Developing a Forensic Practice: Operations and Ethics for Experts (Paperback) book cover

Developing a Forensic Practice

Operations and Ethics for Experts

By William H. Reid

© 2013 – Routledge

308 pages

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Paperback: 9780415537766
pub: 2013-03-19
Hardback: 9780415817059
pub: 2013-03-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203110065
pub: 2013-05-02
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The Manfred S. Guttmacher Award Winner

Developing a forensic practice can be confusing and intimidating. Dr. William Reid, a highly experienced forensic psychiatrist, has written a practical, straightforward guide for clinicians interested in doing it right and increasing their opportunities for a successful transition to forensic work. This book, which will be of interest to many attorneys as well, provides straightforward details, along with many case examples, of lawyer-expert communications and relationships, case assessment, record review, evaluations, reports, deposition and trial testimony, fees and billing, office operations, marketing, liability, and professional ethics. A bonus chapter by a successful malpractice attorney gives a unique and valuable "lawyer’s perspective" on the content and mental health experts in general. The huge appendix provides over 40 highly useful examples of common office forms, letters, reports, and affidavits.

Any mental health professional who currently practices, or wants to practice, at the interface of mental health and the law will find this an indispensible practice resource.


"Past AAPL president, William H. Reid, MD, MPH, ranks among the greatest… mentors. His book… is a tremendous resource for any mental health professional embarking on a forensic practice. This book is a pragmatic tool for professionals who are either starting out or continuing work in private practice.Dr Reid thoughtfully explores a range of topics: vocabulary for forensics, the lawyer-expert relationship, evaluations, affidavits, depositions, marketing, ethics, and fees and billing. He even goes so far as to provide extensive appendices in which he shares sample forms, letters, and reports. Describing this robust section as highly useful would be a dramatic understatement.Developing a Private Practice transforms the invariably daunting and confusing experience of starting a forensic practice into one that is manageable . . . and quite possibly, even enjoyable. Dr Reid’s focused approach breaks down a seemingly insurmountable task into one that is attainable and even desirable. His book has all the hallmarks of an excellent resource—practical, thoughtful, straightforward and, above all else, extremely valuable. " - Helen M. Farrell, MD, Harvard Medical School, MA, Psychiatric Times

"Already an established authority on this topic, Dr. Reid has delivered once again. Developing a Forensic Practice is just what the doctors ordered—a highly practical, easily readable, and exceptionally well focused guide for staking one’s claim in this expanding area of practice." - Eric Y. Drogin, JD, PhD, ABPP, Harvard Medical School; Former President, American Board of Forensic Psychology

"Dr. William Reid is a senior, experienced forensic psychiatrist who has prepared an excellent practical treatise on developing a forensic practice. This book should be read by every fellow in forensic psychiatry and every psychiatrist who practices forensic work and wishes to be successful and stay out of trouble." - Robert L. Sadoff, MD, Clinical Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and Director, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program, The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

"Becoming credentialed is one thing; actually practicing is another. Dr. William Reid, one of our foremost forensic psychiatrists, brings his wisdom to bear on the art and science of forensic mental health practice. This is a most memorable and useful book, the kind of map that keeps us on the path of good work and out of the swamp of litigation." - J. Reid Meloy, PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Univ. of California, San Diego; Faculty, The San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute

Table of Contents

Getting Started. Vocabulary. Lawyer-Expert Relationships. Records and Record Review. Evaluations. Reports and Affidavits. Deposition and Trial Testimony. Fees and Billing. Ethics. Marketing. Your Office and Office Procedures. Liability in Forensic Practice. Simpson, A Lawyer's Perspective on Forensic Mental Health Experts. Internal Documents, Letters, Communications Initial Attorney Letter. Fee Sheet. Settlement Notification Letter. Evaluation Appointment Letter. Evaluee Information Sheet. Notification of Treatment Need Discovered During Evaluation. Subpoena Duces Tecum Response. Pre-Testimony Deposit Worksheet. Pre-Testimony Deposit Letter. Time Worksheet. Vendor Confidentiality Agreement. Employee Confidentiality Agreement. Report Examples Report: Trial Competency (Fitness to Proceed) (Simple).Report: Trial Competency (Fitness to Proceed) (Complex).Report: Criminal Responsibility (Sanity).Report: Criminal Defense, Mitigation of Charge or Sentence.Report: NGRI Release, Defense.Report: Personal Injury Defense (PTSD).Report: Clinician-Patient Sex, Plaintiff.Report: Malpractice, Plaintiff (Complex, Doctor and Hospital).Affidavit: Malpractice, Plaintiff Pre-suit.Letter/Report: Malpractice, Plaintiff Pre-suit, Lack of Causation.Report: Malpractice, Plaintiff (Complex).Report: Malpractice, Defense (Complex, Facility).Report: Malpractice, Defense (Facility), Forensic Practice Standards.Report: Malpractice, Defense (Clinician) (Alleged Fetal Damage from Medication).Report: Accidental Overdose vs. Suicide.Report: Defense, Death in Custody.Affidavit: Defense Rebuttal, Death in Custody.Report: Workplace Stressors Allegedly Causing Suicide, Expert Report Rebuttal.Report: Private Insurance Disability Appeal (Complex).Report: Employee Emotional Injury, Treater-Expert Conflict.Report: Professional Licensing Agency Review.Report: Professional Licensing Agency Review. Opinion Letter: Professional Licensure. Report: Civil Capacity, Contracting. Report: Capacity, Guardianship (Complex, Contested). Opinion Letter: Capacity, Business and Testamentary. Report: Auto Accident vs. Suicide. Affidavit: Supporting Motion to Strike Expert Testimony (Forensic Practice Standards). Letter: Rebuttal of Expert's Report, Forensic Practice Standards.

About the Author

William H. Reid, MD, MPH, past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, has practiced forensic psychiatry for over 35 years in private settings, medical schools, and the public sector.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Forensic Psychology