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
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.
Joseph "Paul" Manley, WVTS, CCIS, Principal at Risk Mitigation Technologies, LLC, is Board Certified Workplace Violence & Threat Specialist (WVTS), a Certified Crisis Intervention Specialist (CCIS), and a Board Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP).
Prior to forming Risk Mitigation Technologies, LLC, Mr. Manley served a distinguished career in law enforcement and public safety. He has over 30 years of experience in Security Management and Law Enforcement and Security consulting, including physical security, security operations, regulatory compliance, and security training. He is currently a retired Lieutenant and Executive Officer for a Massachusetts Police Department.
Education/Training: Executive Institute for Law Enforcement Executives, FBI-LEEDA | Scenario-Based Executive Level Leadership Strategies, U.S. Department of Homeland Security | Scenario-Based Executive Level Leadership Strategies, National Sheriffs’ Association Institute for Homeland Security Leadership | Active Attack Event Response Leadership, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services | Homeland Security Terrorism Prevention, Institute for Preventive Strategies, Somerset, KY | Leadership in Police Organizations, International Association of Chiefs of Police | Emergency Management, National Incident Management Systems Training Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency Executive Leadership Strategies, MA Chiefs of Police Association
Collaborated with local, state and federal agencies for 2 years leading up to 7-day Tall Ships Sail Boston event, spearheaded integrated plans and innovative solutions for crowd control, crisis response and community policing;
Redesign and management of an effective security operation plan for Salem's annual Halloween event of 1,000+ attendees at downtown hotel;
Partnered with University Administrators to build a world-class security operational management plan for 3,000+ participants at university commencement in Metro Boston;
Improved campus security program for K-6 school in Massachusetts, reducing labor costs 30% using of advanced technology.
Litigation Support - Mr. Manley provides case review, expert testimony, and consultation on security standards and best practices in all areas of Security Negligence and Premises Liability, with special expertise in Workspace Violence.
Venues he has worked with include hotels, bars, restaurants, apartment complexes, retail outlets and public spaces. Mr. Manley provides services to attorneys for both plaintiff and defendant.
Alan J. Robinson brings over 35 years of Security / Law Enforcement experience to the security, safety, fire safety, emergency management field. Mr. Robinson is a former Supervisor, Protection Services for Disney-ABC, Inc. in New York, where he coordinated the security of millions of dollars in equipment for both Reagan Presidential Inaugurations. While at Disney-ABC, he was credited with creating the first hostage negotiation training class after an incident at ABC News in Washington, D.C.
Background Experience: For the past 25 years, Mr. Robinson has been the Director of Protection and Security Services/Emergency Management for Atlantic Health System; a hospital system based in New Jersey where he manages: Public Safety and Security, Fire/Life Safety, Emergency Management, Investigations, and Special Events for a healthcare system that approximately 10 million square feet of physical plant and campus, spread throughout New Jersey.
Mr. Robinson directly and indirectly manages over one-hundred (100) security officers, investigators, fire safety officers, emergency management officers, and contract law enforcement officers. He has successfully navigated numerous external agency regulatory compliance surveys including those from the “Joint Commission,” State Department of Health, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, and New Jersey Office of Counter-Terrorism.
Litigation Support: Mr. Robinson has been retained to provide consultation, security analysis, and security expert witness testimony by plaintiff and defendant in a wide variety of civil suits. He is available to consult and testify in matters concerning:
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.
David Wolowitz, JD is an Education Law Attorney with 40 years of extensive experience advising schools and youth-serving organizations on the current and past standard of care for protection of minors from harm by peers, educators, and trusted adults.
Expert Witness: Mr. Wolowitz serves as an expert witness nationally for plaintiffs and defendants on the current and historical standard of care for child safeguarding in schools and youth-serving organizations. He has been qualified as an expert on the adequacy of policies, procedures, investigations, and remediation, relating to the protection of minors. He has also provided expert opinions on the adequacy of employment practices, including hiring, training, and supervision. These cases have involved claims against teachers, administrators, coaches, mental health professionals, and religious advisors.
Litigation Support: Mr. Wolowitz has significant civil and criminal trial experience in federal and state trial and appellate courts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He was an invited guest instructor of the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School for 29 years.
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.
Dr. William L. Bainbridge, Ph.D., FACFE, is a Forensic Education Expert with extensive experience in School Related Accidents, Incidents, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, College Athletics/Sports Injuries and Title IX compliance. He is court qualified in Schooling, Education Standards, Policies, and is considered to an Expert in over 35 states.
Dr. Bainbridge currently serves as President and CEO of the SchoolMatch® Institute and as a Distinguished Research Professor at The University of Dayton.