Specialized Forensic Services
Dr. Hicks is available for
certain types of specialized forensic assessment services, and may be
retained by either an attorney or appointed by the court. The purpose
of these services is to provide a fair, objective, and defensible evaluations
to aid the judge or jury in reaching conclusions.
Dr. Hicks provides consultation to legal professionals in four forensic
Criminal proceedings involving competency to stand
trial, to waive Miranda rights, to confess, or to be executed, and the
identification of psychological factors relevant to sentence mitigation.
This can include either psychological factors (e.g., a serious mental
illness such as schizophrenia) or problems with intellectual capacity
(e.g., mental retardation).
The evaluation and treatment of personal injury
and workers’ compensation claimants presenting with conditions such as
post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other psychological
Review of records with respect to standard of care, and
to assist counsel in the development of direct and cross-examinations.
Dr. Hicks may also be able to assist in other matters
not listed above. He is available to discuss the specifics of your
client's case to determine if he can be of assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can an evaluation help me in my case?
The answer to this will vary depending on the specifics of your case.
Sometimes, the evaluation is ordered by the court to answer a specific
question (e.g., is this person competent to proceed to trial?) and at
other times it is a question raised by an attorney (e.g., is this person
experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder that is caused by a certain
event or serious of events?). But I should note that this question
is sort of a trick. The evaluation may have the potential to help
your case, but there is also the chance that it will not (e.g., despite
suffering from schizophrenia, a person may still be competent to stand
trial). I cannot guarantee that the results of my work will always
be helpful. Rather, I can promise to provide a fair and objective
evaluation of the question before the court.
What are your rates? Pricing for
assessments pertaining to legal issues is very different than for clinical services. Charges
are determined by the hour, and are different for different types of
activities. For example, time providing depositions or testimony
is priced differently than travel required to complete the evaluation.
Please have your attorney contact me directly for an initial fee
Are there any types of evaluations you will not do?
I do not conduct child custody evaluations or neuropsychological
assessment. There are also certain questions that simply cannot be
answered through psychological services. It is best if you or your
attorney call me initially so that we can determine if I have the
requisite knowledge required to answer the questions relevant to your
I am interested in retaining you. What should
I do? It is important that you ask your attorney to contact
me directly to discuss your case and needs. There are two
important reasons for this. First, it is imperative that it is
determined whether or not my services will be helpful to advance your attorney's
theory of the case (insofar as this is possible; the evaluation results
may not actually be helpful to you). There are cases where a psychological
evaluation may actually work against your interests. This leads to
the second reason, which is that if I am retained by your attorney then
my work is often protected from discovery by attorney-client privilege.
He or she will know the specifics and limits of this, and thus is in the
best position to advise you on these matters.
In what counties will you provide services?
Being licensed in Illinois, I could theoretically work anywhere in the
state. However, the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Lake,
and Will are most convenient to my practice location. Because I am
a licensed pilot I can usually get anywhere in the state of Illinois in
a reasonable amount of time, and an happy to work something out for me
to work with you.
Where do you typically work? My office is
located in Arlington Heights, and directions can be obtained
here. Some evaluations
will of course require me to travel to a correctional institution, and
under some circumstances I may be willing to travel to another location
(e.g., attorney's office)
I/my client/my loved one is currently in custody.
Will you travel? Of course. I will work with the
attorney on the case to gain access to the facility.
Do you work on contingency? No.
While this is the way some attorneys work in certain types of cases,
this is generally considered inappropriate for psychologists in forensic
cases. I will not be in a position where I must testify under oath
that I do not get paid unless the case is won. This could leave
the impression that my objectivity will be compromised, and ultimately reduces the
effectiveness of my testimony.