Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Perlmutter declares himself incompetent

The most striking thing about psychologist Ken Perlmutter's testimony was how many times that he admitted that he was incompetent. I mean that he was literally using the words "incompetent" and "not competent" to evade questions about his evaluation. When asked the most basic questions about our child custody situation before his evaluation, the reasons for his appointment, the outcome of a previous custody trial, the appropriateness of various parental behaviors, the applicability of psychological principles, criteria for defining abuse, comparisons of parenting abilities, the effectiveness of court orders, standards for denying legal custody, etc, he repeatedly claimed that he was incompetent to answer such questions. Yes, he said that he was literally not competent to answer.

When I challenged his expertise to testify, he had a very hard time argument for his qualifications. He claimed to have training and experience in child custody evaluations, but he was completely unable to explain how he brought any expert knowledge to bear on this evaluation.

After several questions about expert knowledge, he eventually claimed to have some knowledge about attachment theory, as taught by John Bowlby. When asked how this had any relation to the current evaluation, he admitted that there is none, and sounded as if he was just repeating some buzzword that he last heard in grad school. When asked what it was, he said that I could Google it to find out. I replied that I would have, if he had mentioned it when I asked him the same question during the deposition, but he denied any expert knowledge in that deposition. Nevertheless, the judge then said that he was qualified to testify after she heard him say Bowlby's name, and that I could challenge his testimony later.

I don't think that the judge realized that the attachment theory line was total BS. The theory has to do with how toddlers get attached to parents during the first two years of life. None of that has anything to do with my case. But the judge was surely disappointed at how Perlmutter repeatedly declared his incompetence on the most central and important issues of the case.


Anonymous said...

she's fishing for anything "scientific" to hang her hat on in terms of her rulings. It's just checking boxes that look good to ultimately cover her rear end. Standard operating procedure, family law really relies on psychology and its various practitioners to justify what it gets away with in the courts. Great that you cross examined and challenged Perlmutter like that, kudoes.

Anonymous said...

doesn't it seem obvious that it's his INTENT to be incompetent ? Look, you can't win. I want you to, desperately, too, but, if you demonstrate that he's incompetent, like you did with the first 8 or so other evaluators, then what's needed next, a tenth evaluator ?

Now, if you don't demonstrate that these evaluators are incompetent, though they can do it themselves, like Perlmutter, then he favors your ex having custody.

Aren't they all just setting it up for the next guy to run up more fees doing it again ?

The judge ? she's rolling her eyes or agreeing with him, or whatever..just another actor in the theatre.

Unfortunately, the evaluators, who NEED to see the former's eval. before doing their own, have orchestrated a sort of concensus.

If they've all repeated the same few of vague, accusations against you that have no merit, does it matter that each are a little kooky ? they all came to the same conclusion about you.

They're not right, but they all agree, and they all cash in.

that's how it works.