Vorwerk Forensic Psychology, Inc.

Expert Board Certified Forensic Psychology Services in California

Vorwerk Forensic Psychology, Inc.

Decades of Experience

Testimony in Hundreds of Cases

Thousands of Forensic Psycholegal Evaluations

Dr. Vorwerk is a Board-Certified Forensic Psychologist in practice for over 20 years. She has testified in well over 1,000 cases as a qualified Expert Witness.

Dr. Vorwerk and her associates Drs. Roos and Vickerman, are experts in the science and profession of forensic psychology.

Uncover |  Deconstruct  |  Analyze Communicate

Our goal is to uncover if there is a mental health element to the legal matter, and contribute valuable perspectives for counsel and/or trier of fact.

Michelle L. Vorwerk, PsyD, ABPP

Board Certified Forensic Psychologist, ABPP

Scope of Experience

Dr. Vorwerk has provided forensic psychological services for two decades, evaluating and diagnosing mental disorders in a legal context. She is the founder of Vorwerk Forensic Psychology, Inc.

Dr. Vorwerk has served as a qualified expert witness in hundreds of cases where mental state and psychological functioning were at issue.

 

Unique Credentials

Dr. Vorwerk is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, positioning her within the esteemed group of less than 1% of licensed Psychologists in the U.S.

Services and Specialization

Dr. Vorwerk specializes in psychological examination and assessment of civil and criminal competencies, emotional distress evaluations and mental illness and mental state factors.

Assessments include direct and collateral interviews of evaluees and investigation, and delivery of her conclusions by report and testimony.

In addition to civil matters, Dr. Vorwerk is contracted as a Forensic Psychologist to District Attorney offices and offices of the Public Defender across Southern California.

Dr. Vorwerk and her associates are uniquely qualified to perform and interpret neuropsychological testing of cognitive abilities.

Dr. Vorwerk further conducts psychosexual evaluations including sex offenders, criminal responsibility and miranda waivers. She routinely evaluates in mental health diversion cases, psychological mitigation, and juvenile and youthful offender cases.

Plaintiff and Defense

Dr. Vorwerk has testified as an expert witness for both the defense and prosecution.

She has testified in numerous California jurisdictions including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and Riverside Counties and much of Southern California.

Jessica L. Roos, PsyD

Dr. Roos is a licensed psychologist specializing in forensic evaluations in criminal and civil cases at Vorwerk Forensic Psychology, Inc.

Dr. Roos completed her doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She joined the California Department of Corrections, working in the prison system for five years providing crisis management, suicide-risk assessment, and individual therapy to severely mentally ill incarcerated individuals.

Dr. Roos assesses cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and personality functioning, along with assessment of other factors related to the forensic evaluation.

Lauren E. Vickerman, PsyD

Dr. Vickerman is a licensed psychologist specializing in forensic evaluations, at the intersection of psychology and criminal justice.

Dr. Vickerman completed her doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and subsequently joined Vorwerk Forensic Psychology.

Her work goes beyond routine evaluations, delving into the complexities of human behavior within a legal context. By exploring these ties, she strives to contribute valuable insights that are founded in a comprehensive understanding of the psychological aspects of the case in criminal or civil jurisdictions.

Our Services

Forensic psychological examination

Forensic Evaluations

Examination, interview, records investigation, psychological testing, synthesis

forensic psychologist and attorney conference

Psycho-legal Attorney Consultation

Helping attorneys understand and plan

Testifying psychologist

Expert Witness Testimony

Authoritative, well-reasoned, easy to understand

Forensic psychological reports

Forensic Reports

Thorough and articulate reports that set the stage for strategy and testimony

Forensic Evaluations

  • Personal Injury, Emotional Distress Damages
  • Psychological Factors, Causation
  • Psychological Examination
  • Civil and Criminal Competencies
  • Capacity Assessment
  • Criminal Responsibility
  • Sex Offender Risk Assessment
  • Violence Risk Assessment
  • LPS and Murphy Conservatorship Evaluations
  • Mental Health Diversion
  • Sentencing Mitigation
  • Youthful Offender/Franklin Evaluations; Juvenile Transfer Cases
  • Miranda Waivers
Forensic psycyhologist

What Sets Us Apart

Expertise

Extensive experience in forensic psychology means we bring a wealth of knowledge to each evaluation.

