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
Military Experts, LLC is a consulting firm that advises attorneys nationwide on military issues including accession, promotion, retention, and compensation (active, reserve, and retired pay and benefits). Founded in 2011, Military Experts, LLC employs a diverse team of recognized military leaders from each branch of the military who have served at the highest levels of their military services and understand the military issues and service-specific nuances involved in each case.
Military Experts, LLC helps attorneys understand, quantify, and explain the impact an injury has had on a service member’s career. Their experts employ a reliable, fact-based methodology and independent judgment honed over decades of military experience to advise attorneys representing plaintiffs or defendants in civil litigation across the country.
Military Experts, LLC advise their attorney clients as either consulting or testifying experts. They have the knowledge and experience to properly advise attorney clients on the impact an individual’s military service has on their case – and the credibility to explain those impacts to a finder of fact. Each case is different, but the process and methodology are the same:
Determine whether a service member's injury caused any damage to his/her career:
Assess whether a service member has lost military earnings or benefits and, if so,:
Quantify the loss stemming from that damage (pay, benefits, retirement, medical coverage - inflation-adjusted)
Hon. Dennis M. McCarthy, LtGen, USMC (Ret) is a Principal in Military Experts, LLC. He began his Marine Corps service as a platoon leader in Vietnam, and completed it as Commander of Marine Forces Reserve, having led that force for four years during the Corps’ largest reserve mobilization in history. He retired in 2005 as the Marine Corps' senior Lieutenant General with over 40 years of active and reserve service.
After completing his service in uniform, he was Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, a 60,000 member professional association in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense. As Assistant Secretary of Defense, he was responsible for policy development and execution for over one million members of the National Guard and Reserves of all services. He was also responsible for the activities of the National Committee for Employer Support of Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense entity tasked with establishing and maintaining positive relationships with the nation’s large and small employers whose support is so essential to members of the Guard and Reserve.
In 2013-2014, Dennis was appointed by the President to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, where he served as its Chair. From 1978 to 1999 while serving in the Marine Corps Reserve, Dennis was a civil trial lawyer in Columbus, Ohio and was managing partner of his own firm. He was Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy; an Adjunct Faculty member at Capital University Law School; a leader in state and national legal organizations; and a frequent CLE lecturer and contributor.
Dennis is currently of counsel to McCarthy Law Offices, LLC in Columbus, Ohio. Dennis graduated from the University of Dayton and the Capital University Law School. In 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Capital University Law School, and was named the Distinguished Alumnus for 2011.
Michael D. McCarthy, is a Principal in Military Experts, LLC. Mike is an expert on matters relating to military compensation and the disability evaluation system. Mike is a career Marine Corps officer with over 20 years of active and reserve service. He has served in both command and staff assignments in the United States and abroad, including a tour as the Military Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mike has served as a member of multiple Marine Corps promotion boards, as well as the Secretary of the Navy’s Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board. He is a graduate of the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, the Marine Corps’ Command and Staff College, and the Amphibious Warfare School.
Mike’s military training and experiences, as well as his experience as an attorney in private practice, give him unique insight and a superior ability not only to assess the ground-truth of a situation and to provide sound counsel to his clients, but also the credibility to effectively testify to his findings. Mike is admitted to practice law in Ohio and the District of Columbia.