Here is a sample direct examination of a forensic psychiatrist in a substantial incapacitation case.
Doctor where are you currently employed?
Were you ever on active duty in any of the services?
Please outline your educational and clinical experience?
Do you hold any active state medical licenses?
Are you board certified in any particular aspects of medical practice?
Can you please tell the members the nature of forensic psychiatry?
Do you hold any academic titles?
Are you a member of any national or international professional organizations?
Have you been or are you currently an officer in any those organizations?
Have you ever been given awards for your professional achievements?
Have you published any scientific papers or book chapters related to psychiatry or forensic psychiatry? Have you given lectures at scientific meetings?
Have you ever been qualified as an expert in military courts martial? How many times?
Have you ever NOT been recognized by the court as an expert witness?
Do you always work for the defense?
How is it decided which team you are assigned to?
Doctor, what education and clinical training have you received with regard to the effects of alcohol on human behavior, thought processes, and memory?
Have you ever had any clinical duties specifically related to alcohol use?
Are the effects of alcohol consumption well accepted within the medical community?
Are they described in medical textbooks as well as in scientific reports?
Of the cases you have testified in, roughly what percentage have involved the use of alcohol, either by the accused or by witnesses in the case?
Request that the doctor be accepted as an expert in forensic psychiatry and an expert in the effects of alcohol behavior, thought processes, and memory.
Doctor, will you please outline the materials that you have reviewed in preparing for this case?
And you have heard all of the testimony presented at trial?
Can you outline the first effects on people after they begin to consume alcohol? [disninhibition – impairment in judgment, impulsive, not weigh the future consequences of one’s actions]
Disinhibition – would you say that in that state someone would be more prone to do or say things that they would otherwise not do or say if not under the effects of alcohol?
What are some examples of things that people do as a consequence of disinhibition due to the effects of alcohol?
When people do these things – are they doing them voluntarily?
Do they have the capacity to decide whether or not to do those things?
Is it common for people who engage in activities while intoxicated to be embarrassed about those acts later?
What happens in terms of thinking and behavior if someone continues to drink alcohol?
How would they appear to others?
If a person continues to drink can it have an effect on level of consciousness?
We have head the term passing out – what is that from your professional perspective?
How does it differ from simply being asleep?
Doctor, what does the term “blacking out” mean?
How commonly does it occur?
How do individuals who are in a black out appear to others?
Could other individuals know whether someone is in a blackout state or not?
So when a person is in a black out state, does it mean that they cannot make decisions about what to do or not to do?
Do they have the capacity to decide to do some things and not others?
What are some examples things people do while in black out states?
Can they subsequently have regrets and remorse?
How would their emotional response appear after realizing what they may have consented to when intoxicated appear compared to the emotional response of someone who experienced a traumatic event to which they had not consented?
When individuals engage in behaviors, but have no memory of major components of such behaviors, how do they make sense of it?
Can individuals who have been in a blackout firmly believe and state with conviction that the circumstances of the evening were different than what they actually were?
When a person clears from being in a blackout and has only partial memories of what actually occurred, does their memory get clearer and more specific with the passage of time?
With the passage of time how do the memories from a truly remembered traumatic event compare with those from a reconstructed memory?
Did you see anything in your review of the case file that indicates that the alleged victim was in a blackout during portions of the evening prior to the alleged charges? Explain
All communications are confidential; however, free initial consultations with a military lawyer do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship.