a) Working as an assistant to the forensic psychologist, what preparation is needed to effectively serve as an officer of the court, as related to the specific scenario? In other words, what practices would you employ to effectively prepare for giving official testimony before the court?
b) Based on the facts of the case scenario and the framing questions outlined at the conclusion of the case, what approaches and strategies do you recommend for implementation? How do these strategies adhere to policies and procedures of practicing forensic psychologists? Substantiate your claims with scholarly research.
*Scenario* The Eggshell Defendant (Assessment of Psychological Injury)
Kathy Hall has had several episodes of clinical depression, the first one when she was 14 years old and the most recent one a year ago. She is currently 34 years old and takes an antidepressant at a prophylactic dose to prevent a fourth clinical depression episode. She has a high school education and no additional formal training. During her last job, she earned minimum wage. Kathy spends one day a week volunteering at her community library. The library was renovating one of the reading rooms and asked volunteers to help out with minor construction, painting, and clean-up. One of the city employees had just finished using a glass pitcher to store a caustic cleanser used to remove glue and paint from wood surfaces. During the busy clean-up, a young child asked Kathy for a drink of water. Unknowingly, Kathy mistook the pitcher of cleanser for
water and poured the child a glass. As a result, the child suffered serious burns throughout her mouth and down her throat. Kathy is not held liable for the mistake, but the city is sued since the cleanser was placed in the pitcher by a city employee. The family of the child wins a $4 million lawsuit against the city. After the incident, Kathy experienced an episode of clinical depression and blamed herself for the accident. City law allows the city to seek compensation from individuals whose actions result in significant financial loss to the city. Based on this law, the city initiates a lawsuit against Kathy. The defense against the lawsuit and reliving the experience causes further emotional harm to Kathy. The court appoints a forensic psychologist on this case to conduct a personal injury evaluation on Kathy, and you are hired by the forensic psychologist to assist him on this case.
1. What are some of the issues you may face during this evaluation?
2. Identify what harm that Kathy suffered is compensable. What standard for compensable damages would be applicable to this case?
3. How should the evaluation be conducted? What instruments should be used and what collateral sources of information, if any, should be pursued?
4. How might the fact that this client does not have any formal education and is currently unemployed affect how others will perceive her?