Tag: Psychology

Psychology

Mistrial Due to Expert Witness Testimony

A Stamford, CT judge declared a mistrial yesterday in the sexual assault case of a minor by police officer, Anthony Santo. Attorney for Santo, Gary Mastronardi, filed a motion for a mistrial after testimony offered by Child Guidance Center ‘s Dr. Larry Rosenberg, was so prejudicial to Santo that, “even striking his testimony would not keep the jurors from considering it in their deliberations.”
Interestingly enough, in a case argued by Mastronardi earlier this year, Connecticut’s Supreme Court upheld an appellate court reversal of the conviction of a Fairfield man on felony risk of injury charges. The Supreme Court agreed that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing an Expert Witness to indirectly testify about the truthfulness of a complaint’s allegations.
In this case, Dr. Rosenberg, a Psychologist, testified that 93 percent to 95 percent of the children who alleged sexual abuse are being truthful. The other five to seven percent were found to be coached by a parent. As there was no divorce or custody dispute in this case,  the inference was too strong that the girl was a victim of sexual abuse. “He went too far,” said Mastronardi. “He improperly and inappropriately commented on the credibility of the witness….” Comerford admitted that an error had been made in allowing Rosenberg’s testimony on the percentages of truthful minor sex-abuse victims. As a result, substantial damage was done to the defendant’s case. “Essentially what he was saying was the woman was telling the truth,” Comerford said. Based on the Supreme Court’s earlier decision regarding the truthfulness of a complaint’s allegations, Comerford granted Mastronardi’s motion.

Psychology

Psychology of Negotiation

What is the best way to approach a legal opponent?  Some would say the old “adversarial”  attack is the most effective – to come out with fists flying.  In other words, YOUR agenda as the TKO.  From a psychological standpoint, a little sparring would better serve your purpose.

It is common in many sports to put yourself in the shoes of your opponent so that you can better anticipate their moves.  The same is true for legal negotiations.  According to Dr.  Kenneth J. Manges, PhD, a Forensic Psychology Expert, sometimes it is necessary to, “…Give your perspective a rest and invest yourself in opposing counsel’s position.”  In his article entitled,Psychologically Speaking©: Negotiation 101,” Dr. Manges goes on to say, …”Role playing your opponent will prepare you for their way of thinking, which will in turn get you thinking more clearly about how you have to counter what they have to offer.”

Read Dr. Manges’  Full Article

Dr. Kenneth J. Manges is a Vocational and Psychological Expert with over 30 years of experience. He is certified in Forensic Psychology, Emotional Trauma, Wage Loss, Disability, and Crisis Intervention and is recognized as an Expert in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder