Hello There, Guest! Login Register


Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Second Opinion Report
#1
Is there any way to get a second opinion before the courts when the family report seems to have bias?

For any serious medical condition I wouldn't think twice about getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion, but are you limited to 1 with the family report?

Any other options other than just critisizing it at the trial?

It would seem to make sense to get another experts opinion before the Judge.

Thanks
 
Reply
#2
This is a very interesting question that is more common than most people realise.

Litigants dispute family reports for two major reasons, one being simply because the report does not favour them, but there are also quite obvious cases of family reports being quite distinctly bias.

The following case might seem obvious, but I would suggest that the applicant was really lucky that the bias was so obvious to highlight.

http://www.familylawexpress.com.au/family-law-decisions/category/evidence/family-report-alleged-bias/

Bias I would argue is always a possibility when the family report writer decides not to interview one of the parents, or in some cases the children.

Dr Travis Gee wrote about this very point in the following article.

http://www.familylawexpress.com.au/family-law-brief/children/childabuse/falseallegations-childabuse/should-children-be-interviewed-for-family-report/2921/

But as to your precise question, I will defer to the moderator of this topic to provide a more qualified response.
 
Reply
#3
(05-Aug-2015, 08:35 PM)Meridian Wrote: Is there any way to get a second opinion before the courts when the family report seems to have bias?

For any serious medical condition I wouldn't think twice about getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion, but are you limited to 1 with the family report?

Any other options other than just critisizing it at the trial?

It would seem to make sense to get another experts opinion before the Judge.

Thanks

You are correct, a second opinion before the judge cannot be a bad thing, provided it is done right.  Thanks to the admin who posted one aspect of the problem with my article on interviewing kids. He raises good points with which I agree.  There is the possibility that an adversarial critique could be commissioned and submitted as an affidavit, but judges' latitude to exclude it could mean it doesn't get up in that form. 

If you are represented by a solicitor and/or barrister,they can take the key points from the critique and challenge the report writer on the stand with some hard questions. If you are unrepresented and commission such a report, then make sure the critique writer puts things in language that is clear to the layperson, so that you can do what a legal representative would do in the event of the critique being tossed by the judge. 

However you get it in, it is best to have someone with credentials equal to or greater than the family report writer provide input, because there may very well be questions raised that will not occur to the self-represented litigant or even the solicitor or barrister.

There are also ethical issues around the adversarial critique. In particular, if you have a friend or family member who is qualified to comment, ask them for a referral to a colleague. Ethical questions can be raised about what amounts to conflict of interest, termed "avoidable multiple roles," that can get them in trouble professionally, not to mention potentially sabotaging your case in the eyes of the judge.

Regards,

Travis.
 
Reply
#4
Hi Dr Gee.

I am now worried, having read this thread on Family Report writers, that the Family Report writer who was chosen by the ICL (quite enthusiastically I might add), will have the same ideology as the ICL.

I have a female ICL who has interviewed my ex-wife and our children, but has not asked to interview me.

I called her and said that I was available for an interview, and she said that this was not necessary.

When I asked why not, she said that she has got all the details she needs from my ex-wife.

Now, what is the point of going to Court if you simply rely on what one person says? How do you claim to represent the children, and refuse to interview one of the parents?

I thought what she was doing was unethical, but apparently it happens all the time.

I accept that I am stuck with the ICL, but can I now demand that I have a say in the selection of the psychologist?
 
Reply
#5
(18-Aug-2015, 07:39 AM)_robert Wrote: Hi Dr Gee. I am now worried, having read this thread on Family Report writers, that the Family Report writer who was chosen by the ICL (quite enthusiastically I might add), will have the same ideology as the ICL. I have a female ICL who has interviewed my ex-wife and our children, but has not asked to interview me. I called her and said that I was available for an interview, and she said that this was not necessary. When I asked why not, she said that she has got all the details she needs from my ex-wife. Now, what is the point of going to Court if you simply rely on what one person says? How do you claim to represent the children, and refuse to interview one of the parents? I thought what she was doing was unethical, but apparently it happens all the time. I accept that I am stuck with the ICL, but can I now demand that I have a say in the selection of the psychologist?
 

Hi Robert,  

You are right to raise the concern about bias. The correct language would be "apprehended bias," which is the appearance of favoritism, rather blatant in this particular case, and very suggestive of *actual* bias.  I hope you have the refusal to interview you in writing (eg., email) from the ICL. If you don't then I suggest you ask again, this time in writing, and put a 'return receipt' on your message so you know if/when the ICL read it, and can thus prove she did even if she claims she didn't later on.  As to what you ask for in court, you can always ask for anything, it's up to the judge to decide if it will be allowed.  Check with your lawyer (if self-representing, the duty solicitor) about how to word the request if at all possible.  

You also have to think strategically, and that is where you are best informed by a solicitor or barrister who knows the judge in your matter. Is it best to raise bias early and force the ICL's hand (or maybe get her replaced), or let the evidence accumulate so that the whole mess wil be apparent at trial? These are difficult issues, and often hamstring self-represented litigants who are going in 'cold.'  Don't forget, the ICL almost certainly *knows* the judge, and may (through other cases of which you are unaware) be quite confident that she can get away with it.  

Regards,

Dr. Travis Gee add you reply here...
 
Reply
#6
Hi Guys!


Glad to be the part of this forum!

Thanks for the article admin: http://www.familylawexpress.com.au/family-law-brief/children/childabuse/falseallegations-childabuse/should-children-be-interviewed-for-family-report/2921/

I have some doubts about the family reports which have been cleared now.
 
Reply
  


Bookmarks

Forum Jump:


Browsing: 1 Guest(s)