FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES IN CIVIL CASES
Our forensic psychologists offer the following services in civil matters:
General Psychological Evaluation: An attorney or judge may request a general psychological evaluation in any case in which a person’s mental health is in question. The resulting report includes the individual’s current mental status, diagnosis, and recommendations for treatment, if any.
Guardianship Evaluation: This type of evaluation is conducted to determine whether a person has the mental capacity to make decisions for or to safely take care of themselves. See below for more information about guardianship evaluations.
Immigration: Psychological evaluations may be helpful in immigration cases to highlight special circumstances that may be relevant to an immigration application.
Psychological Consultant: Psychologists may be hired by attorneys to consult on a case “behind the scenes”. Examples include educating the attorney about a client’s mental illness, assisting in jury selection or cross-examination, or critiquing another psychologist’s evaluation report.
Expert Witness: A psychologist may be asked to testify in court as an expert. The evaluation report may be read out loud in open court, and the expert must answer questions about the report and what transpired during conversations with the respondent and any other involved individual. The expert may be asked to discuss their knowledge regarding the research in a specific area of psychology as it relates to the respondent. Psychological experts may also be asked to educate the court on a specific mental health-related topic.
Fact Witness: A psychologist who has previously evaluated or treated an individual in a clinical context may be asked to testify in court as a fact witness. The psychologist may be asked to discuss the evaluation or psychotherapy with the respondent, details of what was disclosed during sessions, and comment on the respondent’s mental health. Retainer includes preparation estimate.
Guardianship and Competency Evaluations
If your loved one needs an evaluation to determine whether he is capable of caring for himself or handling his own affairs, we can help. We conduct thorough evaluations spanning a wide range of life skills and abilities. Our evaluations include only the best psychological and neuropsychological tests, and we carefully assess every important aspect of the individual's functioning. We consider areas such as memory, decision-making skills, personal safety skills, activities of daily living, financial capacity, judgement, psychological functioning, social skills, and medical self-care skills.
Our evaluations result in detailed recommendations that preserve as much of your loved one's autonomy and dignity as possible while helping to keep him or her safe and secure. We have conducted guardianship and competency evaluations for individuals with concerns such as developmental disabilities, dementia, and mental illness. In addition to assisting the Court in making decisions regarding personal and financial guardianship, we have assisted in determining competency to proceed with trial and assist counsel in his or her defense.
FAQ about Forensic Psychological Evaluations
Please note that we conduct our psychological evaluations within the strict ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the laws and rules of the North Carolina Psychology Board. As such, we cannot guarantee a specific outcome, diagnosis, or recommendation upon conducting an evaluation. There is certainly a chance that you will be unhappy with the results or that the evaluation will not benefit your case, and we do not issue refunds. We strongly suggest that you discuss with your attorney prior to hiring us for your court-related psychological evaluation, and we also suggest that you have your attorney consult with us prior to the evaluation. Finally, forensic evaluations must be paid out-of-pocket and will not be billed to your health insurance company.