Diana Birch, MD, has extensive experience acting as an Expert Assessor and Expert Witness in a variety of Family and Child Care Actions both civil and criminal. She is very experienced in working with young people and families, particularly in child neglect and protection, family disturbance, substance abuse and domestic violence.
Dr. Birch is a leading authority on:
Teenage Pregnancy and Early Parenting
Assessments - Day, Age, Emotional, Outpatient, and Community assessments
Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse
Factitious Illness (Munchausen)
Family Conflicts such as Child Alienation
For twenty years, Dr. Birch ran a residential assessment unit where she evaluated high risk families, substance and alcohol abuse patients and dealt with an age range from babies to grandparents. She now conducts assessments on an outreach and community basis.
Dr. Birch has also worked with individuals and "private" cases such as custody disputes. The assessment work and medico legal context has meant that over 50 cases are reported on each year with equivalent court appearances. This has been formally evaluated in published work.
Dr. Birch is a:
Member of the Academy of Experts (Checked expert)
Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (for whom she is also an assessor for Paediatric Consultants)
Fellow Royal Institute Public Health
Fellow of Royal College of Physicians
Fellow of the Society for Adolescent Medicine (USA).
A belief is a conviction adhered to often in the face of factual evidence to the contrary. This paper inevitably represents my beliefs moulded by my experience of working with teenagers in London and tempered by my knowledge of the work of my colleagues.
Children suffer the traumas and injustices of warfare and conflict without the ability to influence or control their circumstances. As refugees they become the flotsam of society drifting from one inhospitable country to another in search of safety. They have been with us for generations, their numbers fluctuating and their distribution changing as the adult world decides who to wage war on next.
Dr. Samuel Romirowsky, PhD is a Forensic Psychologist with over 30 years of clinical experience. He is licensed to practice in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Dr. Romirowsky is a member of the American Board of Forensic Examiners, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, American Psychological Association, Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Delaware Psychological Association, and the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1978 and has been in private practice since that time. Dr. Romirowsky provides expert witness testimony in civil and criminal litigations, industrial accident board litigations, social security administration hearings, child custody evaluations, and parent coordination mediations. He also offers psychological evaluation services for airmen with allegations of misuse of drugs or alcohol under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. Dr. Romirowsky has served as an independent psychological evaluator and expert witness in hundreds of cases for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Civil Litigation Services:
Personal Injury & Workers Compensation
Independent Psychological Evaluations
Expert Witness Testimony
Individual and Family Counseling
Evaluations for Fitness to Return to Duty, Carry Firearms, Manage Personal Affairs
Consultation with Attorneys on Case Strategy
Evaluations to Rule Out Malingering
Narrative Report by Request
Psychological Evaluations of Defendants and Victims
Competency and Pre-sentencing Evaluations
Analysis of Child Advocacy Center and Child Protective Services Interviews
Dr. Michael J. Perrotti, Ph.D., a member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, specializes in Clinical and Forensic Psychology. He has over 30 years of experience with consumers, courts, and counsel including civil, prosecution, defense counsel, family court and the US Government. Dr. Perrotti contributes to the profession as an Expert Consultant for the State of California Board of Psychology, and the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners and is certified by LA County System Court as an Expert Witness in Neuropsychology, eyewitness ID and false confession.
Dr. Perrotti was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the Keck School of Medicine, USC (2005-2006), and conducted complex neuropsychological evaluations in USC. Dr. Perrotti possesses specialized training and has clinical and research interns. His practice is an approved internship site at UCLA. He also has expertise in the area of Assessment of Sexual Deviation and Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations. His training, experience, and use of the Abel Assessment of Sexual Interest Computerized Test from the Abel Center in Atlanta, Georgia, enables him to add a state-of-the-art sophisticated tool for the evaluation of sexual offending. Dr. Perrotti has served as an expert witness for plaintiff and defense in personal injury and employment and workplace matters. Dr. Perrotti was awarded the Volunteer Services Award from the President's Volunteer Council as Service and Civic Participation, the White House. Dr. Perrotti is a member of the Orange County Sheriff's Reserve, Professional Services Division.
Sanity / Competency to Stand Trial Assessment
Suggestibility and False Confession
Crime Scene Investigation in Report Formulation
Sexual Predator Determination
Effects of Psychotropic Medications on Confession
Expert Neuropsychologist in Sexual Assault Trial
Expert in Bonding Studies and False Confessions
PTSD (acute and complex) in General, Law Enforcement, and Iraq War Veterans
Panic Disorders and Phobias
Severe Trauma in Children, Adolescents, and Adults
The overcategorization of individuals in the category of sex offenders with need for monitoring and GPS tracking has resulted in personnel being overwhelmed in the system. It is incumbent upon psychological experts to educate the courts that sex offenders are not all pedophiles, but a complex mix of many other dynamic issues.
This writer frequently sees "experts"for the prosecution equating CSAAS with a defendant alleged to have committed child sexual abuse. In particular, delayed disclosure is equated with validity of child sexual abuse claims.
