My role, as requested by your attorney, is as an expert witness. I have testified many times. This means that I work with some good lawyers who are respected and competent and are also known to work diligently to help their clients. I have 30 years experience providing psychological, legal, and vocational evaluations for attorneys and their clients.
The focus of the assessment would be determined by your attorney with your agreement. It is a three-way collaboration that can take from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how complicated the situation and how difficult the legal issues. You and I would meet several times and I would review relevant documents. My written report would provide answers in the form of a professional opinion intended for use in mediation or arbitration or at a settlement conference or in a formal courtroom proceeding.
Since 1980, I have completed work on hundreds of legal cases, participated in over 94 trials and completed a total of 470 hours of depositions and trial testimony. This work includes hundreds of family law matters as well as large numbers of employment and civil rights cases. I am typically engaged by family law attorneys, working for either petitioner or respondent. My experience includes work with both defense and plaintiff attorneys in employment, elder, and civil rights cases.
An evaluation by a vocational expert involves the analysis of a variety of information which comes from interviews, testing, documents, and research. I gather and then evaluate this large amount of information as it relates to a set of questions specific to the issues needing resolution and/or your circumstances. I hope you will become involved by working with me to get the most accurate answers possible. This assessment process might become valuable to you.
Typically, I will interview you several times. I will take many pages of notes as I hear your story. I will determine how many and what kind of standard vocational and psychological tests you will need to complete. I will spend time reviewing documents and/or interviewing other people who have information I need (college advisors, prospective employers, your physician, and trade or professional associations) in order to complete the evaluation.
During our appointments, our attention will be on activities such as interpreting the test findings, helping you complete an analysis of your current job skills or having you work with our computerized vocational information database. I will help you go through all the other steps that lead to completing a future work-force participation plan-of-action that fits your circumstances. There will be homework. I will deliver my findings in a written report.
The information gathered in a vocational evaluation has true value to you. In order not to waste this singular opportunity, your attorney or employer may want to encourage you to work with me for a short time in order to resolve the vocational issues that led to this request for an assessment. We will be examining, for example, your vocational aptitudes, job opportunities, and other details of your long-term employment prospects.
My work will typically conclude with a written report such as (1) a vocational rehabilitation plan, (2) a return-to-work plan, or (3) a reasonable accommodation plan for you and your attorney or employer. The attorney or employer will want the summary of findings and recommendations to be delivered on time and include as many specific details as possible.