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ADVENTURES ON THE JOB | EXAMPLES FROM LIFE

When Court is a Mind-Field

Dr. David Glaser, 45, Encino

June 23, 1997

I thoroughly explore the inner workings of a person's mind when it relates to an event that ends up in court. A forensic psychiatrist is actually more akin to the cop; I am a detective of sorts. I spend hours with people, both in civil and criminal cases, attempting to understand why they acted in a certain way.

I straddle the line between medicine, psychiatry and the law. That's what makes it so exciting. Some of the most dramatic cases now are civil cases. In the Paula Jones vs. President Clinton sexual harassment case, that is the type of case in which either side could retain me as an expert, to interview and assess either Paula Jones or the man who, if convicted, would be the ultimate perpetrator--the president.

I testified in the O.J. Simpson custody case all day on the issues of Mr. Simpson, whether Mr. Simpson fit the profile of a batterer, whether Nicole Brown Simpson had symptoms of the battered-woman's syndrome, and whether or not it would be detrimental to the children to go back to their father.

I have evaluated murderers who tell stories about beating people to death with a club until the bloodied body is no longer moving. They tell it with no emotion. It can be quite terrifying--not that I'm in danger but that there are people out there like this.

I'm board-certified in forensic psychiatry. Most of my colleagues who are just certified in psychiatry hate being deposed and testifying. I love it. I'm particularly comfortable with attorneys. I talk the language.

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