Miscellaneous Expert Witness Roles in the Civil Courts

  • Seymour L. Halleck
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


In addition to assisting in child custody disputes and evaluation of psychic damages, the psychiatrist may be asked to assume the following roles in the civil courts:
  1. 1.

    The assessment of an individual’s competency to manage business affairs, to make contracts, to make a will, to be a witness, or to marry.

  2. 2.

    The evaluation of the degree of mental illness of an individual who is being sued.

  3. 3.

    The assessment of the mental status of parties in conflict over divorce.

  4. 4.

    Providing expert testimony for either the defendant or plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit.

  5. 5.

    Providing information regarding the psychological effects of repressive practices in suits involving the civil rights of certain classes of individuals such as mental patients who are prisoners.



Mental Illness Forensic Psychiatry Civil Court Organic Brain Syndrome Solitary Confinement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. R. Leifer, “Competence of the Psychiatrist to Assist in the Determination of Incompetency,” Syracuse Law Review14 (1963): 564. Google Scholar
  2. H. Weihofen, “Mental Incompetence to Contract or Convey” Southern California Law Review 39 (1966): 211.Google Scholar
  3. Note, Mental Illness and the Law of Contracts, Michigan Law Review 57 (1959): 1020. 6Ortolere v. Teacher’s Retirement Board, 250 N.Y.2d 196, 250 N.E. 2d 640 (1969).Google Scholar
  4. T. Szasz, Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry ( New York: Macmillan, 1963 ), pp. 72–78.Google Scholar
  5. R. Slovenko, “Witnesses, Psychiatry, and the Credibility of Testimony” University of Florida Law Review 19, no. 1 (1966). Google Scholar
  6. Note, Evidence—Courtroom Psychiatric Diagnosis—Valid or Invalid? Nebraska Law Review 30 (1951): 513. Google Scholar
  7. W. Prosser, The Law of Torts, 4th ed. ( St. Paul, Minn.: West, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  8. F. T. Lindman and D. M. McIntyre, The Mentally Disabled and the Law ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961 ).Google Scholar
  9. R. L. Sadoff, Forensic Psychiatry: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Psychiatrists (Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas, 1975 ).Google Scholar
  10. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). 16J. B. Robitscher, “Right to Psychiatric Treatment,” Villanova Law Review 18 (1972).Google Scholar
  11. U.S. Court Upholds Danger Exam Standard Psychiatric News 13no. 13 (July 1978): 1. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour L. Halleck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations