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Keywords:

  • consulting expert;
  • work product review;
  • forensic case analysis

An emerging forensic service is that of conducting a work product review of a court-appointed child custody evaluator's evaluation and report. If the reviewer determines there are serious deficiencies in the work product, then the reviewer will provide consultation to the retaining attorney and expert testimony. The reviewer usually is in a hybrid role of consulting/advising the retaining attorney, testifying, and educating the court. Ethical issues in providing forensic services and rebuttal testimony as a reviewer are discussed. Both reviewers and evaluators have a duty to be objective and balanced in their analyses of data and issues. Both types of experts should strive to be helpful to the court and try to serve the best interests of children. Ethical nuances involving review work are discussed. Evaluator and reviewer share the same dataset. Evaluators need to take care to keep a high quality case record with legible interview notes. Reviewers provide a monitoring function for the court or a function of forensic quality control so the court will not be misled by expert testimony of evaluators that is based on flawed data collection and/or analysis. A list of questions is presented for reviewers to use in scrutinizing the quality of the custody evaluation. A list of questions is presented for examining the quality of the reviewer's own work product. The importance of a case analysis and use of conceptual frameworks by evaluators and reviewers is discussed.