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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135557 Find in a Library
Title: Into the Lion's Den: Preparation for Courtroom Testimony (From Criminal Court Consultation, P 59-76, 1989, Richard Rosner, Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135552)
Author(s): A J Tuckman
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These guidelines are intended to aid psychiatrists in preparing for expert testimony or for a conference with an attorney or judge in a criminal case, based on the author's experience in this area.
Abstract: To be an effective expert witness, a psychiatrist must have a solid reputation in the community, an air of self-assurance, an ability to state opinions in simple language, a wilingness to undergo verbal confrontations, the willingness to spend the time required, and several other qualities. When first contacted by an attorney or a judge's law clerk, psychiatrists should discuss the case superficially on the telephone, take notes, and define the fee structure. At the initial meeting with the attorney, they should decide whether to function as a clinician only or as a participant in discussions about trial tactics. They should label and summarize each piece of evidence as it arrives and should continually share information with attorneys, judges, and others. Preparing a chronological chart and developing a unifying theme are helpful to the testimony. Following specific guidelines in handling the direct examination and cross-examination and listening to the other experts after delivering testimony are also important.
Main Term(s): Psychiatric testimony
Index Term(s): Cross-examination; Expert witnesses; Forensic psychiatry; Witness credibility
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