Forensic Psychological Evaluations, Assessments, Treatment & Other Services
Forensic Psychological Evaluations, Assessments, Treatment & Other Services may be Court Ordered or elective. Our Forensic Psychology Professionals prefer to be Court Appointed or appointed by Agreed Order as Evaluators, Mediators, Parent Coordinators, or Treatment Providers, whenever possible. However, we do accept voluntary and privately retained cases as well.
There are many types of Forensic Psychology Evaluations, Treatments, and Services. Some services may be available that do not appear on the list below. There are standard evaluation batteries and service protocols that are typical and comprise the base rates that appear on our Fee Schedule. However, each case is unique, and your assessment, evaluation, treatment, or services will be tailored to fit your specific situation. If you are uncertain what type of service you need, a pre-service consultation with your legal representative can be scheduled in order to select the product that will best meet your needs.Family Law Evaluations, Treatments, & Services
Mediation (Civil & Family Law) & Parent Coordination
Mediation is a non-adversarial process that utilizes a neutral third party (typically an attorney or a psychologist) to assist disputing parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediation process may be a single meeting focused on a specific end goal (like settling a personal injury case for a specific monetary amount or reaching a property settlement in a divorce case). Alternatively, mediation may be an ongoing process accessed by parties who, by nature of their relationship, continue to be in contact with one another (like co-parenting disputes that may repeatedly arise over time in high-conflict families). Sometimes, mediation work involving custody and co-parenting issues is termed Parent Coordination, and the Mediator is referred to as a Parenting Coordinator (PC).
Most types of cases can be settled in mediation. These include but are not limited to personal injury, real estate, employment, family and divorce, contract, and probate disputes.
The mediation itself is not legally binding but can be converted into a legally binding "Agreed Order" that is signed by both parties with the guidance of legal counsel. Sometimes, if mediation is Court Ordered, a judge may ask the mediator to make recommendations that can become legally binding. Many times, mediation is an elective option chosen by the parties as an alternative to traditional legal processes with the aim of avoiding having to go to court.
Why choose mediation as a way to resolve a legal dispute?
Review, Critique, & Rebuttal of Other Experts
Review, Critique, & Rebuttal of Other Experts may involve review and analysis of other professionals' methods, conclusions, and credentials, and a rebuttal opinion may be appropriate to offer. All too often, under-qualified or even unqualified individuals perform mental health services that find their way in to the legal process through written reports, records, or testimony.
A serious problem arises when the product of these services (such as diagnoses, recommendations, or testimony) is not of adequate validity from scientific or professional standards to be relied upon in legal decision-making. Such cases may involve Competency to Stand Trial, Risk of Offending, Custody, Personal Injury, or Fitness for Duty or Government Clearance determinations and much more.
Unfortunately, without review by a qualified expert in the specific field of Forensic Psychology, consumers, juries, and even attorneys and judges may have no way to gauge the validity or appropriateness of the methods employed or the conclusions and recommendations that result from less than optimal practices.
Our Forensic Psychology Experts rely upon the Daubert and Frye Standards as well as national guidelines and Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) standards supported by solid scientific research vs. theory. Review and Critique of other experts may be done privately to help attorneys prepare to examine a witness or may be done publicly by securing a Rebuttal Expert to generate a written report or testify at trial, which may include offering alternative conclusions and recommendations following a re-examination of the party/parties.
Psycho-legal Consultation can be helpful when a Forensic Evaluation may not be necessary or appropriate, or when the need for an Expert Witness is not indicated or uncertain. Our Forensic Psychologists meet with attorneys to review psychological matters relevant to the case to help them understand the complexities and nuances of the issues.
While attorneys are highly skilled at researching information, it often takes someone from the field of Forensic Psychology to point them to the most salient and credible sources of information within the discipline or to highlight the latest research on a certain topic. Psycho-Legal Consultation may involve preparing summary reports or materials on a topic as an identified expert or as a "ghost writer."
Many attorneys also find it helpful to engage in Psycho-Legal Consultation for the purposes of designing a forensic services package that best meets their needs. A Psycho-Legal Consultation can often help attorneys and their clients save money by avoiding unnecessary procedures and can also help protect the integrity of their investment by guaranteeing the services requested will be able to provide answers to the legal questions at hand. (For example, is a Parental Capacity Evaluation of one parent sufficient, do only the children need to be evaluated, or does a full Custodial Evaluation need to be performed? Is a Psychological Evaluation adequate or is a Neuropsychological Evaluation more appropriate?)
