Dr. Joseph S. Schwartzberg, is an Educational Consultant / Expert Witness who provides consultation and testimony on cases involving students with disabilities and School safety matters.. Dr. Schwartzberg was responsible for developing and administering legally compliant special education and general programs for 35 school districts in NY before doing likewise for the 14 districts of North San Diego County. For 13 years, he served as the Senior Director of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education for the San Diego County Office of Education.
Litigation Support - Dr. Schwartzberg has provided expert witness services to counsel representing both plaintiff and defense in state,federal as well as family court.
Areas of Expertise:
Standards of Care
Other Agency Responsibilities
Appropriate Programming for Students with Disabilities
Certification / Credentials:
School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS)
School District Administrator (SDA)
Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential
Professional Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential : Health Science
Learning Disabilities, Emotionally Handicapped, General Special Education
Nursery, Kindergarten, Grades 1-6
Health and special classes of the orthopedically and similarly handicapped
Teacher of children with special learning handicaps
Dr. John F. Doherty is an experienced Public and Private School Educator who has focused his work on improving schools through effective hiring practices, supervision and training of staff, and building a school culture of sustainability. In his current role, he serves as a School Liability Expert Witness.
Dr. Doherty has over 35 years of experience as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, department chair, coach, and teacher. He is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Department of Education Safe and Supportive Schools Commission and chair of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Professional Development Committee.
Litigation Support - Dr. Doherty provides consultation and expert witness services to plaintiff and defendant attorneys throughout the US and Canada. As a court-qualified education administration and supervision expert, he applies his experience, education, and training to the review and analysis of cases to determine the professional standard of care from case inception to resolution, including expert reports, deposition, and trial testimony.
Ideal Client Engagement - Attorneys litigating matters involving the question of liability for school or youth-serving agencies (daycare, camps, aftercare, church childcare) regarding the standard of care, student-supervision, staff training, in any type of injury or incident involving the school/agency, such as wrongful death, personal injury, sexual harassment/abuse, Title IX, Section 1983, in daycare through college/university and more.
Virginia Rhodes, EdD has an extensive background in public schooling with over 35 years of experience in duty of care: teacher, principal, hiring, supervision, evaluation and instruction in K-12 settings. Her work in research, and as a school board member in a large district grounds her expertise in school policy and district and administrative function. As principal and policy-maker, Dr. Rhodes was known for her work in reclaiming failing high schools, including moving an Ohio high school from 8% passage on the state science test to 54.5% in 2 years, collaboratively, within a contractual environment. Dr. Rhodes provides expert witness research, reports & testimony for districts and law firms, representing both plaintiff and defense. Dr. Rhodes' services are available nationally and internationally, as she is culturally competent,traveling, presenting at conferences and observing schools. Previous cases have included student injury, & death, religious/race, disability discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual abuse, administrative supervision, teacher supervision, actions of paraprofessionals including teacher assistants, security guards, and school resource officers, as well as school evaluations & recommendations for domestic cases.
Areas of expertise include:
School and district disciplinary policy & practices
Standards of care and duty for administrative, teacher and school staff
Teacher training/evaluation, administrative training
School climate, culture, SEL (social-emotional learning), trauma-informed practice
Diversity issues within personnel and student settings
Urban school research & new trends in teacher leadership
What does it take to improve science performance in an inner-city high school? Could a science "immersion" strategy change motivation and interest in science? How can we meet a key strategic goal of our urban district: "All students graduate and are prepared for postsecondary education, successful careers and productive citizenship."
Creative professionals in team-based work settings value work communications skills among their colleagues. As public schools create professional learning communities and experiment with teacher-led curriculum and program development, traditional interview processes may prove inadequate for these new collaborative environments. New and creative selection models may be needed to enable teacher or other professional teams to choose candidates with the 21st century skills needed for success. In public sector environments, work rules are often highly developed and professionals are entitled to interview. Qualifications, training, experience and seniority as determinants often get reduced to transfer rights using seniority as the main or only criteria. This trend detracts from creating a competitive environment in which to attract & retain a high-quality teaching staff. Solutions can be found within existing contract parameters, however, if the attributes necessary to teach 21st Century skills are actually required to be demonstrated, not just described, in the interview process.
"All children can learn," is a catchphrase currently making the rounds in education circles, particularly in staff development activities (Pankratz & Petroski, 2003). De facto learning theory challenges the underlying assumptions of this phrase by examining how it is that learning in schools takes place. Using theoretical foundations of Dewey, Maslow, and Vygotsky, this essay will explore the fact that all children are, in fact, learning all the time, regardless of the actions of teachers, the content of the curriculum, or educational policy and practice.
Critical to a dynamic STEM school is a high level of instructional rigor. While this is true in all STEM schools, it is a particular challenge in those programs that serve populations inexperienced with high levels of rigor in their previous coursework.
Establishing a STEM High School (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics), and the Aiken Environmental, Ohio's first public environmental high school proved to be successful strategies to increase student engagement and raise standardized scores in science. High-poverty urban students from declining academic and disciplinary environments produced significant gains on science test results and credit attainment towards graduation. Using multiple overlapping rigor and SEL strategies, students experienced "science immersion," project-based learning, and a social-emotional curriculum that emphasized personal development and team/community-building skills.
