This edition is no longer for sale. However, the Second Edition is available.


In this practical and entertaining book for forensic psychologists, Stanley L. Brodsky, a leading teacher, scholar, and expert witness, describes court work and the legal context in a yarn-spinning style that is friendly, informal, and more explanatory than adversarial, bringing gentleness and humor to a potentially combative arena.

Brief topic-focused chapters, each summed up with a maxim, teach readers a great deal about the typical ploys and techniques used by attorneys to draw out information, either supportive or contradictory. In addition to offering principles, lessons, and maxims, this volume addresses specific questions, challenging testimony, and worst-case scenarios, many posed by people who have contacted the author about their own courtroom snafus. While clearly recognizing the gravity of the expert witness role and of the oath of honesty, Brodsky emphasizes the exhilarating intellectual and professional challenge involved in mastering the courtroom setting.

Table of Contents



  1. Arbitrary Pigeonholes
  2. Asked and Answered
  3. Back to One
  4. Bulletproofing
  5. Confabulations
  6. Context: 1. Choosing a Phrase
  7. Context: 2. Minor Gaps
  8. Daubert Hearings
  9. Discovery and Discoveries
  10. Ethics in Expert Witness Testimony
  11. Evasive Responses: Hopeless but Not Serious
  12. Experience Does Not Count
  13. Expert Witness as Master Teacher
  14. Floccinaucinihilipilification
  15. For Better and Worse
  16. Gender Labels
  17. Illusory Documentation
  18. Inflammatory Questions
  19. Integrity Checks
  20. Internet Vulnerabilities
  21. It Would Be So Nice if You Weren't Here
  22. Language: It's a Virus
  23. The Last Word
  24. Lawyer Bashing
  25. Lay Witnesses
  26. Offensive Language
  27. Personal Attacks
  28. Practice Answers
  29. Pulling and the Push–Pull
  30. Real and Apparent Ambiguities
  31. Reconstructing Your Testimony
  32. Shifts in Testifying and Consulting Expertise
  33. Silent Treatments
  34. Sleight of Hand
  35. Social Construction of Illness and Disorders
  36. Taints
  37. Tape Recording of Evaluations
  38. Telephone and Videotape Testimony
  39. To Cry, to Faint
  40. Traps of Common Sense
  41. Trivial Pursuits
  42. Ultimate Opinion Testimony
  43. What I Don't and Do Like to See in an Expert Witness


Appendix: Recommended Readings

About the Author