Attorneys usually specialize in civil or criminal matters and then further specialize. Regardless of their area of practice, attorneys are most familiar with technical experts and often do not go beyond that. However, since all matters essentially have people as the source of the lawsuits in which they are involved, it would seem obvious that no matter what their specialty, emotional factors could be critical. Yet that is the element most often overlooked and undervalued in both civil and criminal cases.
Richard G. Rappaport, M.D. is a forensic psychiatrist and an expert witness who will explain the many issues which should be considered in civil and criminal matters as far as plaintiffs’ and defense positions. Experts in all other fields may increase their utility to the attorneys they work for by suggesting the use of a forensic psychiatrist to increase or limit the value of judgments to their clients. Case examples will be used to demonstrate this important principle.