Forensic Psychiatry at West Virginia University is a division of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry established in 1998 to address clinical, legal, educational, academic, and public policy concerns involving law and mental health issues. The division has implemented a broad scope of services and programs to serve the University and local and state community.
Professional services are available to attorneys, judges, government organizations, law enforcement, business corporations, and others. The division offers experienced and unbiased professional opinions about a wide array of legal questions, including criminal and civil competency, the insanity defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and fitness for duty. The vast resources of West Virginia University may be tapped to provide comprehensive assessments and accurate, credible opinions, and reports to referring parties. Deposition and testimony are easily scheduled. Rapid turnaround time is a priority.
The Forensic Psychiatry Division was accredited in 1999 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to provide advanced training in this field. It is the only Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship program in West Virginia.
The division acts as a resource to state and administrative organizations in the creation of public policy or statutes when the disciplines of law and mental illness interface. Contributions have been made in the areas of sex offender evaluations, criminal responsibility, and civil commitment laws.
As director, Dr. Cheryl Hill coordinates the evaluation of all types of forensic mental health cases. Preliminary and exhaustive record review is available.
Clients are scheduled for interview promptly with the appropriate person in the division. Psychological testing is performed when indicated. Advanced forensic methods such as the Abel Assessment of Sexual Interest, measures of malingering, and extensive neurocognitive testing are available.
To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call 304-293-3331 and speak with Sophia Bienek-Cate, forensic coordinator.
Consultative opinions may be requested in complex cases. Accurate reports are generated with a rapid turnaround and present clear, concise opinions that are independent and objective. The faculty and fellows have cumulatively assessed more than 600 forensic cases and are experienced in deposition and expert testimony.
Evaluations performed include:
|Emotional Injury||Psychiatric Malpractice||Testamentary Capacity||Waiver to Adult Court|
|Competency to Stand Trial||Sexual Harassment||Battered Woman Self-defense||Juvenile Placement|
|Insanity Defense||Workplace Violence||Automatism Defense||Child Custody|
|Diminished Capacity||Brain Injury||Bail Evaluation||Child Abuse|
|Competency to Confess||Malingering Evaluation||Release of Insanity Acquitee||Parental Fitness|
|Sex Offender Evaluation||Wrongful Termination||Dangerousness||Termination of Parental Rights|
|Workers Compensation||Conservatorship||Competency of Witness to Testify|
|Fitness for Duty||Guardianship||Sentencing Evaluation|
Others services offered include case consultation and preparation, jury sampling, jury selection, and educational programs.
Fee Schedule and Billing Policy
Forensic psychiatry services are billed at an hourly rate in 15-minute increments as follows:
Preliminary phone consultation: No charge
Case Work: $350 per hour
- Report writing and editing
- Review of records (about 1 to 2 hours per inch of record)
- Deposition (and preparation for deposition)
- Testimony (and preparation for testimony; also waiting “in court time”)
- Psychological or neuropsychological assessment (PhD time)
- Research (unusual cases, attorney must approve)
- Attorney assistance (development of cross examination questions, report critique, jury selection, etc)
Case Management and Testing: $200 per hour
- Psychometrician testing
- Phone consultation to discuss cases or results
- Travel (greater than 30 minutes)
- Cancellation less than 24 hours, no show for interview
Expenses (with attorney authorization): $ per expense
Contractual rates vary. Services are billed based on time, regardless of content or results. Estimate of time or cost per case may be requested. Cases may be time limited or expense limited on request, but may not result in final opinions. Brief “Summary Reports” are also available.
Civil cases are scheduled upon receipt of retainer. Retainer forms will be provided to referrers. Excess retainer will be returned promptly at the conclusion of services. Statements are mailed monthly. The referring attorney, firm, or agency is responsible for remittance for all matters pertaining to a case, including deposition by opposing counsel, unless otherwise arranged.
Retainers and checks should be made to University Health Associates and sent to:
University Health Associates
Attention: Tammy Leatherman
Chestnut Ridge Center
930 Chestnut Ridge Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
Cheryl Hill, MD, PhD
Director of the Forensic Fellowship Program
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry
930 Chestnut Ridge Road
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2854
E-mail: Sophia Bienek-Cate, MA, firstname.lastname@example.org