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Court Evaluations

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 domains:
  • 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 disorders.

  • 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 consultation. 

  • 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 case.     

  • 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.



  © 2006: Mitchell W. Hicks, PhD.  All Rights Reserved.