Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. is double Board-Certified in Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Raffle has over 49 years as a clinical and forensic psychiatrist offering his expert opinion in Federal and State jurisdictions nationwide. In addition to serving as an expert witness, Dr. Raffle consults to attorneys, judges, insurers, and to employers regarding Fitness for Duty and Risk of Violence (Threat) Assessment:
5000+ psychiatric assessments
Expert testimony in 700 depositions and trials
Successful clinical practice
The job of an expert witness is to educate a jury, judge, attorney, and trier of fact about the forensic psychiatrist's conclusions and how those opinions were derived in a manner well-reasoned, skillful, and easily understood by every person, not only another forensic psychiatrist. In short, an educator. Dr. Raffle’s experience as an educator extends well beyond a forensic venue, yet underpins the key to his ability to explain his opinions.
Prof. of Psychiatry, UCSF Medical School, 20 years
U.C. Hastings College of the Law postgraduate course "Trial and Appellate Advocacy" instructing seasoned attorneys about the direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses, with special focus on mental health experts and licensed medical professionals, Psychiatrists (MDs), Psychologists (LCSWs / MFTs), and physicians in other medical specialties, 11 years
Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates' expertise is well-established in forensic assessment in the areas of:
In order for a medical opinion to be admissible as evidence in civil, criminal and administrative cases, the basis of the opinion must fulfill either the Daubert Criteria or the Frye test, depending on the jurisdiction. The judge of the court rules on the admissibility of the expert opinion. The effect of Daubert has been to limit expert testimony to opinions which are based on a scientific foundation. Daubert specifies that adequate scientific support and method and a known error rate must exist. The testimony of a mental health expert rendering an opinion using criteria which does not meet Daubert standards is weakened by the implication that it is not based on "sound science." In some instances, for example, a mental health expert uses an approach where there are no peer-reviewed studies or methods, such as when psychologists compose their own neuropsychological test batteries. In most cases where an attorney is considering a "Daubert challenge," a contemporaneous and up-to-date literature search is indicated. Also, extensive case law presently exists as to specific issues. Being familiar with the Daubert criteria enhances effectiveness in challenging a mental health expert's opinion, whether on voir dire or cross examination. On direct examination, the strengths of an opinion reached under Daubert criteria become a "teaching moment" for the trier of fact, because it will be founded on the science of mental health assessment.
Undue influence occurs when the testator's freewill and freedom of choice in the disposition of the assets of his or her estate is replaced by the substituted judgment/wishes of another. This can apply to creating a will, codicil to amend a will, trust or other legal instrument.
The medical expert cannot express an opinion about the ultimate question to the trier of fact: how much is the plaintiff's emotional distress (emotional injury) worth in dollars? Yet when the question of these monetary damages is put to a jury, their deliberations are better-served if considered in the context of a Forensic Psychiatrist's knowledgeable findings and testimony.
My teacher and mentor, Dr. Bernard Diamond, pondered the question about the role of the psychiatric expert and other experts in the courtroom. My first public presentation was to the American Criminology Society on this topic, and it has continued to occupy my attention to the present
All psychiatric reports evaluate something, but not always the same thing. For example, eligibility for benefits, or fitness to do a job. To make sense of the report, the reader must determine what is being evaluated and how it is being done
In civil cases where emotional distress is alleged, it often occurs that the plaintiff’s attorney designates the treater as his expert. Usually the argument is that the plaintiff’s own therapist has spent many more hours with the plaintiff than the defense expert and therefore "knows" the plaintiff better. The treater often agrees with this reasoning
Sanjay Adhia, MD, MRO, is triple-Board-Certified in Psychiatry, Brain Injury Medicine, and Forensic Psychiatry. In addition to forensic/expert witness practice, Dr. Adhia treats patients at renowned TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital. His forensic practice focuses on the psychiatric impact of personal injury, medical malpractice, Multi-Plaintiff and Toxic Tort cases, testamentary capacity, undue influence and Dementia, TBI Brain injuries, competency, mental illness and complicating medical conditions.
