Tag Archives: Dr. Geffner

Arias trial 5/1 part 3- with Jury Q & A

Jury Questions (paraphrased)

1.  How do you feel events such as incarceration…can affect the tests?”     MMPI- increase paranoia, depression, anxiety. No effect on MMCI (long term traits).

2.  Could an individual score differently after a traumatic experience like killing someone than before?      Depends on tests. Trauma inventories- yes, definitely. Personality tests- yes, can be impacted…depression.

3.  Discuss high/low scales on validity page of the MMPI. (He goes through and most are normal). Exaggerating is elevated- distress/cry for help.

4. OK for old version of test / old version of DSM?     DSM gives criteria for diagnosis. Like a guide. Not good to use outdated one.

5.  Changes between TSI 1 and TSI 2?    26 new or rewritten questions, 6 rewritten or taken out.

6.  PDS valid if lying about the event?     If lied…yes that’s important. If this didn’t do it and it’s made up then where did it come from? Why occurring?   Showing PTSD? Evaluator needs to find out.

7.  Lack of hemorrhage (blood) = lack of injury to the brain?   I assume gun shot is after death…depends on how far after…maybe not as much.

8.  A gun shot at a short distance wouldn’t drop a person?   Depends on caliber.  Even shot gun didn’t incapacitate…usually if through the side it will.

9.  If you get no compensation for this case…any organizations you are involved in?     Yes, the Institute will bill for services. 70-80 hours so far, $85-250 an hour, total $13,000 – $14,000. A small part of our budget.

10.  Regarding lying on the tests?    Validity tests detect these people.

11.  Possible to manipulate the four tests?    I could probably…you can go on the internet for the MMPI, tell how to fake it. Not possible with a battery of tests.

12.  If Dr. Demarte had additional evidence to support BPD would you see it in her report?   Yes.   Did she include this?    A little bit…most were from after meeting Travis. Has to have a pattern over years.

13.  Criminal act (?) cause anxiety?     If close by.   Considering years in jail?    I didn’t evaluate her- not my role.  (Not sure I got these right).

14. Did you know you were evaluating Jodi Arias.   I knew they were (the tests) Jodi’s.

15. Had you heard of the case?    No.              I was basically given the tests. I didn’t know the details.

16. Can bullets travel (again I missed part)? Yes, if it hits something it can.

17.If there is…(I missed)  answer: I could not.

18. Something about the summary scales…?    I was informed by the defense that she did not know they existed. Not using it is one thing, not knowing about it is another. Also using it to diagnose BPD…there’s entire books written on the MMPI…

Follow up, JW:

  1. DSM tr didn’t have different criteria for PTSD.
  2. PDS still had a trauma it matters but doesn’t make it invalid.
  3. TSI tests were similar over years.
  4. If she had/has BPD how do you explain all the trauma?
  5. Bullets aren’t his specialty but it would have had to go through sinuses and deflect through motor strips. Also the membrane is intact.

JM is up:

  1. He goes through and asserts that her pattern of consistency in tests is LYING! They argue over whether ‘exaggerate’ means ‘lie’. JM says so if the prosecutor says he’s 6 feet tall…Dr: “It’s likely both.” They argue some more.
  2. PDS test is based on a lie. Does it call into question the validity of the test?  “Correct.”
  3. MMPI info- says valid, but maybe exaggerated?
  4. The different DSM books come out around every 10 years. Dr. Demarte gave the TSI 1 when the TSI 2 had been out for 6 months.
  5. He didn’t know Dr. Samuels indicated to look at a possible personality disorder.
  6. They argue over what he had said about Dr, Demarte being unqualified. It was partly due to what the defense lawyers told him.
  7. He is getting his salary for today as well as the Institute getting paid.
  8. He no longer treats patients. He consults. JM implies he testifies mostly and he denies it.
  9. The Dr. has only worked with 2 projectiles in the head. JM points out that is less in terms of experience to the one who conducts autopsies. He agrees.

