Steven Babitsky, Esq.

How do trial attorneys attack psychologists and psychiatrists during cross-examination? They are being trained to concentrate on the expert’s competence and methodology.

Attorney Renee Welze Livingston writes in the January 2020 issue of For the Defense: How Methodical Investigation Can Cast Doubt on a Psychological Expert’s Competence and Methodology.

This revealing article makes many recommendations, including:

  1. Thoroughly investigate the expert’s background, experience, and qualifications.
  2. Carefully examine their CV, resumes, and other professional summaries.
  3. Obtain objective verification of key training, certifications, degrees, and licenses.
  4. Obtain prior depositions and trial testimony.
  5. Establish how they obtained the referral of the assignment.
  6. Demonstrate the subjective element of the evaluation.
  7. Establish how much time the expert spent with the plaintiff.
  8. Attack the weakest link (e.g. the diagnosis).
  9. Confine questions to the expert’s report.
  10. Stick to the criteria in DSM-5.