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