Legal News

PTSD Symptoms Without Trauma

Checklists of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms are insufficient to determine that a person has suffered a traumatic event. That was an implication of the message given by Melvin Guyer September 19th at the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center’s conference in Las Vegas. Guyer is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan....
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Mothers’ Dilemma Eased

The Washington Legislature has amended RCW 13.34‘s shelter care provisions to prohibit a court’s removing a child from a parent’s care solely because the parent is uncertain whether allegations that the child has been abused are true. Likewise, the new law prohibits barring the child’s placement with another relative solely because the relative is uncertain....
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New Rules Aim to Improve Child Custody Evaluations

Psychologists in Washington state now operate under new rules when making child custody evaluations. The rules are in the Washington Administrative Code at Section 246-924-445. Among the new requirements: The rules prohibit a psychologist who has provided therapy to “any party involved in the evaluation” from performing a parenting (child custody) evaluation, except in special circumstances....
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Vaccinations Linked to “Shaken Baby” Cases

Recent articles suggest that some infant injuries attributed to violent shaking may instead have resulted from vaccinations. Pediatrician F. Edward Yazbak reviewed the findings September 28th at a conference of the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center. Many physicians believe that violently shaking an infant can produce a subdural hematoma (a mass of blood...
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Ambiguity In Advocate Privilege Law

A pair of recent enactments by the Washington Legislature leaves uncertainty about just who qualifies as a “sexual assault advocate.” Persons who qualify as sexual assault advocates are entitled to communicate in confidence with sexual assault complainants. The new laws are HB 2848, covering domestic violence advocates, and HB 2454, covering sexual assault advocates. HB...
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Washington Legislature Turns Screw Again

Continuing to ratchet up penalties for sex offenses, the Washington Legislature has set a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for persons convicted of certain sex offenses. The complex enactment, House Bill 3277, calls for prosecutors to allege and prove special facts in order to apply the 25-year minimum. The Final Bill Report summarizes the law and some of...
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Psychologist Debunks “Repressed Memory”

A short summary of the scientific case against the existence of “repressed memory” appears in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry for November 2005 (Vol. 50, pp. 817-822, and here). The author is Harvard psychology professor Richard J. McNally. He wrote on the subject at book length in Remembering Trauma(Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2003)....
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