How Does Forensic Psychology Affect Case Outcomes?
First let us be logical. The most important part of any case is the facts. The second most important part is the lawyer who presents them. Somewhere in the middle of the list is the use of a forensic psychologist. What he or she is supposed to do is bring to a case objectivity and scholarship. A good forensic psychologist accesses the relevant literature searching for the most recent findings relevant to the case at hand. Whether it is “overnights and the young child” or “the importance of tutoring to a child with ADHD” the forensic psychologist will report the most recent findings to the lawyer. Also the forensic psychologist is the only mental health professional who has been trained in psychological assessment that is empirically based. He or she is familiar with the relevant tests for any given situation as well as their administration and scoring. He/she also have been trained in interpreting test data further in forensic rather than clinical setting.
Finally, the forensic psychologist can address methods of remediation in any given case. In family law, this might mean how to handle alienation, post traumatic stress disorder, or child abuse. In personal injury cases, this may require recommendations for a particular type of psychotherapy or relaxation techniques.
In summary, many legal cases involve psychological variables that can best be addressed by the use of a forensic psychologist. Determine whether your particular case can use such a professional.