David C Sarnacki
Oct 25, 2015
I was a big fan of the first edition and am happy to see the addition of nearly 100 pages in this second edition.
If there’s one thing you’ll learn from John Zervopoulos in his newly published, second edition, Confronting Mental Health Evidence, it’s: “How do you know what you say you know?” That key question is Zervopoulos’ tool for evaluating mental health reports and testimony. Zervopoulos brings his experience as both a psychologist and a lawyer to the challenges mental health experts present in court. He advises repeatedly that the simplest and best way to evaluate mental health professionals, their methods, their supporting materials, and their conclusions is that question: “How do you know what you say you know?”
Zervopoulos presents a thorough yet practical approach to understanding the intersection of psychology and family law. His book is educational, analytical and useful. It provides a solid introduction to the mental health profession. It delves into the Frye-Daubert arena of evidence. And it provides an immediate application to your family law cases. There are paragraphs that can be transformed into themes and theories for your opening statements and closing arguments. There are topics that can provide a structure for a persuasive direct examination. And there are significant points to be made on your cross examination.
Zervopoulos’s 297-page book subdivides into three parts: (1) three critical perspectives; (2) exposing analytical gaps; and (3) obtaining mental health records. Part One of Confronting Mental Health Evidence focuses on three critical perspectives that we must understand as we deal with mental health issues and testimony. In Part Two, Zervopoulos focuses on exposing analytical gaps and applying a scientific–critical thinking mindset. Finally, in Part Three, Zervopoulos shows how to obtain mental health records.
David C. Sarnacki practices family law, mediation and collaborative divorce in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a past Chai