Dr. Adhia is among one of a select few Forensic Psychiatrists co-Board-Certified in Brain Injury Medicine.
Dr. Adhia treats and opines about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in litigation as it can result in psychiatric or neurocognitive impairments. He always assesses for Malingering.
In addition, Dr. Adhia works with Physicians for Human Rights to assess victims of kidnapping and false imprisonment, human trafficking, undue influence, physical and sexual abuse, rape, and fear of imminent death.
In all populations, he assesses PTSD, Anxiety, Depressive Disorders, risk of suicide, and malingering.
He is experienced in the treatment and impact of drug and alcohol abuse on decision-making. Dr. Adhia has also treated severe psychosis (Schizophrenia, hallucinations) and psychopathology. He formerly treated patients at a Maximum Security Prison and prison psychiatric hospital.
Dr. Adhia’s findings consider complicating factors, e.g., emotional distress worsened by active physical and mental conditions, and pre-existing mental and physical illness (e.g. depression, PTSD, Dementia, Alzheimer's, medication.)
As a physician, Dr. Adhia is uniquely qualified to review and examine and incorporate medical records and doctor reports in his reports. This is especially important in medical-malpractice & standard of care cases in treaters, inpatient, rehab, hospital, government, corrections and psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Adhia is skilled in these med-legal issues.
He conducts Independent Medical Examinations, review of records, and reports findings to courts and attorneys. He is available to testify in civil, criminal, probate, Federal, Immigration, military, and administrative jurisdictions.
Kerry Mendes, M.D., Child, Adolescent and Adult Forensic Psychiatrist joined Dr. Adhia in 2022.
Dementia encompasses degenerative disorders to the brain. It can be subtle and fluctuate in severity even from day to day. It can accompany genetic factors, or be associated with an injury or repeated injuries to the brain and head. It is serious and marked by symptoms that can impair making informed decisions or manage the most basic tasks we take for granted in living our daily lives.
Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) is the use of drugs and/or alcohol by a sexual predator to render a victim incapacitated and unable to fight back against a sexual assault. A side effect of many "Date Rape" or "Club Drugs" is also anterograde amnesia, the inability to recall what happened while drugged, increasing a predator's belief he will "get away with it." Those odds are shifting, but attorneys, Courts and potential victims are better served if they understand some of the drugs used and their impact on mind and body.
James H. Reich, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Forensic Psychiatrist with extensive civil psychiatry experience who has done hundreds of evaluations.
After getting his MD from the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver, Dr. Reich earned his MPH at Yale University and did his psychiatric residency at UC Davis. Dr. Reich has held academic positions at Yale, Iowa, Harvard, and Brown Universities. Currently, he has teaching appointments at the professor level at both UCSF and Stanford University. Throughout his career, he has published over a hundred peer-reviewed publications.
Litigation Support - Dr. Reich’s services are available for civil and some criminal law cases. Clients are assured of his personal dedication to each case. He does high quality research, expert evaluations, writes a solid report, and will testify well. Dr. Reich has been deposed over 50 times.
One hundred fifty-nine psychiatric outpatients were examined to determine which of the DSM-III Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) criteria were most valid in terms of sensitivity, specificity, predictive power positive, and predictive power negative. Combinations of two criteria predicted
This article examines the problem of stress-induced personality disorders empirically. Three different groups—state personality disorder, stress-induced personality disorder, and no personality disorder—are compared on clinical symptoms, functioning, and family history.
The authors discuss difficulties in the assumptions that underlie Kernberg's Structural Interview method for diagnosing borderline personality organization and demonstrate methodological limitations in the studies that have reported results from its use.
There has been little scientific investigation of the relationship between anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse and none examining differences in personality factors between those anxiety disorder patients with and without a history of alcohol abuse. There is evidence, however, for an overlap of alcohol abuse and anxiety disorders.
This article examines these pharmacological treatments. It first examines some of the drugs that have been used and some of the evidence for their effectiveness. It then takes the mindset of a clinician and looks at how some symptom clusters might be approached.