Dr. Jane K. McNaught, PhD is a locally and nationally recognized Forensic Psychological Expert specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with adults and children. Over the course of her more than 35 years of practice, she has worked with both Defense and Plaintiff attorneys and has also been a Court appointed expert. Dr. McNaught has administered more than 1700 psychological test batteries and testified on over 500 occasions as a forensic expert in the areas of: Civil, Criminal, and Family Law. She also provides trial consultation for attorneys. Dr. McNaught has been qualified and testified as an expert in PTSD, for both the U.S. Army as well as the U.S. Navy. In addition she has testified as an expert in both District and Federal court. Dr. McNaught practices in the areas of Civil, Criminal, and Family Law cases involving trauma to both adults and children.
In the Civil area, Dr. McNaught is frequently hired as an expert when there are allegations of Emotional Damages involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. McNaught has been hired in cases of alleged sexual misconduct within institutional settings such as: Schools, Churches,, Treatment Centers, Hospitals,Residential Centers for the Handicapped, Jails and other Police alleged violations.The following are cases where Dr. McNaugth has been an expert: PTSD cases involving veterans; Motor Vehicle Injuries/Death; Dog Bite; Amputation; Burns; and Electrocution. Dr. McNaught has also been anexpert in Medical Malpractice Cases ,Wrongful Death, and Infant Death cases. Employment Law Experience in cases involving Age or Sexual Harassmen,t where PTSD is alleged.
In the Criminal area, Dr. McNaught is hired by both the Prosecution as well as Defense in cases involving Sexual Misconduct. She also conducts evaluations of Defendants in criminal cases where Underlying Psychological Conditions may impact sentencing. Dr. McNaught has also been obtained as an expert to evaluate the reliability of statements obtained from alleged victims of sexual assault. When doing so, Dr. McNaught addresses the following: Recantation, Memory Research, and the Standard of Care for Interviewing Victims of Sexual Assault.
In the area of Family Law, Dr. McNaught specializes in High Conflict Divorce and conducts Custody Evaluations as well as Evaluations regarding: Relocation; Endangerment; Factitious Disorder by Proxy; Parental Capacity; and Parental Alienation.
Physical traumas such as a serious burn injury can be profoundly traumatic. Serious burns result in sudden unanticipated trauma related to the individual's exposure to a potentially life-threatening experience. One day the burn victim begins their day like any other, and by the end of the day the burn victim's life may be changed forever by the traumatic event experienced. A Forensic Psychological Expert utilizes well respected psychological tests to assess the emotional impact of such injuries. The psychological tests employed are statistically reliable and valid. The choice of valid and reliable psychological tests employed by a Forensic Psychologist are similar to tests used by a physician to diagnose diabetes or other medical disorders. Such tests offer norms that compare the individual in question to a large normative sample, in order to evaluate the burn victim's psychological functioning compared to that of the "normal" person.
When divorce occurs in the family, an inevitable loss occurs in the lives of the parents as well as children. Positive adjustment to divorce comes when both of the parents as well as the children develop healthy coping methods to deal with the loss. This enables both parents and children to move forward with their new lives. Unfortunately, many parents who suffer from their own disturbed attachment history or mental health issues, are unable to put aside their anger and constructively cope with the loss. In such cases, parents often undermine the children's relationship with the other parent, in order to express their own unresolved parental anger and sadness about the divorce.
Formerly this disorder has been referred to as Munchausen by Proxy and later, Factitious Disorder by Proxy. In the current version of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Criteria, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V), the disorder is referred to as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another, (DSM-V 300.19). The perpetrator and not the victim is given this diagnosis. The victim is given an abuse diagnosis.
Forensic Psychologists can assist both Plaintiff and Defense lawyers in their assessment of the emotional damages related to traumatic injuries with adults as well as children. PTSD in children and teens is caused by events that have caused them or someone else to be killed or badly injured. Not all children develop PTSD after a traumatic injury. 3-15% of girls and 1-6% of boys develop PTSD in response to a traumatic experience. Rates of PTSD are higher for certain types of trauma survivors. Nearly 100% get PTSD if they see a parent being killed or if they see a sexual assault. 90% of sexually abused children develop PTSD; 77% of children who see a school shooting develop PTSD; and 35% of children who see violence in the area they live, develop PTSD (National Center for PTSD in Children and Teens).
Amputation is an injury involving loss of function, loss of sensation, and loss of body image. It is not surprising amputees often suffer psychological difficulties following such an event. Further, these psychological difficulties can also result in long term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the amputee. Often these psychological injuries and resultant PTSD can be difficult to explain to a jury. The forensic expert's presentation of psychological testing assessing potential PTSD is one part of proving or disproving damages. However, the forensic expert can better assist either the Defense or Plaintiff's attorney by addressing specific functions in the amputee that have been affected by the injury.