Our Forensic Psychologists are also available to assist with jury selection, witness credibility assessment, trial consulting, and preparation of defendants and witnesses for testimony through emotional support interventions, anxiety reduction techniques, and socio-behavioral training.
Dr. Shelton also provides individual training, consultation, and supervision of mental health professionals who are doing or wish to do forensic work but recognize that they are not yet competent to do so independently.
Training & Education
Training & Education is an invaluable resource for individuals, small groups, or large organizations.
Forensic Psychology & Mediation: Dr. Shelton, Director, has lectured and trained psychologists, attorneys, judges, and other legal and healthcare professionals at scholarly and professional conferences at the state, national, and international level. She is faculty in Doctoral Psychology Programs at three universities as well as faculty in a Criminal Justice/Criminology Program and a Public Health Program and has more than a decade of teaching experience. She is an experienced professional speaker who is available to provide lectures or trainings on a variety of Forensic and Psychological topics tailored to meet your group's needs.
Expert Witness Testimony
Expert Witness Testimony involves testimony at a deposition, hearing, or trial by a qualified professional in accordance with Federal Rules of Evidence (Rule 702). Specifically, a professional can be declared an Expert Witness by the Court under the following circumstances:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
Dr. Shelton, Director of Forensic Psychology & Mediation Division, alone has testified in excess of 100 cases in Criminal, Civil, Juvenile, and Family Court as well as at State and Federal government proceedings and has been declared an Expert in numerous courts in multiple states for over a decade.
Expert Witness Testimony may include testifying about individuals that have been psychologically evaluated (such as a person’s mental status, parental fitness, or competency to stand trial), testifying about other experts' credentials or methodology (such as rebutting expert status, methods employed, or conclusions reached), or testifying on a specific subject matter (such as the dynamics of child abuse or domestic violence without evaluation of a specific individual). As part of our services, we routinely meet with attorneys to prepare for examination and cross-examination and to help inform the types of questions that will be most effective in helping us to relay the pertinent information and to discuss any limitations on scope of testimony.
Being an expert in a field is not synonymous with being a skilled Expert Witness. There is both a science and an art to conveying information to a jury or judge articulately, accurately, concisely, in a manner that is simple to understand, and, most importantly, is in accordance with the laws and rules governing the legal process. Too often, even skilled clinicians step into the legal arena ill prepared or unprepared for examination, cross-examination, and the rules and procedures that govern expert witness testimony. You can have total confidence in our Expert Witnesses not only in our credentials, reputation, and quality of professional work, but also in our ability to effectively communicate under high pressure and adversarial situations on the witness stand.
Dr. Shelton also has experience with appearances on television and radio and is frequently quoted in the popular press.
Forensic Medicine & Nursing Services
Forensic Medicine & Nursing Services may be Court Ordered or elective. Our Forensic Medicine and Nursing Professionals prefer to be Court Appointed or appointed by Agreed Order whenever possible. However, we do accept voluntary and privately retained cases as well.
There are many types of Forensic Medicine and Nursing Services. We have both a Forensic Physician Expert and a Forensic Nurse Expert on our team who may work together collaboratively or independently to deliver the services and specific expertise your case requires. When appropriate, we also maintain a vetted network of highly specialized medical experts from all over the United States whom we may rely upon as collaborative consultants, depending on the specifics of your case.
Some services may be available that do not appear on the list below. If you are unsure about the service that you need, a pre-service consultation with your legal representative can be arranged in order to select the product that will best meet your needs.
Forensic Accounting is a highly specialized area of the accounting practice that involves complex investigations to reveal fraud and other financial information. Government agencies, law enforcement, and private business entities regularly require the services of skilled CPAs who are trained to detect and decipher financial misrepresentation and wrongdoing.
A Forensic Accountant is a licensed professional who can be hired by an individual or an organization to perform financial investigations. They have the ability to collect, analyze, and prepare complex and sensitive data surrounding many facets of finance and accounting. They may possess additional professional certifications such as CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner).
Forensic Accountants work with individuals, businesses, organizations, other investigators, attorneys, forensic psychologists, and any other entity that may require their services. The Forensic Accounting Division specializes in the following services:
Due to the complex and dynamic nature of Forensic Accounting investigations, this is by no means an exhaustive list. We understand that every case is unique. If you need a service that is on this list, please contact us for more information.
and a variety of other undercover and surveillance services.
*** One very important detail that sets SPI apart from other private investigation companies is that we provide FBI-style FD-302 reports for all cases.
Our Security Professionals are current and former law enforcement and military professionals. These highly skilled individuals possess extensive knowledge and experience in providing a safe and secure environment for your specific needs. Examples include but are not limited to: