The issue of being a third party observer at a defense neuropsychological evaluation continues to be a hot topic both in the neuropsychological field as well as the legal field. Defense neuropsychologist raise the specter that having a third party observer present during the neuropsychological evaluation will invalidate the testing while plaintiff attorneys argue defense neuropsychological evaluations are in no way independent, but adversarial, necessitating the need to have a third person present to verify the statements made by the defense neuropsychologist.
Recently, this issue was the subject of a hearing in the State of Louisiana. Defendants request that the plaintiff undergo a defense neuropsychological evaluation. Plaintiff indicated that he would not permit his client to undergo that evaluation unless his client was accompanied by third person. The defense objected, noting that such a request violated the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) policy on third part observers.
The plaintiff submitted the report of Linda Lindman, Ph.D., whose Ph.D dissertation was on this topic. After reading the filed papers, the Court entered an Order in favor of the plaintiff stating that the neuropsychological IME could be recorded via videotape behind a one way mirror. The Court also ordered that any and all potential ethical considerations and violations as cited by the NAN not be asserted, prosecuted or alleged by plaintiff in any capacity against the defense neuropsychologist for the videotaping the neuropsychological IME behind a one way mirror. Day v. Valley Forge Insurance Company, 21st Judicial District Court for the Parish of Livingston, State of Louisiana, Division "B," number 122923.