This self-paced online training program on Effective Expert Testimony for Forensic Evaluation was developed by Dr. Randy Otto and is presented in partnership with ConCEPT Professional Training. The program is devoted to expert testimony mental health professionals provide in depositions, trials, and administrative hearings. As such, this program should be of interest to all mental health professionals who testify in legal proceedings regardless of their specialty area. The focus is an oral communication of one’s activities and opinions. Thus, preparation of interrogatories, affidavits and reports is not addressed. Reviewed are general principles of effective communication in legal proceedings, research examining effective communication in legal proceedings, research examining effective communication by expert witnesses, strategies and skills to employ during direct- and cross-examination. Considerable use is made of case examples-using excerpts from trial and deposition transcripts, as well as video recordings of mental health professionals testifying. The main learning objectives are:
- Identify and employ pre-testimony preparation strategies that will reduce anxiety
- Describe an approach for effectively communicating their work and opinions to the legal decision-maker during direct examination
- Employ effective responses to commonly-used cross-examination ploys.