|Law Library News|
Book of the Week
· Family Evaluation in Custody Litigation: Reducing Risks of Ethical Infractions and Malpractice, by Andrew H. Benjamin and Jackie K. Gollan (American Psychological Association, 2003) (KF505.5 .B46 2003 at Classified Stacks)
The first section of the book sets the stage, discussing the context of custody litigation and some standards of practice for psychologists. The next section offers very specific procedures for conducting evaluations -- from scheduling the parents, to videotaping sessions with children, to writing up results promptly. The third section gives drafting guidance for the report. Two lengthy sample reports allow the reader to look inside a messy divorce, showing how a psychologist could describe two parents, their relationships with their child, their allegations about one another, and the psychologist's own assessments. The case study is detailed and rich -- and also painful, when one imagines all the children who are doubtless caught up in similar situations.
While it is aimed at psychologists (and others) who are called upon to serve as experts, the book should also be of interest to lawyers, especially those involved in family law. By becoming familiar with the mental health professional's perspective, a divorce lawyer would better be able to determine when such an evaluation would be appropriate and to work with the court and the parties if one is ordered.
® Ed. Note: Dr. Benjamin is a part-time faculty member in the University of Washington School of Law.
Last week we asked the question: On how many of the fifteen 5-to-4 decisions handed down by the Supreme Court in its 2002-2003 Term were Justices Rehnquist, O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas aligned? The correct answer was six and the First Fabulous Trivia Prize went to David Orange, who walked away with a backpack-friendly thermos, compliments of Westlaw. David found his answer at http://www.centerforfreedom.org/legal/opinion_statistics.pdf, but the answer was also available in one of the print resources identified in last week’s Law Library News, i.e., the September issue of the Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, which can be found in the Reference Office at KF101.1 P7.