FOR LAWYERS ... please read

What does an expert need from a referring lawyer to ensure that all parties get the optimal result ?

This is a checklist that lawyers should consider if they want to get the best out of a psychological report:

1. Provide clear and precise questions.

A good solicitor will ask as many questions as they consider should be relevant for their client. A lazy solicitor rarely asks specific questions.

In criminal matters the logical questions may include:

a. Does my client have a mental health condition relevant to his or her matter?

b. What evidence is there to support this diagnosis?

c. What is the relationship between the client's mental health and his or her offending?

d. How might this condition be optimally treated, both within the prison system and within the community?

e. Are there any issues in relation to mental impairment legislation that may impact upon the client?

In civil matters the logical questions may include:

a. Does my client have a mental health condition relevant to his or her matter?

b. What evidence is there to support this diagnosis?

c. What were the circumstances of the subject civil claim (e.g. accident , criminal injuries etc)

Is there a causal relationship between the client's mental health and the subject incident?