Thorough

Our evaluations go beyond surface-level assessments.

We delve into the intricacies of each case, considering the unique factors that may influence the psychological well-being of the individuals involved.

Objectivity

Evaluations are utilized to assess whether there is the presence of a mental condition or, conversely, malingering or symptom exaggeration as a result of the alleged injury. We strive for an unbiased evaluation.

Application to Case Disposition, Trial and Settlement

Our comprehensive reports showcase the psychological aspects of personal injury and serve as invaluable tools in favorable settlements, which can spare the attorney’s clients the challenges of a lengthy trial.

If the case does go to trial, we are prepared and skilled to deliver our findings to a trier of fact.

Testimony

Articulating scientific principles for a lay listener is a skill developed on the stand and in deposition.

Our testimony is valued for our delivery of conclusions that are logical, well-founded and professional.

Compassionate Approach

We recognize the sensitive nature of personal injury cases, and parties involved. We approach evaluations with empathy and compassion without sacrificing objectivity.

Emotional Distress, Psychological Factors

Torts and Allegations

The role of a Forensic Psychologist is pivotal whether the alleged tort is intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, or an allegation appears unfounded.

Investigation and inquiry by a qualified expert witness can be of profound assistance to attorneys and courts.

Presence or Absence?

  • Mental health injury
  • Connection, if any, between the traumatic incident and the plaintiff’s psychological state
  • The mental state of others who are involved, relevance
  • Malingering

Diagnosis and Degree

A psychological assessment becomes crucial when determining eligibility for compensation due to psychological injuries.

We strive to discern whether the involved parties are genuinely experiencing the reported distress or if the injury might be attributed to unrelated stressors.

For example, a preexisting condition or unique vulnerabilities in an examinee may introduce complexity to valuing cost of future treatment.

Mental Status Factors: A Point in Time

Mental health or illness can reveal something about the behavior of parties at a point in time, such as the moment of an accident. The “point in time” can also be a discrete span, such as a period of undue influence or alleged abuse.

Ongoing mental illness can muddy the waters and we consider those complexities. What is going on with a person psychologically? That is the question we address.

In thousands of criminal competency cases we have been asked this question, but it is applicable to any case where competency is relevant and mental harm has consequences. Even one event can be life-changing. There can also be emotional fallout for the family of a person so affected.

Personal Injury and Civil Claims

Allegations of mental distress are examined in cases like these:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice, Breach of Standard of Care
  • Harassment, Termination
  • Slip and Fall and associated negligence claims
  • Testamentary capacity and Probate
  • Sexual Assault
  • Workplace Accidents (not Workers’ Compensation)

The Cost of Damages

If liability is proven and a mental injury resulted, we consider the future impact and cost of plaintiff’s recovery. A psychological assessment becomes crucial when determining eligibility for compensation due to psychological injuries.

Impact on Settlement

In settlement negotiations, this cost is relevant even if liability is disclaimed as part of an accepted settlement.

 

Testimonials

“Dr. Vorwerk has testified for me on several cases.

Her credentials and expertise impress both judges and juries, but even more important, she knows how to make the most difficult concepts easy to understand.”

~ Attorney (name withheld by request)

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“Dr. Vorwerk’s incredibly detailed, sympathetic, and insightful report on a recent federal case quite literally took years off my client’s sentence.

Her report was quoted by the Judge, and gave him the tools to depart from the guidelines.”

~ Joel Garson, Criminal Defense Attorney

“A law is valuable not because it is law, but because there is right in it.”

– Henry Ward Beecher

Some of our recent clients:

Law Office of Lee Blumen

Garson Law Criminal Defense

Julie Anne Swain Criminal Defense Attorney

Los Angeles County District Attorney

Los Angeles County Public Defender

San Diego County Public Defender

Orange County District Attorney

Orange County Public Defender

Orange County Alternate Defender

Ventura County Public Defender

California Department of State Hospitals

The Board of Parole Hearings

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Non-Attorney Affiliate Bar Memberships

Orange County Bar Association
San Diego County Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Bar Association of San Francisco

Vorwerk Forensic Psychology, Inc.

27525 Puerta Real, Ste. 300-223
Mission Viejo, CA
92691

 

(949) 892-9800
mv@vorwerkforensic.com