Report Writing for Forensic Evaluation
Presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP
This self-paced training program on Report Writing for Forensic Evaluations is presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP.
Conducting well-constructed forensic psychological evaluations is not enough to persuade judges, attorneys, and other referral sources about the adequacy of one’s work and opinions. Reports and affidavits are the primary vehicles by which psychologists communicate to judges, attorneys, and others what data they considered, what actions they took, and the opinions they formed and the underlying reasoning.
Thus, writing clear and concise reports is a critical component of most forensic psychologists’ practice. Research on forensic examiners’ report-writing practices is reviewed; how forensic practice guidelines, the ethics code, and rules of evidence and procedure shape reports are considered; principles for the organization and structure of forensic reports are proposed; and elements of good and bad reports are highlighted using multiple real-world examples from redacted reports.
More focused matters such as the use of jargon; specificity in word choice; identifying sources of information; distinguishing between observation and inference; and common report writing errors are considered, as well. Finally, preparation of affidavits, and how their structure and substance differs from reports, is tackled.
Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
Describe the various functions that reports and affidavits which summarize forensic evaluations serve
Describe reports that meet obligations imposed by common rules of evidence and rules of procedure
Describe reports that meet obligations imposed by the ethics code and related practice guidelines
Describe 3 reasons for, and the value of, including in forensic reports competing hypotheses, alternative explanations, and data that are inconsistent with one’s expert opinions
Describe reports that make clear distinctions between facts, assumptions, reasoning, opinions, and expert opinions, and describe the value of doing so
Describe jargon that is most typically included in reports and the advantages and disadvantages of including such
Describe reports that are jargon free
Describe common report writing errors
Describe test results in their reports in two different ways
Describe the primary purpose of affidavits and describe how they differ from reports in function and development
This is a badge-earning course, which means it will help you earn a certificate that can be showcased on digital platforms like LinkedIn.
Custom training options for groups of 5 to 500+