One is frequently presented with an individual who presents for evaluation as a result of traumatic events such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse in the school and workplace, electrical injury, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Voir dire of experts as to credentials and experience needs to be viewed as only one aspect of the vetting process of forensic work product. Experts, as much as anyone else, are prone to conscious and unconscious sources of bias. This rather significant problem area in forensic reports is discussed by (Stuld and Simon, 2013) under the rubric of heuristic and cognitive biases. Heuristics addresses how people arrive at decisions or reach conclusions in complex family law, civil, or criminal matters. Errors in this area are of concern when experts focus or overly attend to only a part of the problem or afford overemphasis to certain factors and minimize the contribution of other factors. One can also see this problem in medicine. A patient may complain of pain in a particular body region whereas the provider focuses only another medical issue.
Defense counsel is frequently presented with the problem of a client protesting their innocence and accusers, perhaps multiple accusers, leveling allegations of sexual assault against the client. Of course, with defendants facing severe legal consequences, complaints need to be evaluated as to their reliability and validity.
Proper interviewing Protocols are critical to maximize information-gathering as well as accuracy of information in criminal and National Security investigations. Police procedures incorrectly assume that promoting physical close proximity with an interviewer (eg, Inbau, Reid, Buckley, & Jane, 2013) will induce subjects to become more forthcoming.
Unlike in Alzheimer's Disease, neurofibrillary tangles in athletes with CTE tend to accumulate perivascularly within the superficial neocortical layers. It is interesting to note that TAU pathology in CTE is partially and extensively distributed, possible related to multi-directional mechanical force from physical trauma (McKee et al, 2009; Neuropath Exp Neurol 68, 709-35.) It is theorized that accumulation of hyperphosphor is related to a protein that is thought to result in development of CTE and associated neurobehavioral disturbances.
Just this month, an article appeared in the Journal of Neuropsychology entitled "Early Onset Marijuana Use is Associated with Learning Inefficiencies." Young adults reporting early onset marijuana use have learning weaknesses, which accounted for the association between early onset marijuana use and delayed recall.
The recent editors of Myers on Evidence of Interpersonal Violence (Myers 2016) notes that the most well-known of psychological instruments to assess suggestibility is the Gudjohnson Suggestibility Scales (GSS). The GSS is utilized by psychologists to evaluate whether defendant's confessions were voluntary. The author notes that it is doubtful that these instruments are sufficiently reliable for use in legal proceedings. It is noted that in Shanklin, 379 111 Dec 211 the trial judge did not err in subjecting the GSS to a Frye Henry.
The public understanding of TBI is so poor that it is officially referred to by the US National Center for Injury Prevention and Control as "the silent epidemic." In the acute phase, the usual radiological examinations are not sensitive to TBI and diffuse axonal injury (DAI). There is a significant amount of false negatives with CT scans administered in the ER.
The author recently had a chapter accepted for publication on Methodology for Conducting Bonding Studies in Child Custody Evaluations (CCE). This chapter was written in response to the requests of many psychologists over the years who wanted guidance in procedures for conducting bonding studies. Many psychologists conduct bonding studies with cursory observations of parent and child. There is no application of an objective scoring system or any methods that can be replicated by other CCE Evaluators. This is essential in science.
This week marked the enshrinement of Junior Seau in the NFL Hall of Fame. Junior was an outstanding linebacker for USC who went onto great accomplishments in the NFL. However, all was not well. The effects of domestic violence, substance abuse and gambling difficulties; as reported on ESPN's Outside the Lines, took the toll on Junior. He repeatedly complained to a friend who was a fellow player and suffered from headaches, how he too, suffered for years from headaches. ESPN noted that he was reported to have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neuro-degenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression. Gina Seau reported that Junior's disease was associated with head-to-head collisions caused from 20 years of playing in the NFL. This scenario affected his ability to think logically.
To determine if there are any changes in self-concept, locus of control and frequency of aggressive behaviors in juvenile offenders. As a function of receiving Direct Decision Therapy (DDT). Sub-objectives are whether DDT will effect positive change in self-concept, higher interval control and significantly fewer aggressive behaviors.
Recently the examination of the brain of Junior Seau revealed the diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The recent diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after examination of the brain of Junior Seau underlines the seriousness not only of repetitive brain trauma in professional sports and in military populations but also raises continuing serious questions about the management and prevention of CTE in athletic sports.
Prosecutors and law enforcement are frequently confronted with situations wherein children have been traumatized and/or injured. These injuries have resulted in disabilities which affect the child’s ability to understand questions as well as express answers to questions.
It is a matter of utmost importance that an even playing field be created in adversarial proceedings. What is conducive to this is use of forensic guidelines as standards by all experts involved in a case.
There has been great voiced concern by practitioners and researchers over overcategorization and overgeneralization of individuals accused of sexual offending being lumped into one category of "sexual predators." Whereas there certainly is a need for protection of children from predators in our society, the pendulum has swung too far to the extreme.
Recently the Oregon Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upended how eyewitness identification is to be used in criminal trials. The article in The New York Times (2012) indicated that misidentification is the country's leading cause of wrongful conviction.
The issue of children's memory is contentious. Some individuals assert that if a child says something, therefore it must be true. However, the research shows that this certainly is not the case. Human memory is not an exact recording of an event(s).
