Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Litigation

Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Litigation : Predicting the Past

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"Why did the defendant do it?"Mental health professionals are asked to help courts answer this question. To serve justice, the law calls for evidence of the mental state at the time a crime is committed, of suicide intent in civil litigation, and of mental capacity in contract litigation. The law asks psychiatrists and psychologists to retrospectively determine mental states -- a daunting task made even more difficult by the passage of time, the uncertain credibility of witnesses, the paucity of collateral sources of information, and often the death of the person in question.This is the first book dedicated entirely to the retrospective assessment of mental states. This fascinating book explores the role of the psychiatrist and psychologist, as an expert witness in litigation, in rendering a retrospective judgment of an individual's mental state. Distinguished contributors apply their expertise in psychiatry, psychology, and the law to address the problems of retrospective assessment. With the goal of developing guidelines for more accurate retrospective assessment of mental states, they present topics such as  Guidelines for conducting retrospective assessments in children and adults  Guidelines for the retrospective assessment without benefit of direct examination  Assessments of suicide cases in both civil and criminal litigation Psychological testing and interviewing techniques that may assist in retrospective assessment  Methods and analysis to help clinicians and attorneys critically evaluate the search for "truth" about the past. This remarkable book will prove indispensable for helping clinicians, lawyers, and judges better understand the complex and difficult process of retrospective reconstruction of mental states.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 157.5 x 231.1 x 33mm | 793.8g
  • American Psychiatric Association Publishing
  • VA, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 1585620017
  • 9781585620012

Review quote

Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Litigation is an excellent collection. It is both theoretical and practical and will be of great value to forensic examiners and lawyers. Each chapter is pitched at a level that will be helpful to the seasoned investigator and to the novice. Many chapters give concrete advice about how best to perform an evaluation of a particular type. The book deserves a wide audience. * Elyn R. Saks, J.D., and Stephen H. Behnke, J.D. Ph.D., The New England Journal of Medicine * Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Litigation should prove useful to the psychiatrist serving as expert witness. The chapters are well referenced. Parts of the book might be of interest to any psychiatrist, whereas other chapters are quite specialized. I found the discussion of research on memory and memory retrieval particularly interesting. * Beatrice Kovasznay, M.D., M.P.H., Psychiatric Services * Editors Simon and Shuman do an excellent job of explaining the complex, multifaceted issues surrounding retrospective psychological assessments.... A vital resource for any forensics expert who testifies in court to understand lines of questioning by attorneys, as well as for psychological forensics experts who must perform retrospective psychological analyses. * Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries * With a goal of developing guidelines for more reliable evaluations of past mental states, this book is indispensable. It will enable clinicians, lawyers, and judges to better understand the complex and difficult process of retrospective reconstruction of mental states. * William M. Regan, M.D., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry *show more

About Robert I. Simon

Robert I. Simon, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.Daniel W. Shuman, J.D., is a Professor of Law at the Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.show more

Flap copy

"Why did the defendant do it?" Mental health professionals are asked to help courts answer this question. To serve justice, the law calls for evidence of the mental state at the time a crime is committed, of suicide intent in civil litigation, and of mental capacity in contract litigation. The law asks psychiatrists and psychologists to retrospectively determine mental states (e.g., employability, dangerousness), current competency (e.g., guardianship, competence to stand trial), and retrospective capacity (e.g., testamentary capacity, mental state at time of offense) -- daunting tasks made even more difficult by the passage of time, the uncertain credibility of witnesses, the paucity of collateral sources of information, and often the death of the person in question. This is the first book dedicated entirely to the retrospective assessment of mental states. This fascinating book explores the role of the psychiatrist and psychologist, as an expert witness in litigation, in rendering a retrospective judgment of an individual's mental state. In this book, distinguished contributors apply their expertise in psychiatry, psychology, and law to the problems of retrospective assessment, with the goal of developing guidelines for more accurate retrospective assessment of mental states. This remarkable book will prove indispensable for helping clinicians, lawyers, and judges better understand the complex and difficult process of retrospective reconstruction of mental states.show more

Table of contents

ContributorsAcknowledgmentsIntroductionNote on TerminologyChapter 1. Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Criminal and Civil Litigation: A Clinical ReviewChapter 2. Retrospective Assessment of Mental States and the LawChapter 3. What Can We Ever Know About the Past? A Philosophical Consideration of the Assessment of Retrospective Mental StatesChapter 4. Assessment of Mental State at the Time of the Criminal Offense: The Forensic ExaminationChapter 5. Retrospective Assessment of Malingering in Insanity Defense CasesChapter 6. Murder, Suicide, Accident, or Natural Death? Assessment of Suicide Risk Factors at the Time of DeathChapter 7. Retrospective Assessment of Children's Mental StatesChapter 8. The Past as Prologue: Assessment of Future Violence in Individuals With a History of Past ViolenceChapter 9. Evaluating Mental States Without the Benefit of a Direct Examination: Basic Concepts and Ethical and Legal ImplicationsChapter 10. Validating Retrospective Assessments: An Overview of Research ModelsChapter 11. What Can Psychologists Contribute to the Examination of Memory and Past Mental States?Chapter 12. Psychiatric Diagnoses and the Retrospective Assessment of Mental StatesChapter 13. Special Methodologies in Memory Retrieval: Chemical, Hypnotic, and Imagery ProceduresChapter 14. Competence and Mental ImpairmentChapter 15. Remembering the Future: Policy Implications for the Forensic Assessment of Past Mental StatesIndexshow more

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