Articles

Admissability of Scientific Evidence – Daubert v. Merrell Dow (1993)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Daubert v. Merrell Dow (1993) rejected the Frye  test and Frye-plus tests for the admissibility of certain scientific evidence (see admissibility tests lecture).  Instead of “general acceptance” in the scientific community, the Daubert test requires an independent judicial assessment of reliability.  Among other purposes, the Daubert test is intended […]

Frye v. The United States

No. 3968 Court of Appeals of District of Columbia 293 F. 1013; 1923 U.S. App. LEXIS 1712; 54 App. D.C. 46; 34 A.L.R. 145 December 3, 1923, Decided PRIOR HISTORY:   [**1] Appeal from the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. CORE TERMS: blood pressure, deception, systolic, conscious, discovery, scientific principle, expert testimony, scientific, experiments, […]

Experts & Confidentiality – Pettus v. Cole – Cal Ct. Appeal 1996

In California Psychiatric Experts Are Under the Same Privilege/Confidentiality Obligations  as are Treating Psychiatrists California Appellate Decision Regarding Privilege/Confidentiality Duties of Non-Treating, Psychiatric Experts: see PETTUS V. COLE, 57 Cal.Rptr.2d 46 (1996) Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California from the Headnotes: “Two psychiatrists violated the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act(Civ. Code, S 56 […]

Sexual Relationships with Patients

Maxwell J. Mehlman, J.D. Sexual relationships with patients are problematic, not only because they may be unethical and may compromise patient care, but because they may lead to civil actions for damages, criminal actions, and disciplinary proceedings by state medical boards.(1) While concern focused originally on relationships between patients and psychiatrists, it is now generally […]

Sexual Relationships with Patients

Maxwell J. Mehlman, J.D. Sexual relationships with patients are problematic, not only because they may be unethical and may compromise patient care, but because they may lead to civil actions for damages, criminal actions, and disciplinary proceedings by state medical boards.(1) While concern focused originally on relationships between patients and psychiatrists, it is now generally […]

A Paradox About Duty to Refer

from Cyberounds: Health Law and Bioethics Maxwell J. Mehlman, J.D. Educational Objectives Upon completion of this Cyberounds(R), the participant should be able to: * Discuss the paradox of the duty to refer * Discuss how this paradox can confuse judges in malpractice cases * Describe the correct rule of liability in failure-to-refer cases. Given all […]

When is a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claim Legitimate…and When Is It Not?

When is a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claim Legitimate…and When Is It Not? by Mark I. Levy, M.D.  Asst. Clinical Professor Psychiatry University of California San Francisco School of Medicine (expanded version of article published in For the Defense,  November 1995) In prehistoric times, when our earliest ancestors lived in dread of their mortal enemy, […]

Supreme Court Ruling: Jaffee v. Redmond, 1996

This article is a reprint of the one which first appeared in the San Francisco Recorder on 07/24/96 Though recently protected from disclosure in the federal courts, therapists’ records remain under siege by insurance companies By: Mark Levy, M.D. Confidentiality is the core of a patient/therapist relationship. Trust, the very foundation of therapy, is eroded […]

All in the Office ‘Family’

Los Angeles Times  5/18/98 CAREERS / ADVERSITY AND CONFLICT Employees and bosses sometimes reenact childhood family dynamics on the job. Is your workplace dysfunctional? Read up on these relating styles and find out. By: SUSAN VAUGHN –  SPECIAL TO THE TIMES The successful executive in psychiatrist Mark Levy’s office was complaining of deja vu. “He […]

Shrink in the Courtroom: Forensic Psychiatry and Law

by Mark Levy, M.D. This is the first in a series of articles about forensic psychiatry as it is utilized in civil litigation. In this article, I will describe how a forensic psychiatrist can be useful to trial attorneys in civil litigation whenever there are allegations of emotional damages. What Is Forensic Psychiatry? Forensic psychiatry […]

Determining Mental Disabilities and Obligations of Employers Under the ADA and FEHA

Mark I. Levy, M.D., Jonathan Mook, Esq., and Saul Rosenberg, Ph.D. Special to Law.com November 29, 2001 Although federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination against individuals with physical and mental disabilities and require an employer to make reasonable accommodations for both kinds of disabilities, interpreting and implementing the law with regard to mental disabilities […]

Overcoming Obstacles to the Independent Examination of Emotional Damages Defense

Comment Spring 2004 by Saul Rosenberg, PhD & Mark Levy, MD Download OvercomingObstacles.pdf

