A forensic psychologist is someone who has education and experience in clinical psychology and applies that knowledge to court-related matters. This often involves the use of forensic assessment to determine one’s competence to stand trial, the impact of a traumatic event, detection of malingering, and other issues that pertain to one’s legal standing. Forensic psychologists possess expert knowledge and training in these areas and are highly experienced in testifying in court. As a forensic psychologist, Dr. Lunceford is familiar with applicable legal concepts and procedures and she consults with judges, attorneys, and litigants on a variety of issues.
Using a psychologist as an expert to educate the judge or jury on the psychological elements of a case is critical in helping to bring understanding to these issues. Dr. Lunceford has testified in legal proceedings since 2009. She has testified on a wide range of topics to include competence to stand trial, Franco immigration cases, assessment of dangerousness in criminal and sexual assault cases, effects of sexual abuse, sex offender evaluations (WIC 6600), effects of trauma, fitness for duty, psychological assessments, mental illness diagnoses, and other topics. Additionally, Dr. Lunceford evaluates defendants in criminal cases for the California mental health diversion law that took effect in 2018 (Penal Code 1001.36, SB 215). If you need help with a civil or criminal matter, please contact Dr. Lunceford to discuss your case.
References available to attorneys upon request.
Forensic evaluations and assessments are sometimes necessary in criminal, civil, family, and military court cases. When cases have legal issues with a psychological component, Dr. Lunceford uses the science of psychology to assess and evaluate the issue, often generating comprehensive psychological reports to assist counsel with the case at hand. Evaluations range from civil assessments including but not limited to personal injury and fitness for duty evaluations and criminal assessments including insanity evaluations, sex offender evaluations, violent offender risk assessments and many, many others. Independent Medical Evaluations (IMEs) can be performed for a variety of circumstances, including professional licensure issues (board of nursing license issues, for example). Her evaluations are conducted with the highest level of integrity and always meet the highest ethical standards, aimed at differentiating between actual injury or illness and malingering.
The psychological assessment process in Forensic Psychology usually begins with two parts that require the client’s participation. The first part is a structured forensic psychological interview, which normally takes from one to three hours. The second part involves the administration of forensic psychological testing, which normally takes from three to five hours. The times vary depending upon how much information the client has to share and the complexity of the psychological areas being assessed. Usually Dr. Lunceford will also need to review a client’s medical and psychological records (other forensic, psychological, and medical reports) or any other documentation that contains important information relevant to the case.
The testimony of a Clinical Psychologist can help educate the judge and jury on the psychological elements of a case. Dr. Lunceford is available to testify in legal proceedings on a wide range of topics to include assessment of dangerousness, effects of trauma, malingering, psychological diagnoses, sexual assault, and other topics. Dr. Lunceford also performs comprehensive Qualified Medical Examinations (Panel QMEs) and Agreed Medical Examinations (AMEs) in workers compensation cases as well as Independent Medical Evaluations (IMEs) in civil cases.
Earning and maintaining the fact finder’s trust is paramount to an expert’s effectiveness. Dr. Lunceford’s relatable and straightforward approach helps her to connect well with jurors, allowing her to share her expertise in a manner that is both easily understood and highly trusted.
Expert Services in Criminal Law
Dr. Lunceford assists criminal attorneys with a wide range of issues that arise in criminal cases. Her expertise in human behavior provides psychological insight in the criminal courtroom. She offers comprehensive trial consultation including serving as an expert witness providing testimony on a variety of psychological issues and disorders. Additionally, Dr. Lunceford evaluates defendants in criminal cases for the California mental health diversion law that took effect in 2018 (Penal Code 1001.36, SB 215). If you need help with a criminal case, please contact Dr. Lunceford to discuss your case.
Expert Services in Civil Law
Many forensic cases are civil in nature and can benefit from the insights of an expert in psychology and human behavior. From cases involving large corporations to individual plaintiffs, Dr. Lunceford offers insights on the human experience. Dr. Lunceford performs the following types of evaluations: Fitness for Duty, Worker’s Compensation Evaluations (Qualified Medical Evaluations as a QME or AME), Personal Injury, Independent Medical Evaluations (IMEs) including Federal Worker’s Compensation claims under the Defense Base Act, and evaluations for other civil issues. This can be extremely helpful in educating and guiding the attorneys, jurors and judges in making a confident determination.
Military Courts Martial
Dr. Lunceford offers comprehensive trial consultation services including forensic evaluations and expert testimony to the Government and Defense in all branches of the military. She travels to work with the legal teams at each base from development through sentencing as well as offering complete trial consultation when travel is not necessary.