Forensic Series

For early career and experienced clinicians, forensic neuropsychology represents an exciting and challenging area of work. This series of webinars is designed as an introduction to forensic neuropsychology, as well as a refresher for those with some experience. Essential webinar topics such as ethical challenges and pitfalls in forensic work and capacity evaluations are included. For the clinical neuropsychologist about to enter the forensic arena, information on starting a practice is provided; however, there is also a topic on legal relationships and reasoning.

Orientation to the Legal Profession: A Primer on the Consulting Relationship

1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Paul M. Kaufmann, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP
University Compliance Officer, University of Arizona, Office of Provost, Tucson, AZ
Chair, President’s Strategic Enterprise Risk Intelligence and Compliance Committees

Clinical neuropsychologists accept more forensic referrals now and spend more time in forensic consulting than ever before.  Recent surveys show weekly hours devoted to forensic consulting increased 97% in the past decade.  When assuming forensic roles, psychologists have an ethical obligation to be reasonably familiar with the rules governing those roles.  This webinar provides an orientation to the legal profession and an introduction to legal reasoning.  Participants will learn about rules of evidence and key court decisions that govern neuropsychologist experts.  Case experience and materials are used to show how expert opinions must be: 1) based on sufficient facts or data; 2) the product of reliable principles and methods; and 3) appropriately applied to the facts of the case. This webinar illustrates principles of effective attorney-neuropsychologist interactions and increases courtroom familiarity, concluding with suggestions about how to manage risks associated with a forensic consulting practice.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the basic framework for advocacy, candor, and reasoning in the legal profession.
2. Develop and implement effective neuropsychologist-attorney interactions.
3. Discuss and apply rules of evidence and key court cases to enhance forensic reports, formulations, and expert testimony.
4. Identify and manage ethical dilemmas, legal requirements, and practice risks associated with forensic consulting.

Target Audience: Early- to late-career clinical neuropsychologists and clinical psychologists who are interested in beginning or expanding a forensic consulting practice.

Instructional Level: Intermediate, although the legal concepts and rules are introductory and intended for an audience that is not familiar with the legal profession.

About Paul M. Kaufmann, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP
Dr. Kaufmann is a licensed clinical psychologist, attorney, and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, who operates a multi-state private practice in forensic consultation emphasizing pediatric neuropsychology.  He completed his Doctoral Degree at the University of Houston in 1988 with Dr. Jack Fletcher as his chair.  In 1990, he completed a two year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Child Study Center - Yale University School of Medicine.  Throughout his training and professional career as a neuropsychologist, Dr. Kaufmann has consulted on over one hundred legal cases.  He is an active consultant in administrative, criminal, and civil litigation.  During his career, he has held chief executive positions in both the public and private sector. He has sixteen years of faculty experience at major medical schools in KY, IL and AZ.  Dr. Kaufmann was the founding Director of the University of Arizona Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic in the Department of Pediatrics at the University Medical Center.  From 1998 – 2002, Dr. Kaufmann was the Hospital Administrator at the Clyde L. Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center, while also a faculty member at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  In 2005, Dr. Kaufmann completed his law degree at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  He began his law career on the faculty of the University of Nebraska Law – Psychology program, but quickly transitioned to the full time practice of law.  As a health law attorney, Dr. Kaufmann represented the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Divisions of Behavioral Health, Public Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Veterans Homes in administrative hearings, trials, and appeals, as a Special Assistant Attorney General of Nebraska.  He has argued cases before appellate courts, including a case of first impression on the scope of HIPAA before the Nebraska Supreme Court.  He also served as an attorney for the University of Oregon General Counsel.  Dr. Kaufmann maintains active scholarship in research, publication, and consultation on legal problems confronting neuropsychologists. He has published numerous book chapters, peer-reviewed scientific research articles, and legal commentaries, most recently addressing the use of neuropsychological evidence in court and the scope of neuropsychologist expertise.  In 2013, Dr. Kaufmann completed a term as Member-At-Large of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Board of Directors and he has subsequently served as pro bono Counsel for NFL concussion litigation.  Currently, Dr. Kaufmann serves as the University Compliance Officer at the University of Arizona. 

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Civil Capacities in Neuropsychological Assessment

1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Freeman M. Chakara, Psy.D.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Providence Behavioral Health

Psychologists in general, and neuropsychologists in particular, tend to be well trained in assessing cognitive and emotional functioning across the life span. Various specialties within psychology have further established best practice standards within their respective fields: neuropsychology, forensic psychology, geropsychology, etc. In spite of considerable developments and improvements in assessment as reflected by these best practice standards, the area of capacity/competence evaluation remains nascent in development. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce neuropsychologists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to basic principles in assessing civil capacities. Further, simple clinical vignettes will be reviewed to illustrate those types of civil capacities one may encounter in clinical practice. The role of comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, with a focus on capacity questions, will be addressed toward expanding the scope of clinical services to benefit patients and fellow professionals in the context within which we practice. 

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Identify the five legal standards utilized in determining capacity.
2. Apply appropriate ethical principles and best practice standards in conducting civil capacity evaluations.
3. Explain the rationale underlying those assessment procedures utilized in capacity evaluations.
4. Identify key challenges in capacity evaluations, and discuss benefits of engaging in such evaluations.