The Stigma of Mental Illness in the United States

By Mark I. Levy, M.D. America today is plagued with a pandemic prejudice against those suffering with mental illness that is crippling our nation. Our society equates mental illness with moral weakness, causing individuals to deny their mental suffering out of fear that they will appear to be morally culpable for it.  In so doing, […]

The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Revisited: Causation of Mental Damages in Civil Litigation

The Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter — by Mark I. Levy, MD, FAPA and Saul E. Rosenberg, PhD

Moms Who Kill: When Depression Turns Deadly

by Mark I. Levy, MD, Deborah Michelle Sanders, Esq. and Stacy Sabraw Psychology Today December 2002 reprinted with permission Summary: Postpartum mood disorders are more common than we realize: Up to 80 percent of new mothers experience mild depression within a year of giving birth. If the “baby blues” persist, depression can escalate to dangerous […]

Deposing Mental Health Experts on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Chapter 716, Lawyers’ Guide to Medical Proof, Volume 4 edited by Marshall Houts, J.D., LexisNexis Mathew Bender 2002  Mark I. Levy MD co-author Download Deposing_MH_Experts.pdf

Assessing the Truth: How Forensic Psychiatrists & Psychologists Evaluate Litigants

Forensic psychiatrist Mark Levy MD and forensic neuropsychologist Ronald Roberts, PhD co-authored an article for San Francisco Attorney Magazine, Spring, May 2008. In it, they explain the process and methods used by forensic behavioral experts when conducting an evaluation of an individual as part of a legal proceeding.

Shrink on the Couch: Deposing Mental Health Experts – PowerPoint

This was a talk presented by Mark Levy MD and Ronald Roberts PhD at Bar Association of San Francisco in September 12, 2007. Download “Deposing Mental Health Experts” powerpoint.pdf

The Assessment of Malingering in Civil Litigation

The Assessment of Malingering in Civil Litigation by Sarah A. Hall, PhD The assessment of the likelihood that a plaintiff or claimant may be exaggerating, feigning, or malingering cognitive and/or emotional impairment is of paramount importance in a variety of civil and criminal cases. These include personal injury lawsuits and sentencing hearings, as well as […]

What Psychological Factors Drive Civil Litigation?

What Drives Litigation? How Forensic Psychiatrists and Psychologists Assess Motivation by Mark Levy, M.D., Forensic psychiatry and psychology is the application of psychiatric and psychological clinical knowledge and research to the practice of law where plaintiff’s (or criminal defendant’s) mental status is at issue. The forensic psychiatrist is an expert at making diagnostic and prognostic […]

On Wearing Two Hats: Role Conflict in Serving as Both Psychotherapist and Expert Witness

Article by: Larry H. Strasburger, M.D., Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D., and Archie Brodsky, B.A. Should psychotherapists serve as expert witnesses for their patients? Psychotherapists of all disciplines need to confront the potential clinical, legal, and ethical problems involved in combining the roles of treating clinician and forensic evaluator. As clinicians find themselves drawn into proliferating, […]

Vexatious Litigants – Litigants Who Won’t Accept “No” (or “Yes”) for an Answer

By Mark I. Levy MD, DLFAPA Vexatious litigants[1] are individuals who burden the judicial process by repeatedly filing causes of action that are ultimately found to be without merit. Despite the considerable cost to the judicial system (and ultimately to society) little has been written about vexatious litigation and less has been done to understand […]

Psychiatric “Fitness for Duty” Evaluations

Fitness for Duty Evaluation can provide concrete information about an employee’s level of functioning and appropriateness for their work environment. By requesting a Fitness for Duty Evaluation, an employer demonstrates good faith in attempting to resolve potentially contentious and litigious workplace situations. Forensic psychiatrists and psychologists can provide concrete information regarding employees’ abilities, risk factors, […]

What is Forensic Psychiatry?

Forensic psychiatry is the sub specialty of psychiatry dealing with the interface between psychiatry and the law. Forensic psychiatrists serve as consultants and expert witnesses for civil and criminal attorneys, the judiciary, government and non-government agencies, and corporations. Some are involved in treating individuals in correctional institutions or in mandated treatment settings. As a consultant […]

What Is Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology is the application of the science of psychology to legal issues. The word “forensic” comes from the Latin word “forensis”, meaning “of the forum” and relates the Forum in ancient Rome where the earliest courts were held. The practice of Forensic Psychology is focused on the interface between psychology and the law. It […]