JM calls Dr Horn, the ME back up:

  1. Autopsy photos back.  Not a lot of blood in skull=bled out/deceased. He draws the path of the bullet (a direct line). The brain was too decomposed to find the trajectory. If last wound it did nothing, if 1st then he would have collapsed within 1-2 seconds.
  2. JW on cross: It would take seconds for blood to drain from the system. Though the brain was like pudding he could still get slices. There was no wound track. He is not familiar with research about people with frontal lobe injuries being ok. Never in his experience.
  3. Juror Question (HLN cut off the beginning- I got something like Are they deceased when you do the autopsy? “I hope so.”
  4. JM –Gun shot immediately incapacitating? ‘If he was alive.” And if dead that would explain the lack of blood.
  5. JW-This is your opinion? Yes- my training and experience.
  6. Jury question about the intact membrane—he looks at his report and says it was a typo.
  7. JM re: the perforation- he says there would have had to have been as it sits right where the bone was tore apart.
  8. JW – You reviewed your report- Yes. You know this case is serious? Yes. You made a mistake?  Yes.
  9. JM brings in Dr. Jill Hayes she does mostly forensics psychology.  Bachelors in 1990 from Armstrong State College. Augusta State=Masters 1992. Took a year off study- worked in testing. Then Louisiana State U. 1998=PhD. Was on faculty at LSU-asst. Prof. Licensed 1999. Became Associate Prof- was with for 8 years. See patients, research, admin…Katrina hit- LSU under water so came to Az. Now mostly forensic, still sees some people and police officers. Testified 75 times, 50/50 defense /prosecution.

10. She is familiar with the TSI test. It requires a trauma. She has not reviewed the PDS test in this case. Question #14 –the trauma. If it is a lie –that would give you concern. If the premise behind it is a lie it calls into question everything else. If symptoms are based on a lie how valid?   Of course the test would be invalid. If you know something is a lie how do you know what is the truth.

11. Floating profile- almost 8 in elevated range. Who coined it- a person named ‘Strong’ and it meant that they are experiencing arousal, overwhelmed and applied to BPD. JM shows her JA’s profile.  An outdated term… a little, but still researched and used. JM: Dr. Gatchell said it is no longer valid…Dr. Hayes: With all due respect I would disagree…he has done more research and changed the name for his purpose with spinal patients. It still was associated with BPD patients.

12. TSI –Measures trauma. Are you incompetent if you use the TSI 1 after TSI 2 available? No…some wait for additional research to see if the new test works. The peer reviewed literature doesn’t suggest that either…there is no standard. Includes summary scales – it can. Requires summary scales.  The hand scoring = there is no spot for summary scores. I contacted the publisher and asked…and it wasn’t a requirement. You can just look at the 10 scales.

13. MMPI-Use for BPD? It’s helpful but need other pieces of the puzzle. You can’t just look at a few tests and come up with a diagnosis, you need to evaluate, interview…JM- Would you need to give any test before you gave this one? <Objection> To determine level of reading ability? You have to insure they can understand it. In this case WRAT 4. In this case was it to get more money? In this case it would only take 5 minutes.

14. JW-Can’t you just give them something to read? No- you won’t have any normed opinion- JA was at 12th grade level. If she had read through thousands of pages of Journal and texts and she can read/write, and IQ of 112…isn’t that enough to say she can read at a 5th grade level. “Well it’s 6th-8th grade level…if she had not done that she would have been criticized for not doing it. She only did reading recognition. I would have done it.” MMPI not used to diagnose. For personality and psychopathology. MCMI normed against known psych. disorders. More research done with regard to personality disorders actually on the MMPI. I would give both. If just one I would choose the MMPI as it’s better researched. MCMI is great for helping determine characteristics but MMPI is research based as well. Scoring and summaries on the TSI. Best to use updated tests? You will know it’s coming out.  Dr. H: Generally the research before is done by the people who own the test so they have a lot to gain. Also a wealth of research on the old test. Because she didn’t have it is that a good reason? It sounds crass but these tests can get costly. JW- You had to call somebody to check if summary scales were required? On this case- yes. JW: There are instructions on how to score summary scales? Dr: Not on the hand-scored test.

