If you are looking for a psychologist who can serve as an expert witness for your case, you’ll quickly come to realize that this is not an easy task. Not all skilled and capable psychologists can serve as a perfect expert witness for you. There are numerous factors that you have to consider and vetting each one of the candidates can be a difficult job to take on. You’ll spend a lot of time researching and verifying their qualifications and figuring out whether they’ll make a reliable and trustworthy witness in court.
Here are some of the most important things that you need to remember if you are choosing and vetting a clinical and forensic psychologist to work as trial consultant for your case.
First, you’ll most likely be doing most of your search online. However, even with your best efforts to limit your search keywords, you’ll most likely end up with a seemingly endless sea of results and options. Just remember that the first few results on your search are often paid listings, meaning that they paid to get their name on the top the results page and is not indicative of their actual credentials, skills, or experience.
Second, you can also try searching from expert witness directories. A lot of the local bar associations will maintain a directory of the local expert witnesses, categorized according to their areas of expertise. You can try looking for your psychologist in this directories since doing so will definitely save you a lot of time and effort compared to doing a haphazard online search. Just remember that some of these directories also require the expert witnesses to pay a listing fee. This means that you still have to do the legwork and verify the credentials and experience of the psychologist instead of relying completely on the directory listing.
Third, always choose a psychologist who does not have a conflict of interests regarding your case. This means that you have to dig deeper into their qualifications, credentials, and experience. Do a thorough background check or hire a reliable service to do this for you. Some of the things that you should look into are their criminal records, any litigation history that they have handled in the past, board certifications and any disciplinary actions or sanctions that have been levied upon them, and their affiliations with professional organizations or any other corporations. You should be thorough because even a small detail can be an embarrassing or case-damaging factor.
Finally, a face-to-face interview will let you know whether or not the clinical and forensic psychologist is someone who can actually do well in court. This will allow you to determine whether they have good speaking abilities, whether or not they seem trustworthy and reliable in the eyes of the jury or the judge. The psychologist should be comfortable using and explaining technical terms. They should be able to concisely summarize complex information in a way that even a layperson can understand. During the interview, you can also ask about their fees.