A recently published book (Oxford University Press) in the National Academy of Neuropsychology Series on Evidence-Based Practices provides a great resource for scholars, researchers, and practitioners involved in the study of or the evaluation of civil capacities. This article provides a summary of the contents of the book and some brief comments about the book.

Coping with Psychiatric and Psychological Testimony

This highly effective guide is designed to help attorneys differentiate expert testimony that is scientifically well-established from authoritative pronouncements that are mainly speculative. Building on the foundation of Jay Ziskin’s classic work, this updated text blends the best of previous editions with discussion of positive scientific advances in the field to provide practical guidance for experts and lawyers alike. Major contributors in the field summarize the state of the literature in numerous key areas of the behavioral sciences and law. Working from these foundations, the text provides extensive guidance, tips, and strategies for improving the quality of legal evaluations and testimony, appraising the trustworthiness of experts’ opinions, and as follows, bolstering or challenging conclusions in a compelling manner. Distinctive features of this text include detailed coverage of admissibility and Daubert challenges, with unique chapters written by an eminently qualified judge and attorney; hundreds of helpful suggestions covering such topics as forensic evaluations, discovery, and the conduct of depositions and cross-examinations; and two chapters on the use of visuals to enhance communication and persuasiveness, including a unique chapter with over 125 model visuals for cases in psychology and law. More than ever, the sixth edition is an invaluable teaching tool and resource, making it a ‘must have’ for mental health professionals and attorneys.

Chapter Outline

Part I: Introduction

  • 1. Introduction and Overview by David Faust

Part II: Determining the Scientific Merits of Expert Evidence: Daubert and other Factors

  • 2. Admissibility of Expert Testimony in Federal Courts: A View from the Bench by Paul W. Grimm
  • 3. Daubert and Psychological Expert Testimony: An Attorney’s Perspective by Joseph G. Petrosinelli
  • 4. Criteria for Appraising Scientific Status I: Daubert Factors by Albert C. Locher
  • 5. Criteria for Appraising Scientific Status II: Additional Key Features Relating to Daubert and Its Intended Function by David Faust

Part III: The Scientific Status of Psychology and Psychiatry: Core Topics

  • 6. Expert Qualifications and Credibility by Eric Y. Drogin
  • 7. Experts’ Experience and Diagnostic and Predictive Accuracy by David Faust & Kyle A. Faust
  • 8. Clinical Judgment and Prediction by David Faust & David C. Ahern
  • 9. The DSM-IV System of Psychiatric Classification by Craig R. Lareau
  • 10. Malingering/Cooperation/Effort by Richard I. Frederick
  • 11. Evaluation of Culturally Diverse Populations by Selma R. De Jesus-Zayas, Rudolfo Buigas, and Robert L. Denney
  • 12. Ethical and Practice Standards and Guides for Mental Health Professionals by Bruce W. Ebert

Part IV: The Scientific Status of Methods used for Assessing Psychological Status and Functioning

  • 13. A Primer on Psychological, Intelligence, Cognitive, and Neuropsychological Testing by Craig R. Lareau and David C. Ahern
  • 14. Structured and Unstructured Interviews by Rebecca L. Jackson and Michael J. Vitacco
  • 15. Challenging Intellectual Testing Results by Cecil R. Reynolds and Daneen A. Milam
  • 16. Challenging Personality Testing: Objective and Projective Instruments by Michael J. Vitacco, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Erickson, and James M. Wood
  • 17. Neuropsychological (Brain Damage) Assessment by David Faust, David C. Ahern, and Ana J. Bridges
  • 18. Challenging Computerized Testing and Computer-Based Test Interpretations by David C. Ahern and David Faust
  • 19. Use and Misuse of Forensic Assessment Instruments by Patricia A. Zapf and Thomas Grisso

Part V: Section A: Scientific Status of Psychology and Psychiatry: Specialty Topics

  • 20. Criminal Competency of Adults by Richard I. Frederick
  • 21. Civil Competence Evaluations by Stephen J. Anderer
  • 22. Insanity Defense, Diminished Capacity, Mitigation by Richard I. Frederick
  • 23. Assessments of Dangerousness and Risk by Douglas Mossman
  • 24. Legal Uses and Assessment of Psychopathy by Gina M. Vincent and Stephen D. Hart
  • 25. The Psychological Assessment of Pain-Related Disability by Kevin W. Greve and Kevin J. Bianchini
  • 26. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder by Craig R. Lareau
  • 27. Substance Use, Abuse, and Dependence by Douglas B. Marlowe, David S. DeMatteo, Nicholas S. Patapis, and David S. Festinger
  • 28. Prognosis and Psychological Treatment by John Hunsley and Catherine M. Lee
  • 29. Recovered Memory Evidence in the Courtroom: Facts and Fallacies by Stephen Porter, Kristine A. Peace, Rebecca L. Douglas, and Naomi L. Doucette
  • 30. Challenging the Eyewitness Expert by John C. Yuille and Barry S. Cooper
  • 31. Emotional Distress Claims in Employment Actions by Pietro J. Lynn

Part V: Section B: Children and Related Issues

  • 32. The Developmental Disabilities by Marc Woodbury-Smith and Fred R. Volkmar
  • 33. Forensic Developmental Psychology in the Courtroom by Maggie Bruck and Stephen J. Ceci
  • 34. Child Custody Evaluations by Stephen J. Anderer
  • 35. Evaluations of Children in the Juvenile Justice System by Randy K. Otto, Randy Borum, and Monica Epstein

Part VI: Practical Applications

  • 36. Determining the Need for, Identifying, ad Selecting Experts by Eric Y. Drogin
  • 37. Identifying and Demonstrating Expert Bias by David Faust
  • 38. Making Subjective Elements of Cases More Objective by David Faust
  • 39. Ziskin (and Faust) on Investigation, Critiquing Experts’ Reports, Dealing with Experts’ Tactics, and Deposition and Cross-Examination by Jay Ziskin, with commentary by David Faust
  • 40. A Guide to Principles for Discovery with Examples of Items to Obtain by David Faust
  • 41. Further Suggestions for Deposing and Cross-Examining Experts and Thoughts about Independent Medical Examinations by David Faust
  • 42. Errors of Omission and Commission by David Faust
  • 43. Obtaining the Expert’s Full File: A Key to Failure or Success by David Faust
  • 44. Tips for Daubert Motions from a Judge, and Attorney, and a Behavioral Scientist by Paul W. Grimm, Joseph G. Petrosinelli, and David Faust
  • 45. Trying Cases Visually: Understanding the Effective Use of Visual Communication in Your Legal Practice by J. Ric Gass
  • 46. Visuals in Cases Involving Mental Health Evidence: Examples and Illustrations by David Faust and David C. Ahern
  • 47. Internet Research and Online Resources: Suggestions for Successful Searches and Improved Efficiency by David C. Ahern and Katie A. Ahern

Author Information

This comprehensive text was edited by David Faust, PhD, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island, with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Numerous other contributors authored the various chapters in this text, each an expert in the relevant content area for the chapter.