15. JW- Floating Profiles and Dr. Gatchell. ‘Formerly known as the floating profile’ because he works with pain management. It’s called a ‘disability profile’ with his patients. Many had BPD also. Didn’t review the PDS. JW-If lied about how the trauma occurred but there was still a trauma. Dr: If they only lied that once how do you know if they’re telling the truth? If trauma was a bear/no tiger- does that invalidate the rest of the test. Dr: I would be very concerned. When this is self-report and the initial event was a lie then how do you know the symptoms stemming from that are true? The symptoms could still be there whether tiger or bear…with proof. Need to also look for more evidence.

16. If your not sure about the PDS test and PTSD can you give other tests? ‘Definitely.’ You can’t then ignore the tests given.

17. She has done 4 Death Penalty cases in last 4 years or so. For prosecution in all those.

18. License in 1999- so four years. She has had previous experience, pratice means you have a license…I wouldn’t.

19. JM back up.  Tiger vs. Bear…Gopher?  Difficult to continue? Yes if no physical symptoms confirms they lie. If event didn’t occur how it was stated then symptoms may not be true.

20. Floating profiles- out the window? No, author is clear- he never said don’t use Floating…State rests.

Court resumes tomorrow at 9.

Arias Trial 5/1 part 2 (includes JM’s cross)

Afternoon Session

  1. JW goes back to his credentials- what National Organizations he is affiliated with.
  2. JW asks if he knows anyone from this case- he know Alyce DeLaviolette. They are colleagues. They do not work together.
  3. In this case he did not discuss testimony with anyone. He just went over the tests and reports mostly by Demarte and Samuels.
  4. She goes into some of the cases he has had prior problems with and they are mostly in the appellate stage when he has been through with the case. There was nothing unethical. Some testimony was struck.
  5. He is a Diplomate in Neuropsychology so he’s trained in brain function. He has seen 3 projectile frontal lobe injuries that did not incapacitate. He reviewed the ME’s report and since the membrane around the brain was not damaged he does not se how the brain could be affected. JW says the ME even said there was ‘No apparent injury to the brain.’ (This is news to me!) He also says the motor strips would have had to have been affected to lose motor control and they are too far back.
  6. The Dr. says he did not diagnose this case, he focused on records- not enough info to diagnose. He says Dr. Demarte doesn’t have adequate training/understanding of the tests. He cites not knowing about summary scales, the TSI 1 instead of the TSI 2, the TSI to diagnose BPD, floating profiles (outdated). He does say JA has consistent anxiety and trauma over the years.


J. Martinez is up:

1.  JM gets out a judge called him a ‘hired gun’ and it was at trial level—not appellate. That judge found his testimony ‘without merit.’ In the O’Rourke case the Dr. gave an opinion without speaking to the father (in a child custody case). In the Clark case he ‘lacked credibility.’ (See these cases cited in my earlier blog ‘What’s Wrong With Dr. Geffner.’) JM accused him of making things up. The Dr. admitted some was based on hearsay. In Hawaii some of his testimony was excluded.

2.  He admits knowing Alyce and co-editing her book.

3.  He does get his salary while in Arizona. JM says he will still show up to court and make things up.

4.  He’s been on the case since Nov. 2012, and then it was dropped until he came back 2 weeks ago.

5. They argue over the floating profile. The guy who came up with the test actually said in an article that the floating profile is frequently an axis 2 personality disorder, and that is most often BPD. The Dr. says it has been re-labeled. They argue over whether you can use the MMPI to diagnose BPD.

6.  There were signs of possible malingering and over-reporting on the test. They go over all of the elevated scales (we have done this at least 4 times- they are in an earlier post).  The most interesting ones elevated are ‘psychopathic deviant’ and ‘schizophrenic.’  <<Break>>

7.  JM cites a study where they took 61 people with BPD took the test and they had the same profile as JA. The Dr. does not agree.

8.  They go into the TSI tests. They argue because Dr. Demarte didn’t do the summary scales (which are, after all just summaries). JM implies if you’re smart enough you don’t need the summaries…you can do it yourself. They are not required (Dr. agrees). He doesn’t know how he knows she didn’t know about the summary scales. (I am losing it…) JM ends with: You need a summary? The Dr. starts to answer and says: “No…” and JM cuts him off with: “Thank You.” 

