Forensic Neuropsychology: Legal and Scientific Bases

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Hans O. Doerr, Albert S. Carlin
Guilford Press, 1991 - Psychology - 242 pages
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With the dramatic growth of neuropsychology in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the use of neuropsychological assessment in legal proceedings. Thus, it is not unlikely for today's practicing behavioral and clinical neuropsychologists to find their data, their reports, and themselves drawn into the legal system. Written by a team of distinguished neuropsychologists and physician-attorneys, Forensic Neuropsychology is an indispensable road map to the legal system for neuropsychologists who are--or might become--participants in forensic issues. It offers a timely and authoritative exploration of the medicolegal complexities involved in such testimony.

Opening chapters review key legal structures and processes. They establish the legal base in forensic neuropsychology, detail the rules governing expert testimony, explore the neuropsychologist-attorney-patient working relationship and also examine the scientific/medical database informing neuropsychological analysis and opinion. A key group of chapters then address crucial issues regarding the interpretation of assessment data, including
* the construction of a valid baseline against which to measure the sequelae of new trauma or illness
* the neuropsychological effects of current and past substance abuse, primary or coexistent with other causes of impairment
* the impact of psychopathology on cognitive function
* and motivational/psychogenic factors influencing neuropsychological performance.
Focusing on prognosis and rehabilitation, the book's concluding chapters discuss issues in remediation and long-term outcome and introduce methods and procedures for estimating economic loss. Of special note: Commonly asked questions in forensic neuropsychological testimony, culled from actual deposition and trial testimony transcripts, are presented and analyzed in the appendix.

Distinguished by its integrative, process-oriented approach, Forensic Neuropsychology serves both the practitioner testifying as expert witness on neuropsychological matters and the trial lawyer--plaintiff or defense--promoting or challenging such expert testimony.

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About the author (1991)

Hans O. Doerr received his doctorate from Florida State University in 1965. After a two year post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Duke University, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington. While a visiting professor at Hunan University in China, he facilitated the first clinical neuropsychology program in that country. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, Doerr has contributed widely to the literature in psychophysiology and neuropsychology. He is a frequent lecturer and has led many workshops.

Albert S. Carlin received his doctorate from Syracuse University, and since then has served as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. As a steering committee member of the Collaborative Neuropsychology Study of Polydrug Abuse and as Director of Psychological Testing Service at University of Washington Medical Center, he has acquired a great deal of experience with both clinical and research applications of neuropsychological evaluations. Based on his knowledge and experience as a clinical psychologist, teacher, and researcher, Carlin has served as consultant to a wide variety of legal settings.

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