There are times where an expert in a custody case is out of control. They ask for information or are rude and over the top in their approach. More often than not, these experts take the approach that they are “God” in the situation and have the final word. When faced with an expert like this there are things you should do to fight back. Here is a general recipe for fighting back:
Inform your attorney when the evaluator requests documents. Then consider two questions—each of which invokes a psychology ethics concern and legal relevance arguments—when you suspect a “fishing” problem:
• Is the evaluator competent to understand and use the records she reviews for the evaluation? For example, although most evaluators are able to review a phone bill for a given issue, most do not have the requisite skills to interpret tax records or other financial documents. Ethically, psychologists must practice only within their areas of competence. Legally, experts must demonstrate a “fit” between their claimed expertise and the demands of the proposed testimony.
• Is the information relevant to address the evaluation’s referral question(s)? Psychologists are ethically required to minimize their intrusions into an examinee’s privacy by including “in written and oral reports only information germane to the purpose” of the evaluation. APA Ethics Code, Std. 4.04(a).
The APA’s Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, amplifying this requirement, notes that “forensic practitioners are encouraged to limit discussion of background information that does not bear directly upon the legal purpose of the examination.” Guideline 11.04.
If the answer is no to either of these questions then further steps should be taken to protect you and your child. This is where the help of a qualified, seasoned attorney can help you. Get the Justice you deserve for you and your child. Contact us today and let us help you with your complex custody case. You can contact us at 505-880-8737 or by emailing us at info@JusticeLegalGroup.com.