the author's exhaustive experiences and gain confidence in undertaking this type of work.

Bradley W. Freeman
Dr. Gutheil's guide for the expert witness is a bright lighthouse for practitioners who are eager to navigate the difficult yet exciting waters of forensic psychiatry. Psychiatrists new to the forensic arena ill greatly benefit from the author's exhaustive experiences and gain confidence in undertaking this type of work.

(M.D. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry )

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Updated from the 1998 first edition, this book provides both introductory information and more advanced discussion of the many facets of the practice of forensic psychiatry.
Purpose: Directed at those early in their forensic careers, the book aims to enhance their knowledge and skill sets, while being a helpful reference for those considering entry into this interesting and challenging field.
Audience: Although penned primarily for those contemplating or beginning their careers in forensic psychiatry, it also may be useful for more experienced professionals as it provides some tried and true methods, tested by one of the leaders in the field.
Features: The author walks readers through much of the basics needed to understand the functions of a forensic expert and provides some very practical information about an expert's interaction with the legal system, such as writing reports, testifying, and developing and marketing a forensic practice. Each chapter ends with a list of current and relevant suggested readings.
Assessment: I purchased the first edition of this book a few years after its publication, and it has served its purpose in my library. The second edition seems to retain the best of the previous edition, while updating and improving it extensively to mirror the current environment for forensic practitioners. The author's writing style is both entertaining and informative, and he has a unique ability to explain even the most complex concepts in an easily digestible manner. Readers benefit extensively from his experience and comprehensive knowledge base. In addition, the valuable appendixes contain sample fee agreements and consent forms, which can be frustrating and time consuming to construct from scratch. This should be on the reference shelf of both new and experienced forensic practitioners.
Doodys Health Sciences Book Review Journal
This is a user-friendly, practical book about the unique aspects of work as an expert witness in psychiatry.
American Journal of Psychiatry
The text is an excellent reference for either the novice or seasoned practitioner encountering the ethical, clinical, and practical issues of the expert witness, as well as hazards and pitfalls inherent to this arena.
Focus, Harvard Medical School
...a thorough how-to manual for the psychiatrist who has testified and found it not so bad after all, and for all who might consider serving as expert witnesses voluntarily.
Gregg Bassett
This excellent new handbook attempts to provide the novice forensic psychiatric expert with helpful advice about the unique issues associated with work as an expert witness. It takes the reader through each step of a forensic case: initial negotiations with the attorney, the evaluation, discovery and depositions, common pitfalls, travel, and testimony in court. A useful section on the ethics of forensic psychiatry practice is appropriately placed early in the book. The author, Vice President of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and an acknowledged leader in the field of forensic psychiatry, wrote this book with the goal of increasing the knowledge and skills of both the novice expert witness and of those contemplating the role for the first time. This practical and concise handbook succeeds in meeting these objectives. Although the book is targeted toward the novice expert witness, more seasoned experts will appreciate the model fee agreements provided in the appendixes. Senior psychiatry residents who have already read more formal textbooks of psychiatry and law and are considering additional training in forensic psychiatry will find this book a useful and quick introduction to the unique aspects of being an expert witness. The book features concise, readable chapters arranged in a logical format. The table of contents and glossary enable the reader to rapidly locate particular topics in the text. The appendixes, with sample fee agreements, are particularly unique, as is the advice on scheduling, travel, and marketing. The reader may wish to supplement the chapter on forensic report writing with additional materials. This is a user-friendly, practical book about theunique aspects of work as an expert witness in psychiatry. It does not substitute for a fellowship in forensic psychiatry, nor should it be read in lieu of a more formal textbook of psychiatry and law. However, as a practical guide to actually doing expert witness work, it is superb
Provides practical advice for psychiatrists entering the law environment in the role of expert witness, guiding professionals through the legal process and highlighting pitfalls. Uses wit and an informal tone to describe the ethical, clinical, and functional role of the expert witness, and details aspects of case evaluation, discovery and depositions, and trials. Also covers writing reports, marketing, and fee agreements. A companion to The Psychiatrist in Court: A Survival Guide. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585623426
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D., is professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; cofounder of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center; and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law and the current president of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. The textbook, Clinical Handbook of Psychiatry and the Law, coauthored with Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., and now in its fourth edition, received the Manfred S. Guttmacher Award as the outstanding contribution to forensic psychiatric literature.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Introduction: what makes an expert? The expert's ethical universe. First principles. Types of typical cases. Discovery and depositions. The expert in trial. Some pointers on expert witness practice. Writing to and for the legal system. Developing and marketing a forensic practice. The expert on the road: some travel tips for testifying away. Epilogue. Appendix 1: consent form for forensic examination. Appendix 2: standard fee agreement. Appendix 3: detailed fee agreement. Appendix 4: suggested readings and web sites. Glossary. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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