9. They are talking about the TSI being for trauma and the MMPI for personality. The Dr. starts to get into the area of the questions regarding sexual disfunction: # of partners, unprotected sex….

10.  Dr. Brier (sp) identified 89% of BPD patients with the TSI test- and he developed the test. Goes against what the Dr. said. The Dr. does not want to back down he says it is not for diagnosing.

11. JM asks how many times he’s gone inside a brain and looked at it?  ‘Zero.’

Ever do/been at an autopsy?  ‘No.’

12. PDS test has no validity scales. Is it important that you’re truthful about the trauma? ‘It is of importance.’ The Dr. says he only fills out forms for the impaired. If filled out with no trauma still valid? ‘It would be questionable.’ Is sitting and talking to take this test a red flag?  ‘Yes.’

13. JM shows photos of skull injury. The Dr. has nit seen these. Asks if he can tell the trajectory…he can’t. His opinion is based on ME’s report and his background. JM asks: “To understand you would go to an expert?”  “Yes.”


JW is up:

  1. She goes over the court cases…he testified against the judges ‘friends’ and there were complaints about the judge who retired after the case. In the Clark case his affidavit was limited due to time. The 3rd case he was told he had excellent credentials.
  2. The money made today goes to the institute.
  3. ‘Floating profiles’ is not used , it has to do with pain.
  4. You don’t diagnose with the MMPI. BPD and PTSD have some similarities.
  5. The malingering could be a ‘cry for help.’
  6. The high schizophrenia could be alienation or lack of ego. The psychopathic deviant could be impulsivity. The MCMI would be a better test.
  7. The Brier article is old (2-3yrs) and is about chronic pain.
  8. He is relying on the ME’s report. The membrane is intact so how could brain be affected?
  9. On the PDS she could have exaggerated but she didn’t.

10. ME said where the bullet entered and stopped. It’s possible it didn’t go through the brain.

Arias Trial 5/1- Morning (I will add another post later…)

Willmot direct of Dr. Geffner

  1. They go over his education. MA at San Jose State, Doctorate at U.C. Santa Cruz.
  2. His credentials…licenses (in Ca and Tx) . President and founder of Alliant International University (there are several campuses, he works in San Diego). He’s done research, training, testing. He is on salary and I think it was implied he is not getting paid for his testimony. He has 2 Diplomates (specialization…less than 1% of psych.’s have 2 Diplomates).
  3. Forensic work- for 30 years, over 200 cases; civil and criminal. Near 100 Death Penalty cases.
  4. No record of disciplinary actions against him and no valid complaints.
  5. He reviewed all tests, and rescored 2. He did not meet with JA. He read other psych. reports but not general trial info. like police reports.
  6. They go into tests and validity scales. JA passed all the validity scales. On the Milan (MCMI) she purposely tried to answer in socially desirable ways. On the MMPI she may have answered a little more negatively.
  7. You should not use any one test for a diagnosis.
  8. ‘Floating profile’ doesn’t exist.
  9. MMPI designed for personality traits, not diagnosis (including BPD and PTSD).

10. JW gives hypothesis – asking if JA is aggressive, defensive, hostile, and holding in emotions. He goes through her scores relating to these and they are in the norm or below on the MMPI.

11. JA does show elevated symptoms of PTSD on this test (even though he just said you are not supposed to use this to diagnose). They site her elevated anxiety, low self-esteem, submissiveness, and low self-image, trauma – her highest.

12. MMCI- is best for personality disorders. JA had high anxiety and PTSD scores. Her score on BPD was low/below average.

13. TSI his staff ran through the computer. 7/10 scales were elevated. He says the facts of the trauma don’t matter, just the impact/symptoms. Apparently Dr. Demarte said there were no summary scales and there actually are (JW is happy to point out). He says that Demarte’s asking JA to take the test and reply for a year and a half earlier is ‘not ideal.’ Also the newest version of the test should always be used. They go through the list of criteria (like we have done before several times) including anxiety and trauma. On the latest test her top score was dysfunctional sexual behavior. The symptoms are: “Consistent with PTSD.”

14. The TSI does not test for BPD, but a few of the symptoms do overlap. People can have more than one disorder. You cannot diagnose BPD after the trauma as it has to have been a pattern of issues since adolescence.

