Expert Testimony

Lady Justice statue with document ring binders in law office

Jennifer J. Harman, PhD. has served as an expert subject matter witness on numerous civil and criminal cases within and outside of the State of Colorado (e.g., New Mexico, Nebraska and Ohio). Her role varies depending on the particulars of each case, but her primary roles have been:

  • As a "blind" subject matter expert witness who can educate the court about research on parental alienation and other forms of family violence. This type of testimony includes an overview of past and current research tailored to the particulars of the case (e.g., false memories).
  • As an expert who provides an opinion to the court based on data provided. This opinion is prepared based on an exhaustive review of materials provided to Dr. Harman, not limited to past and current custody evaluations, communication history of the parties, psychological evaluations, GAL reports and court orders, police reports, depositions of parties, affidavits submitted by collateral contacts, photographs, medical records, interviews with concurrently assigned custody evaluators, etc. As an expert, Dr. Harman tests multiple hypotheses in the data provided to her in order to ascertain whether parental alienation may be occurring in the family, and how severely it appears to be impacting the family system. She also provides recommendations for further evaluation and intervention.

Because the second role does not involve a clinical assessment of the parties, Dr. Harman is not able to definitively diagnose parental alienation; she is only able in these cases to infer likelihood and describe what it means if the likelihood were true. If the client is unable to find a custody evaluator who has a specialization in, or expertise to assess parental alienation, Dr. Harman can be appointed as a parental alienation expert to work with a court appointed evaluator in order to determine whether there is parental alienation occurring in a family.

Dr. Harman is not a custody evaluator, nor does she currently conduct clinical assessments of clients. Her expert opinion is therefore limited based on the role in which she is appointed and the data she is provided. Her fee for expert witness work is based on an hourly rate and a retainer is required.