There is a connection between justice, truth, and mental health, and I find legal work meaningful in this sense. I accept legal assignments in which I can serve as an objective psychologist, and don’t take assignments where the attorney wants to pre-design a narrative for my findings to support. Of course, the attorney who hires me can decide whether or not to use my findings,
Here are some legal cases on which I’ve consulted:
• The will of a parent with mental illness was challenged by an adult child who did not receive a certain bequest, on the grounds that the parent’s mental illness prevented the parent from knowing what he or she was doing. My research showed that the parent, though mentally ill, knew exactly what he or she was doing, and the heir receiving the bequest, for whose attorney I was consulting, prevailed.
• A child in eighth grade with diagnosed learning disabilities, for which she was receiving remediation in private school, was evaluated as not learning disabled, and therefore not eligible for educational accommodations, by a school psychologist for the public school district into which she was transferring for high school. My evaluation confirmed the presence of learning disability, and impeached (disconfirmed) the evaluation of the school psychologist on professional grounds. She was granted special education status on entering high school, with accommodations I had recommended.
• An attorney representing a mentally disabled client who had been molested by another client in a rehabilitation program engaged me to review the records, which showed clear evidence of staff negligence in supervising the molester. After my report was submitted, the case was settled.
• A man with a successful career suffered brain damage following a reported fight, possibly exacerbated by possible mistreatment during his subsequent hospitalization. Afterward, his life was disorganized and he was unable to work. I was retained to conduct a neuropsychological evaluation, which showed clear evidence of functional brain damage, although of course I couldn’t testify to what the cause of that damage was. The neuropsychologist consulting for the opposing side found no flaws in my report. I do not know the outcome of the case.
• An adult with learning disabilities, apparently on the verge of losing her job, retained me to speak with her employer under the Americans With Disabilities Act, after which she was able to retain her job on a modified basis.
• Several adults with various work histories have qualified for social security disability as a result of my evaluations of their cognitive disorders. However, I have also declined to recommend other people who preferred disability to working jobs which they felt were demeaning.