Lawrence Amsel, MD, MPH, specializes in Family Loss and Forensic Psychiatry. With an MD from Yale University and an MPH in Biostatistics from Columbia University, Dr. Amsel combined his academic credentials and clinical expertise with his experience as an expert witness to offer excellent evaluations, written reports and court testimony. Dr. Amsel provides Litigation Support services to attorneys representing Plaintiff and Defense. His services include medical record review for causation and standard of care. He was one of the early champions of the application of Decision Science, Game Theory, and Behavioral Economics to Psychiatric Research. . Areas of Expertise:
Medical Decision Making
Health Care Behavioral Economics
Health Care Game Theory
Background - In 2003, Dr. Amsel organized the first ever American Psychiatric Association symposium on applications of Game Theory to psychiatry. He has published articles and presented posters on Game Theory modeling of suicide, OCD, and PTSD. After 9/11, Dr. Amsel joined the Trauma Studies and Services division at the New York Psychiatric Institute, and has been involved in treating victims of 9/11 and their families, in training community clinicians in cutting edge treatments for PTSD and Complicated (Traumatic) Grief, as well as in doing research on optimal methods of disseminating this training. Dr. Amsel was recently involved in preparing the training materials for the National VA PTSD CBT training program in conjunction with Edna Foa’s group at University of Pennsylvania. He has worked with Joy Hirsch at the Program in Imaging and Cognitive Science (PICS) and with Elke Weber and Eric Johnson at the related Decision Imaging Group (DIG) as Director of Mathematical Psychiatry, with the goal of creating innovative collaborations involving fMRI and Decision Science, as applied to psychiatric disorders. Over the last several years, Dr. Amsel has been collaborating with Dr. Hoven at the Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group (CPEG) working on understanding the connection between decision deficits, trauma and psychiatric disorders in the developing brain of children/adolescents. He has extensive clinical expertise within psychiatric research, as well as expertise in applying decision science tasks in psychiatric research settings. View Dr. Amsel's Consulting Profile.
Expertise: Specializing in applications of clinical psychiatry to legal issues in civil and criminal matters at the interface of Psychiatry and the Law. Has served as an evaluator or expert witness in about three hundred cases in State and Federal courts in matters relating to:
Mental State at Time-of-the-Offense Evaluations
Insanity Defense / Diminished Capacity
Civil & Criminal Competency Evaluations
Competency to Stand Trial / Competency to Waive Miranda Rights
Independent Medical Evaluations / Psychiatric Disability
Personal Injury / Pain & Suffering / Emotional Distress
Workplace Violence Assessments
Evaluations under Americans With Disabilities Act
Fitness for Duty
Professional Background: Certified by ABPN in Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Psychiatry and Law Program at MCP Hahanemann University. Director of Psychiatry & Law Program and Director of Correctional Mental Health Services Program/Provider of Mental Health Services for the City of Philadelphia Prison System. Formerly Director of Psychiatry & Law Program at the Medical College of Virginia. M.D. Degree -University of Massachusetts. Psychiatry Residency & Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship -Tulane University Medical Center.
Wills are generally contested either on the grounds that the testator lacked Testamentary Capacity (was incompetent to make a will at the time of signing it) or the testator, because of his/her mental state, was subject to Undue Influence (i.e. if there is evidence of coercion, manipulation, deception, compulsion, intimidation, etc.) or an Undue Influence secondary to a thought disturbance (such as delusions affecting the testator's free will in making decisions).
Gregory P. Brown, MD, is a is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in the fields of adult Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. His private office is dedicated to the practice of Forensic Psychiatry, and includes evaluations for matters in civil court, criminal court, family court, and independent psychiatric evaluations.
Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and the Residency Training Program Director, at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine. He founded the Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and has been the Residency Training Director since the time of the first entering class in 2004, under the UNRSOM.
Litigation Support - Dr. Brown has extensive experience in medico-legal work. As a Board Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, he has worked in diverse areas of this subspecialty of psychiatry. Dr. Brown offers litigations support services to attorneys for Plaintiff and Defendant.
Services include Disability Evaluations, Estate Planning Capacity Evaluations, Independent Psychiatric Evaluations, Medical Board Evaluations, Fitness for Duty Evaluations, Department of Energy Fitness Evaluations, Social Security Appeals Record Reviews, and Independent File Reviews for Medical Necessity and for Disability Claims.
Forensic Experience Includes:
Criminal Court Evaluations - Competence to Stand Trial, Assessment of Criminal Responsibility, NGRI Assessments
Civil Court Evaluations - Personal Injury with Psychiatric symptoms, Brain Injury with Psychiatric symptoms, Malpractice related questions
Family Court Evaluations - Involuntary Commitment, Guardianship, Testamentary Capacity, Undue Influence, Contractual Capacity, Fitness to Parent, Child Custody
Third Party Forensic Evaluations - Fitness for Duty, Return to Work, Disability, ADA Accommodations, Medical Necessity, Independent Psychiatric Evaluations
A senior clinical faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., is active in patient care in medical, psychiatric and judicial education nationally. He is qualified in both state and federal courts and is nationally recognized as a distinguished impartial, clinical, ethical and forensic expert to P/D attorneys and institutions. Individual and multispecialty team consultations available.
Informed Consent & Malpractice
Employment Litigation: ADA, Disability, Sexual Misconduct Discrimination, Worker's Compensation
Recent Supreme Court decisions emphasize the need to regulate the admissibility of expert testimony by means of standards that require opinions going beyond ipse dixit; that is, that are based on more than the fact that the expert "said it him/herself
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.
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.
Leonard J. Weiss, MD, is a Forensic Psychiatrist with unparalleled qualifications, Board-Certified physician in 5 distinct and complementary disciplines applied to Medical-Legal questions:
Dr. Weiss has more than 40 years of experience as a physician. He has been in practice for more than 20 years as a Board-Certified Psychiatrist, Forensic Psychiatrist and Addiction Psychiatry specialist, preceded by more than 2 decades in Internal Medicine.
As an Addiction Psychiatry specialist, Dr. Weiss developed and served as Chief of the first Dual Diagnosis (Addiction) program at Michael Reese Hospital of the University of Chicago. He has served as Medical Director of Austin Lakes Hospital.
Before pursuing his interest in psychiatry, Dr. Weiss practiced Internal Medicine in Michigan where he maintains a Medical License. He has treated patients in psychiatric practice in Chicago and Atlanta. In 2013 he relocated to Austin, Texas where he has a private clinical psychiatric practice, Psychiatry Austin.
Dr. Weiss graduated from Wayne State University Medical School and MIT (Mathematics), with residency training in Internal Medicine, Fellowship in Clinical Nutrition, and Psychiatry at, respectively, the University of Michigan Henry Ford Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (Fellow) and Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.
Litigation Support: Dr. Weiss has special training and experience in the application of psychiatric knowledge to legal issues, and works in areas where Mental Health and the Legal System overlap, such as Medical Malpractice and Standard of Care. He offers objective evaluations and psychiatric consultation in a wide variety of legal matters, including expert testimony, as well as clinical work with perpetrators and victims.
Dr. Weiss provides IMEs and expert opinions on mental health questions via written report, deposition, or courtroom testimony. He works with attorneys, courts, and other parties involved in actual or potential litigation. His research and assessment and his clinical practice cover areas such as:
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 has provided patient care in the Houston area. Currently, he treats patients at TIRR Memorial Hermann. His forensic practice focuses on the psychiatric impact of personal injury, medical malpractice, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, competency, violence, and complicating mental illness, as well as psychiatric disability. Dr. Adhia is among one of the few Forensic Psychiatrists who is also co-Board-Certified in Brain Injury Medicine. Often, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be a major factor in litigation as it can result in psychiatric or neurocognitive impairments. He has expertise in psychopharmacology, the medicine of medication.
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 was formerly treating patients at a Maximum Security Prison and prison psychiatric hospital. He has treated Opioid Use Disorders.
Dr. Adhia’s findings consider complicating factors, such as emotional distress worsened by other active physical and mental conditions. Other factors are pre-existing mental and physical illness, competency, and capacity (e.g. dementia, Intellectual Disability.) As a physician, Dr. Adhia is uniquely qualified to review medical records and doctor reports. Institutional medicine, medical malpractice, and standard of care apply to both public and private facilities, including government, regulated correctional institutions, and psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Adhia is skilled in these med-legal issues. He conducts Independent Medical Examinations, review of records, and reports his med-legal findings and opinions. He is available to testify in civil, criminal, probate, Federal, Immigration, military, and administrative jurisdictions.
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.
Mohan Nair, MD, trained at the University of California (Irvine) and Harvard and is board certified in:
Brain Injury Medicine
Behavioral Neurology / Neuropsychiatry
Dr. Nair brings his extensive training, clinical experience, and formal board certifications to provide in-depth and nuanced medico-legal analysis of cases for both adults and children involving brain injury, frequently and tragically combined with chronic pain and severe psychological trauma (PTSD). He is committed to comprehensive and accurate forensic examinations, quality neuropsychological assessment, and the use of the most up-to-date technology available in the field.
Dr. Nair has provided extensive trial testimony in defense and plaintiffs' cases. He provides and coordinates medical, psychological, neuropsychological, toxicological, and imaging experts for complex civil litigation. Dr. Nair has been on cases involving:
MEDICAL TOXICOLOGY: Lead Exposure, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Mold
STANDARD OF CARE: Psychiatric/Psychological / Psychotherapeutic Malpractice, Wrongful Death from Prescribing Psychiatric Medication
1970-75 Doctor of Medicine, University of Bombay
1981-83 Clinical Fellow in Child Psychiatry, Harvard University; McLean Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital
1978-81 University of California at Irvine: Residency in Psychiatry
Dr. Nair is board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in Brain Injury Medicine, Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine. Additionally, he is board-certified in Pain Medicine, Psychopharmacology, and Behavioral Neurology / Neuropsychiatry. He currently holds medical licenses in California and Hawaii.
Elliott M. Stein, MD is a Geriatric Psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience caring for the elderly. Dr. Stein is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry (October, 1979), and in Geriatric Psychiatry (April, 1991; Re-Certified, December, 2001, and in April, 2011). He is licensed to practice in California and Florida. Dr. Stein was the Director of Psychiatry at the Jewish Home of San Francisco from 2010-2020, and the Medical Director of their Geriatric Psychiatry Hospital. He has treated older individuals, typically people who have complex combination of psychiatric and medical problems. Dr. Stein has been a Member of the Task Force on Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence, for the International PsychoGeriatric Association.
Dr. Stein is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
He is available to serve as an Expert Witness, do legal and forensic consultation, record review, and assessments concerning Psychiatric issues in older individuals. Dr. Stein offers his services to attorneys for both Plaintiff or Defense.
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
Suzanne Dupée, MD, is a triple board certified Adult, Child, and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatrist specializing in Independent Medical Examinations (IME), Child Custody Evaluations, Fitness for Duty Evaluations, and expert witness for the California Medical, Veterinary, and Dental Boards.
Litigation Support - Dr. Dupée has an active forensic psychiatric practice specializing in family law, criminal law, dependency law, civil litigation and disability. She has been designated as an expert in Federal Court, Family Court, Criminal Court, Dependency Court, Juvenile Delinquency and Civil Court in California, Arizona, and New York states. She is an expert for several Los Angeles Superior Court panels: Criminal, Child Custody Evaluator, Dependency Court and Juvenile Delinquency.
Dr. Dupée has testified over 150 times in various courtrooms and has been deposed over 80 times. She has worked on high profile cases and death penalty cases. She specializes in forensic evaluations of families in crisis and has completed 100s of Child Custody Evaluations and all forms of psychiatric evaluations for families in crisis.
Dr. Dupee has been retained in 100s of legal cases in civil, family law, criminal, disability and dependency cases. She has completed over 1,000 evaluations in various courts and for insurance companies and government boards. She has been retained by plaintiffs and defense counsel in civil cases.