August 13th & 20th, 2021 | 8:30am - 12:30pm Pacific

8 Hours | 8 CEs

$300 Registration | $250 Early Registration (through May 28th) 

This live workshop 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 is 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.

Presented By

Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Randy Otto is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in clinical psychology and forensic psychology (ABPP). He has been a faculty member at the University of South Florida since 1989. Although his primary appointment is in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, he also teaches in the Departments of Psychology, Criminology, and Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Otto’s work focuses on the involvement of mental health professionals in the legal system.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the components/qualities of effective communication generally, and effective testimony specifically

  • Describe the differences between testifying at depositions and at trial and testify more effectively in each setting

  • Describe various ways in which credibility and expertise can be communicated when testifying

  • Communicate one’s expertise and credibility more effectively

  • Describe ethical requirements and practice guidelines that impact expert testimony and testify in accordance with them

  • Describe common/typical rules of evidence and procedure shape presentation of expert testimony and testify in a manner that is consistent with these rules

  • Describe and employ pre-testimony preparation strategies that will reduce anxiety

  • Describe an approach for effectively communicating their work and opinions to the legal decision-maker during direct examination

  • Describe and effectively respond to common cross-examination gambits.

  • Intended Audience

    This live workshop is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This live workshop is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

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