Charles H. Heller, PhD, is a Forensic Psychology Expert with over 35 years of experience in his field. Dr. Heller is currently on staff at Rutgers University Biomedical Health service, specializing in criminal behavior and risk assessment. He also serves as a forensic psychologist consultant for the Rockland County (NY) court evaluation service, where he has performed hundreds of child custody, as well as criminal competency and child abuse/neglect evaluations.
Litigation Support - Dr. Heller specializes in conducting custody evaluations, providing the review and analysis of potentially mitigating circumstances in connection with criminal behavior, and providing consultation to attorneys regarding civil litigation. He has extensive court experience in Civil, Criminal, and Family Court cases. Dr. Heller is a fully vetted and approved forensic psychologist for the NJ Office of the Public Defender as well as other Public Defender offices. (Federal Public Defender, Legal Aid in Manhattan, Bronx, Kings and the NYC assigned counsel program). He often travels throughout the US as a forensic consultant in important court cases including military Court Martials, death row assessment, sexual abuse, assault and multiple homicides. He is well known and respected among his colleagues as a clinician and as a forensic psychologist/expert witness.
Civil Litigation - (Emotional and Mental Injury) - Dr. Heller is retained by both plaintiff and defense counsel to assess plaintiffs for emotional and mental injury. He takes an unbiased, ethical approach to assessments and is not "a hired gun." He is an expert in objective evaluations that assess the probability the plaintiff is suffering PTSD, other emotional injuries, or if there is exaggeration of symptoms based upon psychological testing and other data. He has expertise in cases that involve group home / residential schools, provider negligence, and assaults.
Criminal Litigation - Dr. Heller is experienced in providing successful rebuttal testimony explaining the scientific issues related to the problems of validity, reliability, and usefulness of "Syndrome evidence" such as "Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome" and "Rape Trauma Syndrome." He testifies in child sexual abuse cases and explains research related to false allegations, recantations, memory, suggestibility, child testimony, interview protocols, and "Believed-In Imaginings" in children and adults. He has expertise in domestic violence and has assessed women who have been victims of intimate partner violence and "Battered Women Syndrome" that contributed to homicides, assaults, and other felonies by the victims of abuse.
Manhattan: (Mailing Address) Two Park Avenue, 20th Floor New York, NY 10016 Phone: 212-880-3789 Alt. Phone: 845-354-0535 Fax: 845-354-1287
New Jersey: (Alternate Mailing Address 140 East Ridgewood Avenue South Tower, Suite 415 Paramus, NJ 07652 Phone: 201-262-0331 Fax: 845-354-1287
Westchester County: (Not for Mail Service) 520 White Plains Road, Suite 500 Tarrytown, NY 10591 Phone: 845-354-0535 Fax: 845-354-1287
Rachael Frost, Master Inv. (ret.) is a VIOLENCE RECOGNITION & RESPONSE SPECIALIST with over 20 years of experience in law enforcement practices and procedures investigation, domestic violence-related persons' investigation and policies, grants, and program development. She was the Riverside Sheriff’s Department’s first expert witness in domestic violence and developed a self-sustaining program in the Department to encourage future witnesses and abuse specialists.
Ms. Frost is currently a Sexual Assault Expert Cadre of Experts for End Violence Against Women International and a grant writer for more than $4 million in grant monies and programs to develop these areas of recognition, investigation, and response. She is also a Masters staff member for the Training Institute of Strangulation Prevention, works with the Communications Committee for the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, and is Chief Financial Officer for the non-profit Kids Court, which addresses trauma concerns of children who are involved in the court system.
Ms. Frost evaluates and reviews Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures having worked in personnel and policy cases with Internal Affairs and as a program and policy developer. Her expertise has been used in high-profile cases involving law enforcement procedures. She specializes in case preparation for Intimate Partner Violence Issues in Family, Civil, and Criminal court, including how domestic violence may affect children and law enforcement responses and investigation practices into abuse and threat cases. She is the Abuse and Law Enforcement Investigations Specialist hired by attorneys across the nation.
Ms. Frost has the direct experience needed in court; working in the field with victims of abuse and in Internal Affairs thoroughly investigating policy violations. Comfortable on the witness stand, she has testified numerous times as an expert witness for prosecution and defense, respondent and plaintiff in Family, Criminal, and Civil cases, because true testimony does not change dependent on your client. She has conducted hundreds of investigations into abuse and law enforcement related cases. Rachael Frost - Expert Witness Website.
Expert witness services in the areas of law enforcement response to:
During the past several years, the 1995-1997 Centers for Disease Control and San Diego Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACEs) pioneered by Dr. Vincent Felitti has become a growing topic among those who work with survivors of trauma and abuse. If you are not familiar with the study, ACEs measured different impacts that childhood exposure to trauma(such as divorce, parent/mentor substance abuse, witnessing or experiencing physical or sexual abuse, etc.) can have on adults' future health…
Understanding domestic violence as an employer, family member, coworker, Human Resources professional, friend, law enforcement officer, teacher, and more, is extremely important so you can remain an active support person for a victim looking to leave an abusive situation.
As threat assessment professionals, corporations, schools, and agencies, how do we effectively address intimate partner violence when each story is different, and each ending may depend upon us? Let us explore four basic steps to creating a successful abuse recognition and response program for in person and virtual employees and clients.