All too often one sees survivors of abuse all categorized under the rubric of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As Herman, in a paper on complex PTSD, notes (1992), PTSD formulation fails to capture the sequelae, acuity, and severity of prolonged, repeated trauma.
Freeman et al. (2005) noted that it was in the mid-'80s when it was first noted that mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) could result in serious and lasting consequences. Numerous studies with human and animal subjects have demonstrated the evidence of neurocognitive defects and delayed return to work in MTBI patients with postconcussive syndrome.
The recent death by suicide of Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers is only one of many suicides in the NFL. O.J. Murdock, a 25-year-old wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Recent cases have come to the fore concerning faulty eyewitness ID raising increasing and continuing concern about the error rate of eyewitness ID. This concern dates all the way back to Janet Reno, Attorney General, who appointed a committee of mentalhealth professionals and attorney to evaluate the area of eyewitness ID.
The United States is seeing more and more young men returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with horrendous results in terms of family integration, societal integration, and domestic violence. Some of these individuals, according to Cernak, are found on the battlefield dead with no marks whatsoever on them.
The problem of false confession is alarming. Just after publication by Barry Scheck in his text on and his writings on DNA and establishment of the Innocence Project, he found 77 wrongful convictions and individuals wrongfully imprisoned in California.
Police departments across the United States are routinely questioning young children concerning child sexual abuse allegations. Frequently the police are untrained in the correct techniques to utilize for investigating interview of the children.
A Special Education expert for five decades, Dr. Steven C. Imber served as a professor of special education from 1973 2021. He serves as a special education advocate, consultant to attorneys, parents and schools. He has conducted more than 600 independent educational evaluations.
As a special education expert, Dr. Imber has worked on cases with children, adolescents and adults with a broad array of disabilities. He provides professional advocacy and consultation for children with autism disorder, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and serious emotional disorders. More recently, he has served as an expert on matters of wrongful death and matters of criminal defense involving competence to stand trial.
Dr. Imber has been involved in cases from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
Dr. Imber has presented and published on a wide range of topics. He has special expertise with regard to regulations on special education nationally and internationally. He earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology (honors) from the State Univ. of NY at Buffalo and was involved in doctoral studies in Clinical Psych. at UCONN. Dr. Imber earned a master’s degree (Learning Disabilities) and doctoral degree (Emotional and Behavior Disorders) from the Dept. of Ed. Psych, UCONN. He holds certifications in school psychology and special education administration.
Rhode Island Office Sprout Building 166 Valley Street Provience, RI 02909 Telephone: 401-421-4004
New York Office 61-43 186th Street Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 Telephone: 516-273-1961
On March 22 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-0 opinion in the case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, ruling in favor of the parents of a student with autism spectrum disorder who had charged that the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA. The parents argued that their child did not receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) that was mandated by Congress.
Prior to 1966, the Supreme Court sought to define the Constitution's protection against self-incrimination with regard to juveniles, to the mentally impaired, and to psychological coercion by police (see Gallegos v. Colorado, 1962; Blackburn v. Alabama, 1960; Fikes v. Alabama, 1957; Chambers v. Florida, 1940).
Dr. Robert Evans, PhD, is a Licensed School Psychologist with over 30 years of experience in the behavioral sciences, including completing over 100 Child Custody Evaluations. Dr. Evans serves as a consultant to the medical, legal, and law enforcement community in Florida on Psychological and Educational matters. He consulted with Orange County Public Defender with cases involving arrest and incarceration of children, including Competency Assessments and Insanity Determinations. He has also provided Critical Incident Stress Debriefings to victims of crime in the Central Florida area.
Litigation Support - Dr. Evans specializes in Parental Alienation cases which are commonly among those classified as High Conflict Divorce cases and he has written a book on Parental Alienation. He provides litigation support to counsel for both Plaintiff and Defense. His services include support with hearing / trial preparations, review of current evaluations, and support during and after the litigation process.
Dr. Evans has given sworn testimony as a Forensic Psychology expert witness in NY, IL, PA, GA, FL, IA, ID, CO, OH, TX, TN, LA, MA, MD, MO, NC, SC, WA, and OR.
With greater frequency, family law cases are showing up in which children are rejecting a parent. While there may be some situations where a child may be hesitant to be with a parent, these high conflict family law cases typically include outright rejection and severe expressions of hatred for a parent without genuine justifications.
Those of us who have been working within the field of Parental Alienation recognize that Parental Alienation is in fact a form of abuse. So, doesn’t it logically follow if the professional field recognizes Parental Alienation as child abuse then, by definition, it should be reportable to child protection and law enforcement organizations?
We are seeing an increase in high conflict, adversarial divorce cases in mental health practices and in the courtrooms around the country. These cases present with a significant amount of parental conflict and, as a consequence, represent a threat to the children caught in the middle of these conflicts. Curiously, there is a great commonality among these cases in terms of the tactics alienators use to separate a parent from his or her children. The purpose of this work is to share ideas, thoughts, background, theory and some experiences in working with high conflict families. It is important for professionals to get a sense of both sides of the Parental Alienation Syndrome issue.