15. JW asks did the PDS test meet the criteria for PTSD? Dr: ”Yes, maam.”

16. JW: If (JA) was assaulted and her life threatened would it matter who assaulted her? Dr: “No- the focus is on the reaction to the event.” JW: If it’s a tiger vs. a bear? Dr: “Either way they suffered a trauma.”

17. Adverse childhood traumas increase the odds of being victimized again if untreated.

18. The Dr. says that there was no need to give JA the IQ test as it is not used to diagnose. The only reason (besides cognitive functioning) to give it would be to determine retardation or a learning disability…or to increase your fees.

Afternoon Session

  1. JW goes back to his credentials- what National Organizations he is affiliated with.
  2. JW asks if he knows anyone from this case- he know Alyce DeLaviolette. They are colleagues. They do not work together.
  3. In this case he did not discuss testimony with anyone. He just went over the testes and reports mostly by Demarte.

Dr. Geffner has a book on Amazon…good luck with that!

What follows are five reviews I am reposting (thanks, Amazon) one which has some new, disturbing info about the Dr.


liar #2 steps up to the plate!, April 24, 2013


BeckySee all my reviews

This review is from: Identifying and Treating Sex Offenders: Current Approaches, Research, and Techniques (Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Monographic “Separates”) (Paperback)

How sad that you are willing to ruin your career just to lie for a murderer, same as your friend Laviolette. So sad for true victims of DV.


Please look very, very closely at Robert Geffner, April 23, 2013


Bradley Hall (London United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Identifying and Treating Sex Offenders: Current Approaches, Research, and Techniques (Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Monographic “Separates”) (Paperback)

I believe everyone should read this book, and every book by Geffner, and closely examine the entire body of work and entire career of Geffner and of all of his close collaborators. I believe that what we will find will open our eyes.

In the footnotes on Page 13 of the Summary Judgment in favor of plaintiffs in Morris vs. Dearborne:

“17. The child was made to play a game where she was given points for circling the words “f* *k” and “p*n*s;” however, she was never able to do so without prompting. Additionally, Goforth asked the child to draw “lick p*n*s” and “f* *k” and even asked the child to “show [her] how to f* *k.” These counseling sessions took place under the supervision of GEFFNER, through CTPS.


TrinaSee all my reviews

This review is from: Identifying and Treating Sex Offenders: Current Approaches, Research, and Techniques (Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Monographic “Separates”) (Paperback)

You sir,and I use that term loosely, are nothing more than a PROVEN hired gun. Your co-hort Alyce, clearly failed at her attempt to convince anyone, much less a jury, that the defendant has been a victim of domestic violence and is really nothing more than a cold blooded murdered, so now you’re going to throw your hat in the ring, try to cash in on some of the money the tax payers of Arizona are dishing out, and it’s just plain disgusting. You are a hypocrite, willing to put your name on something you know nothing about. How many hours did YOU spend with the killer? 60, 80? More? How did your testimony work for Mrs. O’Rourke? Oh, that’s right, you never even interviewed the ex-husband. You took what was obviously, a very sick woman’s word for what she said happened and you were called out by every judge and every courtroom you entered because you are in fact, a hired gun. You’ll say whatever the highest bidder asks you to say and you’ve been found out. Good luck. You’re going to need it. Perhaps your time would be better spent buying Jodi some self-help books, or magazines that she can try to sneak out of prison with her sick notes written in them. You are GROSS!




Lori D. RaiaSee all my reviews

This review is from: Identifying and Treating Sex Offenders: Current Approaches, Research, and Techniques (Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Monographic “Separates”) (Paperback)

I have not read this book, nor would I ever even consider doing so. Any “Dr.” in their right mind who would aid in a Death Penalty Murder Trial such as the one Dr. Geffner is about to lend himself to, has no merit or intelligence in my opinion. Jodi Arias is a pathological liar and cold-blooded murderer, and how you could think otherwise is beyond me. I guess people would do almost anything for the almighty buck. So sad.


