Monthly Archives: May 2013

CLE Course: Using A Forensic Psychologist in Your Legal Practice

screen-capture-1Forensic psychology has been described as the intersection between psychology and the justice system.  A key aspect of forensic psychology is the ability to testify in court, formulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom and providing scientific testimony in a way that can be understood by the judge, the jury and opposing counsel.  For those of you interested in the Jodi Arias trial, forensic psychologists were instrumental in testifying to claims of PTSD and battered woman syndrome.  In civil cases such as personal injury, a forensic psychologist can be brought in to testify on symptoms of malingering and deception if it appears that the plaintiff may not be as severely injured as they claim to be.

“Forensic psychology is the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The word ‘forensic’ comes from the Latin word ‘forensis,’ meaning ‘of the forum,’ where the law courts of ancient Rome were held. Today forensic refers to the application of scientific principles and practices to the adversary process where specially knowledgeable scientists play a role.”[1]

If you need help understanding how to best deploy a forensic psychologist at trial or for trial consultation, Attorney Credits has just added an excellent new CLE course by attorney and forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Yufik.  In the course, Dr. Yufik provides insight into utilizing a forensic psychologist in your legal practice.  The main topics addressed by Dr. Yufik in the course include the definition of forensic psychology, selecting the expert, hiring the best expert for your case, expert witness vs. trial consultant, key aspects of the forensic evaluation, civil cases, criminal cases, risk assessments and good & bad experts.  To access the course, click this link: Using A Forensic Psychologist in Your Legal Practice.

Further topics discussed include:

  • Standards of admissibility
  • Checking your expert’s qualifications
  • Training & qualifications of psychologists
  • Board certification
  • Answering the referral question
  • Never relying solely on evidence from the client
  • Psychological tests
  • Personal injury cases
  • Legal competency
  • Emotional distress
  • Criminal competencies
  • Criminal mitigation
  • The insanity defense
  • Malingering & deception
  • The “awful” expert list

Dr. Alex Yufik is a Board Certified Forensic Psychologist and a licensed attorney based in Los Angeles, California.  He obtained his law degree from Villanova University School of Law and his doctorate in clinical psychology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Yufik is currently employed by the State Bar of California as a Case Management Supervisor with the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP), where he supervises other clinicians and conducts evaluations of attorneys that require monitored recovery and treatment for mental illness and/or substance abuse.  He also assists the State Bar Court and Office of Chief Trial Counsel with attorneys with mental health issues who face disciplinary proceedings.  In his own private practice, Dr. Yufik sees patients and conducts forensic evaluations in both criminal & civil cases such as.  His forensic evaluations involve competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, sex offender evaluations, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and psychological injury.

This CLE course on Forensic Psychology is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • South Dakota (SD)

[1] American Academy of Forensic Psychology

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Illinois MCLE: 30 Online CLE Units Allowed


Illinois attorneys … it’s almost that time of the year again for some of you.  We are fast approaching the end of the two-year MCLE compliance period in Illinois.  To avoid late fees, all of your CLE hours must be completed by 11:59 PM on June 30 (completion deadline) and your MCLE compliance reported by 11:59 PM on July 31 (reporting deadline).  In Illinois, your reporting group is based on your last name.

If you were sworn in to the Illinois bar:

  • On July 1, 2006 or later, then use your last name on file with the ARDC on your swearing-in date
  • On or before June 30, 2006, then use your last name on file with the ARDC on July 1, 2006

For all two-year reporting periods beginning July 1, 2010, attorneys who are subject to the Illinois MCLE Rules must complete 30 total CLE hours. As part of this 30 unit MCLE requirement, Illinois attorneys must complete at least 6 hours of professional responsibility (PR). Attorneys who are newly-admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association have different MCLE requirements than more experienced Illinois attorneys.[1]

The course or activity may be presented by remote or satellite television transmission, telephone or videophone conference call, videotape, film, audio tape or over a computer network, so long as the Board approves the content and the provider, and finds that the method in question has interactivity as a key component.[2]

Attorneys in Illinois may satisfy all 30 IL MCLE units through online IL CLE courses.  Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider in Illinois and our Illinois CLE courses are presumptively pre-approved by the Illinois MCLE Board.  Our CLE courses are interactive because all of our presenters information is listed online on our Featured Faculty pages.  The presenter’s contact information is also listed in the written materials and displayed at the end of each IL CLE course.[3]  This enables Illinois attorneys to contact the presenters with further questions or comments about the course.  We offer CLE courses from numerous practice areas, including Bankruptcy, Business Law, Criminal Law, Education Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Personal Injury, Real Property, Sports & Entertainment, Taxation and Trusts & Estates.

[1] See: Completing Credits and Reporting

[2] Illinois MCLE Rule 795(a) – Accreditation Standards and Hours

[3] “Such interactivity may be shown, for example, by the opportunity for the viewers or listeners to ask questions of the course faculty, in person, via telephone, or on-line; or through the availability of a qualified commentator to answer questions directly, electronically, or in writing; or through computer links to relevant cases, statutes, law review articles, or other sources.”  See: Illinois MCLE Rule 795(a) – Accreditation Standards and Hours.

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CLE Course: Ten Social Media Myths for Attorneys

Social media has changed society and along with it the practice of law.  Those attorneys who previously adopted the “Ostrich” approach – burying their heads in the sand and hoping it would all go away – must pull their head out and learn to adapt to our new Web 2.0 world.

It is now apparent that social media is not a fad – it is a paradigm shift.  Like email, Twitter and Facebook are here to stay … and that’s just the beginning.  There are currently over 400 social media websites and the list continues to grow every month.

Web 2.0 World

Social media is not just for teenagers and college kids anymore, companies and professionals now utilize social media for many business purposes.  Attorneys must be cognizant of social media and the legal issues that it presents in order to avoid legal liability and ethical violations in their own practice, and to fully counsel the clients they represent.

If you need help understanding the complex intersection of social media and the law, we have just added an excellent CLE course entitled Ten Social Media Myths for Attorneys.  In this extremely current and informative CLE course, Deborah Gonzalez of Law2sm provides an extremely comprehensive overview of the legal issues created by social media.  This course delves beyond merely introductory social media concepts and goes in-depth into complex legal social media issues so that attorneys are better able to counsel their clients.  The main areas addressed by Ms. Gonzalez include what is social media, ten principal social media myths for attorneys and resources for attorneys.

Further topics discussed include:

  • The many forms of social media
  • The new digital world
  • Why attorneys & professionals use social media
  • The principles of social media
  • Ethical rules that apply to social media use by attorneys
  • Disclaimers
  • Trademark protection
  • The FTC & false credentials
  • Astroturfing
  • Twitter-jacking
  • Cyber-stalking
  • Privacy
  • Employment law issues
  • The criminal system & the right to a fair trial
  • Digital legacy
  • Digital assets
  • State & federal laws impacting social media

Deborah Gonzalez is an attorney whose legal practice focuses on art, music, entertainment, digital, social media and online law.  She is licensed to practice in both New York and Georgia, and her clients include museums, galleries, artists & art professionals, animators, filmmakers, musicians & music professionals, authors, and various other creative professionals.  Ms. Gonzalez is the legal advisor to the Georgia Music Industry Association and currently serves on the board of Women in Film & Television Atlanta.  She is also a member of the Georgia Entertainment Association, Georgia Production Partnership, Women in Animation, and the Entertainment Law sections of the Georgia and New York Sate Bar Associations.  She speaks at various industry conferences around the world – such as SEIGE CON and SIAF – on legal issues and concerns for artists of all genres.

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