Before accepting a case, what does the Forensic Psychiatrist need to know from the attorney?
“Should I accept a case?”
An attorney may call me because someone has approached them to initiate a lawsuit. The attorney has a suspicion the person has a psychological condition which is causing them to misunderstand the circumstances, and the need to pursue litigation. They might be misrepresenting the facts or angry emotions, not law, is driving them to you. Consulting with a Forensic Psychiatrist can save you money and trouble down the road.
What to Know Before Retaining a Forensic Psychiatrist as a Consultant or an Expert Witness
In my own case, after being contacted by an attorney or other party, I will usually respond with a phone call at no cost. I must determine if there are any conflicts of interest and if my expertise is relevant to the matter.
Conflicts of Interest
A psychiatrist with medico-legal training will know the importance of a conflicts check. A general psychiatrist very likely will not and the attorney will want to walk them through it.
Schedules and Planning
I will ensure there is ample room in my schedule to meet any deadlines. It is helpful to discuss what resources are required for the case.
A Retained Consultant
There are times I may be better suited to assist the attorney as a non-disclosed non-examining consultant which I discuss in my article The Non-Disclosed Consulting Expert: Attorney’s Secret Weapon.