Forensic Expert Witness Evaluations, Testimony and Consultation
Training Experiences: My exposure to forensic psychological activity began in my second year of graduate training, where I gained supervised experience in evaluating juvenile delinquents at the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court Mental Health Services. Next, I was fortunate enough to begin working under the supervision of Fernando Melendez, PhD, ABCN, who is regarded as a pioneer in the field of neuropsychology. As his psychometrician and apprentice, I gained considerable experience assisting him, mainly with civil cases involving personal injury, including both psychological and organic brain damages.
While Psychology Training Director at Citrus Health Network, I served as the Attending Psychologist (1997-2001) for the adolescent mentally disordered sex offenders (MDSOs) incarcerated there in its Residential Intensive Therapeutic Service (or the “RITS,” as it has become known). For the duration of this experience, I obtained clinical supervision from Jon Shaw, M.D., former Program and Research Director of the Elaine Gordon Treatment Center for early adolescent male sex offenders, and a nationally recognized expert in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to leading the treatment teams for these patients and providing their individual psychotherapy, I accompanied and assisted them with all case-related criminal proceedings, both in and out of court.
Civil Experience: In my private practice since the mid-1980’s, I have involved myself in both civil and criminal proceedings. Currently most of my forensic activity is in the civil arena, where I have continued to focus on evaluating psychological and neuropsychological damages sustained in a variety of cases, including those related to personal injury, wrongful death, posttraumatic stress disorder, employment discrimination, and sexual-harassment. My experiences as expert witness for either plaintiff or defense are approximately equal in number. In addition, I have also served as an expert consultant to attorneys regarding psychological aspects of various civil cases. Finally, I have provided services to the Family Courts, usually in matters involving children’s custody and visitation related to divorce proceedings.
Criminal Experience: Most of my criminal work has occurred through assisting the Miami office of the Federal Public Defender, with matters such as competency to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, and mitigating factors which may support downward departures from sentencing guidelines. I have also been involved in a small number of cases with the office of the State Public Defender, as well as the office of the U.S. Attorney. In addition, I have provided evaluations for defendants in immigration proceedings, usually to document the negative psychological effects on children and family of the deportation of a parent or spouse.