Family Court Review

Vol 43 No. 2 Apr 2005

This issue of Family Court Review is devoted to Issues related to Custody Evaluations. It includes the following:

  • Symposium Issue on Child Custody Evaluations
  • Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations—Timothy M. Tippins and Jeffrey P. Wittmann

Commentaries to Tippins and Wittmann

  • Commentary on “Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations:” What Now?—Thomas Grisso
  • Making a Place at the Table—Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Glesner Fines
  • Commentary on Tippins & Wittmann’s “Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations:”–Joan B. Kelly and Janet R. Johnston
  • Commentary on “Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations:–Hon. Arline S. Rotman
  • To Recommend or not to Recommend—Lorraine Martin
  • A Second Call for Clinical Humility and Judicial Vigilance—Jonathan W. Gould and David A. Martindale
  • The Benefits and Risks of Child Custody Evaluators Making Recommendations to the Court—Philip M. Stahl
  • A Short Commentary on “Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations”—Hon. Linda Dessau

Tippins and Wittmann’s Rejoinder

  • A Third Call—Timothy M. Tippins and Jeffrey P. Wittmann

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About The Authors

timTimothy Tippins Esq.

Timothy M. Tippins, Esq. is an adjunct professor at Albany Law School and serves on the faculty of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and on the Affiliate Postdoctoral Forensic Faculty at St. John’s University. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Forensic Psychology at Siena College. He is a private practitioner who has engaged in matrimonial and family law practice since 1975 and devotes his practice exclusively to serving as trial counsel and consultant to other family law practitioners on a nationwide basis, with special emphasis on the presentation and cross-examination of expert mental health testimony. Tippins has served in all major professional leadership positions in the New York family law community, including President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – New York Chapter, Chair of the NYSBA Family Law Section, and Chair of the NYSBA Task Force on Family Law. Tippins is a regular feature columnist for the New York Law Journal and is the author of the multi-volume treatise New York Matrimonial Law & Practice (West Publishing).

Company Name: MatLaw Systems Corp.

picture-21Dr. Jeffrey Wittmann

Dr. Wittmann is a licensed psychologist and trial consultant whose practice concentrates on trial support for attorneys in custody and access matters and on forensic work-product reviews. He serves as a consultant for major law firms nationally and has provided custody evaluation services both at county clinics and in private practice since 1985. He previously held an appointment as Adjunct Clinical Professor at SUNY Albany where he taught forensic psychology at the doctoral level. Dr. Wittmann is a recognized expert on the intersection of law and psychology, on professional practices in the child custody area, and on Frye/Daubert issues related to expert testimony in family matters. He is regularly on the faculty for training seminars offered to attorneys and mental health professionals, and has been a frequently utilized scholar-trainer for judges in Family, Supreme, and Appellate courts in New York and elsewhere nationally. Dr. Wittmann is on the editorial board of the Matrimonial Strategist and previously served on the board for the Journal of Child Custody. He is the author of “Custody Chaos, Personal Peace” (Perigee, 2001) and of numerous professional articles regarding forensic psychology. Together with Timothy Tippins Esq., he is the author of Empirical and Ethical Problems with Custody Recommendations: A Call for Clinical Humility and Judicial Vigilance, an award-winning article published in the Family Court Review in 2005 that generated widespread scholarly debate and that is a frequently-used template for critiquing the custody evaluation process. His CAAS model for analyzing child custody evaluations is the first comprehensive tool designed specifically to assist attorneys in negotiations and trial preparation, a model he outlines in his book entitled “Evaluating Evaluations: An attorney’s Handbook for Analyzing Child Custody Reports” (MatLaw, 2013).