Target Audience: Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Postdoctoral Fellows, & Graduate Students 

Instructional Level: Introductory

About Freeman M. Chakara, Psy.D.
Dr. Chakara is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been in private practice since 2002. In 2000 he earned a PsyD in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in Neuropsychology, from Widener University. He completed a neuropsychology internship at Lancaster General Hospital’s NeuroCenter under the auspices of Widener University. He then completed a two year postdoctoral Fellowship at Pennsylvania State University’s Hershey Medical Center.  In 2007 he earned board certification with the American Board of Neuropsychology, and in 2011 he was board certified with the American Board of Professional Psychology – Clinical Neuropsychology. In addition to publishing in neuropsychology, Dr. Chakara’s clinical practice entails working with neurologically compromised patients across the lifespan. Within clinical work, he is often consulted to provide Civil Capacity Evaluations. 

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Ethical Pitfalls in Forensic Neuropsychology 

2 CE Credits

Presented by:
Doug Johnson-Greene, PhD., MPH, ABPP
Professor and Vice Chairman, Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Univ. of Miami-Miller School of Medicine

It is a common misnomer that ethical principles for neuropsychologists are only applicable within a clinical context.  While the goals of forensic neuropsychology are vastly different compared to clinical neuropsychology, many of the same ethical principles apply.  Moreover, most of the common ethical quandaries in neuropsychology actually emanate from the forensic arena, such as issues of competence, disclosure of raw data, and others.  This presentation will seek to review which ethical principles are applicable in forensic neuropsychology, how ethics differ from laws, the role that neuropsychologists should play in the forensic arena, and the types of cases that may give rise to ethical considerations.  We will consider common ethical quandaries that lead to complaints, and how to mitigate and manage ethical issues within the forensic neuropsychology arena.  Suggestions for individual practice modification will be considered for neuropsychologists who are seeking to expand or modify their practice to include forensic activities.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Review the ethical principles that are associated with forensic neuropsychology. 
2. Describe common threats to ethical practice in clinical neuropsychology. 
3. Understand approaches for potential ethical quandaries in forensic neuropsychology.
4. Increase knowledge to proactively and retroactively mitigate ethical complaints.

Target Audience:  Neuropsychologists who are engaged in forensic activities or are considering doing so.

Instructional Level: Introductory

Doug Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., MPH, ABPP is a rehabilitation psychologist and neuropsychologist who has been practicing for over 20 years in academic medical centers.  He joined the faculty at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 2009 after spending 13 years on the faculty of the Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He is currently a tenured Professor, Director of Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology, and Associate Vice-Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the University of Miami - Miller School of Medicine.  

He received his doctorate in 1993 from the University of Mississippi, completed his internship at the Portland VA and Oregon Health Sciences University, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan in 1996.  He is board certified in Clinical Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 12, 22, 40, and 50), the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.  

In addition to his clinical practice he has a long-standing commitment to training and has trained over 80 students and postdoctoral fellows during his career.   He has received grant funding from NIH, DOD, and National Institute of Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) and has over 100 research publications. He previously served as the Director and Principle Investigator for the South Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (SF-TBIMS) one of 16 TBI Model System programs sponsored by the Department of Education.  In addition to training and research activities, he has served in numerous national professional leadership roles over the past 20 years for grant review panels, journals, and national organizations such as the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, the executive committee of the Society of clinical Neuropsychology, and the editorial board of the journals the Rehabilitation Psychologist, The Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology,  and The Clinical Neuropsychologist.  He is currently President of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN), which represents the largest group of neuropsychologists in North America.

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Starting a Civil Forensic Practice: Practical Guidelines and Ethical Considerations

2 CE Credits

Presented by:
Michael R. Villanueva, Psy.D.
Southern Oregon Neuropsychological Clinic, LLC

This webinar will address starting forensic work within the context of an already established clinical practice. We will discuss the importance of maintaining a clear separation between forensic and clinical evaluations.  Though forensic and clinical evaluations have much in common, there are a few areas of distinction that are critical for the clinician to consider. The language of a forensic report may be unfamiliar to many clinicians, and we will discuss such terms as “limitations” and “restrictions.”  In addition, we will define levels of certainty, such as "more likely than not," that are often required of the forensic examiner. The webinar focuses on independent medical examinations (IME) and file reviews.  In addition, the presentation will cover ethical considerations such as "dual roles" that are important for the clinician to consider when maintaining both a clinical and forensic practice. We will also discuss the importance of making statements that are objective, verifiable, and remain within the limitations of the information available.  This webinar does not offer marketing advice, but rather provides the clinician thinking of entering the forensic realm with tools to navigate new territory and successfully meet exciting challenges.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Distinguish between a clinical and a forensic referral.
2. List key points to discuss with the claimant prior to an IME.
3. List and discuss primary ethical considerations when conducting IME’s and file reviews.
4. Outline ways of approaching typical challenges such as third-party observers, release of raw data, prospective test selection by a third-party, and demands to reveal test lists in advance.
5. List and describe examples of effective forensic report-writing.

Target Audience: Licensed neuropsychologists presently engaged in clinical practice who desire to make civil forensic referrals a part of their professional work.

Instructional Level: Introductory

Michael R. Villanueva, Psy.D. is board-certified in clinical neuropsychology (ABPP-CN).  He has his clinical practice in southern Oregon where he evaluates patients by physician referral for condition such as dementia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and MS. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Villanueva also accepts forensic referrals, primarily independent medical examinations and file reviews. Dr. Villanueva brings a unique perspective to the issue of clinical and forensic work, being a clinician in a small community which brings about challenges pertinent to dual role, and challenges in building a forensic practice from a small potential pool of referrals.

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