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While the vast majority of criminal and civil lawyers must at some time come into contact with a forensic mental health evaluation, either when requested by their side or by opposing counsel, most do not know enough about the practice to be informed consumers. Forensic assessments can vary widely based on the assessor's personal preferences, and while there are clearly defined best practices for most evaluations, there is no official process by which legal professionals can guarantee these practices are being followed. Designed to meet the specific needs of lawyers, Forensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers provides insight into what to expect from forensic mental health evaluations and how to navigate these assessments with skill and competence. The volume is divided into sections by evaluation type: criminal, civil, and juvenile and family evaluations. Each chapter addresses one of the most commonly requested forensic evaluations and is written by a forensic psychologist with both academic and professional experience with that type of evaluation. Specific evaluation types discussed include competence to stand trial in adults and juveniles, criminal responsibility, violence risk in adults, jury selection, eyewitness identification, personal injury claims, civil commitment, workplace disability, child custody, juveniles' risks and needs, and more. This handbook is a comprehensive, one-stop resource for lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals seeking to further their knowledge of forensic assessments.
Ronald Roesch is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Mental Health, Law, and Policy Institute at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Roesch is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and is on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. He has served as Editor of Law and Human Behavior and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. He is a Past-President of the American Psychology-Law Society and was the recipient of the Society's Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and Law Award. Patricia A. Zapf is Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. Dr. Zapf is the editor of the American Psychology-Law Society Book Series and Associate Editor of Law and Human Behavior. She is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, an Advisory Board Member for the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, and an Editorial Board Member for Psychology, Public Policy, and Law and International Journal of Forensic Mental Health.