Malingering, Lies, and Junk Science in the Courtroom

by Jack Kitaeff


Cited as a scholarly reference by the United States Supreme Court in the case of U.S. v. Graydon Earl Comstock, No.08-1224 (November 4, 2009), this book presents a scholarly examination of some of the most popular psychiatric disorders, psychological syndromes, trauma disorders, addictions, and emotional injury claims in an attempt to determine if these are merely forms of malingering being used to achieve financial gain through litigation, or as a means of escaping criminal or civil responsibility. The book also examines unreliable and unsubstantiated treatment and assessment methods used by the mental health industry which find their way into the courtroom.

There has been a significant amount of research (and anecdotal evidence) recently presented in the scientific literature regarding many of the above-mentioned topics. In addition, there is a seemingly neverending parade of legal cases in the media which are examples of some of the topics of this book (e.g., the Andrea Yates case and others).

What distinguishes this edited book from others is (1) it does not shy away from confronting the unusual and even bizarre psychological phenomena which the legal profession must deal with; (2) it provides a solid theoretical review from renown psychologists, psychiatrists, and lawyers; (3) it provides the latest psychological research findings relating to various questionable disorders and methods; (4) it presents real-life experiences from the courtroom; and (5) relevant case law is discussed.

This book will be of monumental use to practicing attorneys and law students, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists, and students in mental health and criminal justice. The book will allow for a clear understanding of “syndrome” evidence, its uses and abuses, malingering, phony and bogus “diseases” and “addictions,” and how patients, clients, and defendants (as well as psychiatrists, psychologists, and lawyers) abuse the mental health and legal systems in order to escape criminal culpability, attain benefits, or make a case.


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