1.0 out of 5 stars LaViolette’s Cohort Conveniently Republishes & Testifies April 22, 2013

By susan ann westphal

Format:Kindle Edition

What is with these greedy authors republishing their overpriced, outdated books to coincide with their biased testimony in high profile trials? If they were testifying to help CONVICT Domestic Violence perpetrators instead of helping them towards acquittal, they’d be more credible, reputable & revered. If Geffner & LaViolette are so hungry for DV perpetrators to study & counsel, they should contribute to their incarcerations and then go visit them in prison. Or, maybe they WANT more victims just to validate their own existence and ensure job security for themselves?? Pathetic!


State to call another witness?

As you may know by now the defense wants their last witness, Dr. Robert Geffner, to rebut the testimony of Dr. Demarte regarding Borderline Personality Disorder. Now it has been confirmed that the defense wants Dr. Geffner to also rebut Dr. Horn, the ME’s testimony about the shot to the head. Just now I got a tweet from Jeff Gold, esq. about the state’s 17th supplemental witness list. They want Dr. Jill Hayes, PhD to rebut Dr. Geffner. This is really getting interesting!

Here’s a link to a bio of Dr. Jill Hayes:


What’s Wrong With Dr. Geffner?

Though Dr. Geffner has some pretty hefty credentials he also has some serious issues having been impeached in some court cases. Check it out:

1.  His background is impressive, he is the Founder and President of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute in San Diego, California. He has been a researcher and consultant for 28 years and has presented over 450 key note speeches.

2.  Now the bad news- for him: (This info is from a comment made by ‘Nancy B’ on the ‘My Crime Time’ blog). Regarding the Case of Cyndie O’Rourke v. James O’Rourke the court found Dr. Geffner to be nothing more than a ‘hired gun’ for the Mother in this case. This was a divorce/custody case where the Father prevailed. Apparently the MMPI test found ‘maladaptive personality traits’ in the Mother and Dr. Geffner challenged the use of the MMPI test and even went on to recommend that the Mother file ethics complaints against the other mental health professionals in the case.He felt he was the expert and the others were out of their expertise.  (Nancy B. shares a link for info. on the ‘My Crime Time’ blog). This indicates to me he will most likely imply the MMPI test is not valid in this case and Dr. Demarte doesn’t have the credentials that he does and her opinion is therefore inadequate.

3.  Dr. Geffner testified that he no longer treats patients but devotes all his time to consulting work related to his specialty. He has been an expert witness in a number of cases in different jurisdictions. Though he has testified in a great number of cases he stated that he did not remember very much about the facts of those cases.

4. In a Texas case; Clark v. Collins, 956 F.2d 68 (5th Circuit 1992) the court found that Dr. Geffner’s affidavit lacked credibility, in part because it was based on hearsay information supplied by the defendant’s attorney with no independent verification. (Sound like any defense attorneys we know who believe everything their client says?)

5. The court also excluded the Dr.’s testimony in Hawaii v. French, 129 P.3d 581 (Hawaii 2006) involving allegations of child sexual abuse.

6. In State v. Supulvado, 655 So.2d 623 (La. App. 1995) the court limited most of his testimony as he relied mostly on the information supplied by the defendant and he testified about effects of brain damage on emotional functioning though he is not a medical doctor.

7. So I dug a little more and found this:

Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). “[C]ounsel is strongly presumed to have rendered adequate assistance and made all significant decisions in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment. Id. at 690, 104 S.Ct. at 2066.

22 The state trial court found that Dr. Geffner’s affidavit lacked credibility for three reasons: (1) the evaluation, which makes conclusions as to Clark’s conduct in 1987, was conducted five years later, in 1992; (2) Dr. Geffner did not review the court records or a transcript of the trial testimony; and (3) Dr. Geffner relied upon records from Clark’s childhood in Pennsylvania, with no records since 1976, and upon hearsay information supplied by Clark’s attorneys, with no independent verification of the information, and interviews with Clark. The state court further found that, even if credible, Dr. Geffner’s affidavit does not support a conclusion that Clark was either incompetent or insane at the time of the murders, or that he did not act deliberately within the meaning of the first special issue.

8. Oh, and did I mention he was an editor for Alyce LaViolette?

Should be a field day for Mr. Martinez!