Speech-Language Pathologists as Expert Witnesses
Speech-Language Pathologists as Expert Witnesses
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  • A child has a bilateral cochlear implant. Her receptive language and expressive language are both below expected milestones, and her parents are considering suing.
  • A cruise line is sued after a young passenger suffers a head injury.
  • A deaf man has been fired and brings a case for wrongful dismissal against the company.

What links these legal disputes together is the need for an expert in communication disorders—a speech-language pathologist.

This groundbreaking book provides a comprehensive resource for speech-language pathologists who may already serve as expert witnesses, for those wanting to broaden their practice to include expert witnessing and for those who may find themselves involved in a dispute or due process hearing. Complex concepts are explained through numerous case studies as examples of disputes in all work settings.

Brenda Chafin Seal and Lissa Power-deFur draw on their many years of experience as speech-language pathologists and as expert witnesses to help you understand all of the following:

  • the roles and responsibilities of expert and fact witnesses
  • the ethical issues involved in both agreeing to serve as a witness and in serving as a witness
  • preliminary and contractual tasks required of expert witnesses
  • legal terminology and procedures used across the nation and in different states
  • the legal framework and background for different types of disputes
  • the importance of documentation, including clear communication, throughout the process
  • business considerations, including conflicts of interest as well as financial issues, and employment issues
  • how following best practice can avoid or mitigate litigation
  • how reflection and assessment can improve expert witnessing under the scope of practice

Speech-language pathologists are uniquely positioned to offer expertise in communication and swallowing disorders disputes and to disambiguate confusion in complex cases. This book will give you the insights you need as a confident and knowledgeable witness to represent yourself, your client, and your profession in malpractice, health care disputes, privacy and confidentiality breaches, abuse, child custody, fraud, special education conflicts, criminal cases, civil rights claims, and more.

Soft cover, 232 pages

“Fireside Chat” with the Authors

Dr. Brent Roberts, Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University chats with Dr. Lissa Power-deFur and Dr. Brenda Chafin Seal on their co-authored book, Speech-Language Pathologists as Expert Witnesses.

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Finally, a text that discusses the tricky nuances of our roles as expert witnesses in speech-language pathology. Drs. Seal and Power-deFur have written an easy-to-digest manuscript on the important aspects of our professions’ place in the field of expert witnesses. A meaningful and long-awaited resource!

—Melissa S. Passe, MA, CCC-SLP

This book should undoubtedly be the “official handbook” for any speech-language pathologist considering the role of expert witnesses and even those who identify as experienced expert witnesses. As one who has experience as a speech-language pathologist expert witness, going through every chapter of this book, I can say with absolute confidence that every aspect an SLP would need to know to prepare and serve as an expert witness can be found in this book. Additionally, the supplementary examples provided throughout the book truly elevate the content and make it easier to apply. Not only did they include the details of how to serve as an expert witness, but I appreciate the invaluable inclusion of ethical considerations. This area of work brings on an added level of complexity to ethical decision-making, but the authors of this book break down that complexity to deliver this content to the reader in a thorough and comprehensible manner.

I look forward to having this book as an addition to my own professional library as a reference tool while I continue to practice, teach, and consider future expert-witness requests. I would have loved to have had this book when I began my expert-witness journey. I highly recommend this book to any SLP at the beginning of that path to being an expert witness and for those already there. No matter where you are on that journey, this book has knowledge that you can use to advance your skillset.

—Kia Noelle Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

In the increasingly litigious environment that surrounds the practice of speech-language pathology, Brenda and Lissa’s book provides expert and firsthand guidance. The in-field and out-of-field scenarios serve to inform professionals about what to expect when they are called upon to serve as expert witnesses. Furthermore, the book provides information on many aspects of the legal world—including being deposed and what to expect when testifying in court. It is a must-read for professionals from speech-language pathology who find themselves in a legal arena for any reason.

—Perry Flynn, MEd, CCC-SLP

Product Information

Item #(s): 0113781, WEB15237
Client Age: All Ages
Format(s): Books, eBook
Language: English
Author: Brenda Chafin Seal, PhD, CCC-SLP and Lissa Power-deFur, PhD, CCC-SLP
Publisher: ASHA Press