Alyce LaViolette Is Back In The News & We Are Still Not Buying What She is Selling

By | August 27, 2013

Alyce Laviolette is back in the news. Recently she was interviewed by CNN’s Ted Rowlands. She once again took to the public airwaves to have her words presented to the millions of people. She was not forced to give this interview, just as she was not forced to testify on behalf of Jodi Arias.

ALVIn her interview, Ms. LaViolette said that she would not be testifying in Jodi’s upcoming trial because of the death threats and negative backlash that she received when first testifying on Jodi’s behalf.

If you remember after her testimony in the first trial she was quite indignant that she was being severely criticized by many people including public spokespeople for domestic violence organizations.

Remember people, when you voluntarily decide to ascend to the national public podium you can no longer hide your words from widespread national scrutiny. Millions of people will listen to you, judge you and form and vocalize an opinion. Alyce thought that she would be well received. She was not. The opinions and ideas that she had formed and worked on over many years were now being placed in front of a very large public audience. Her theories were no longer being presented to small groups of people. Her theories were now placed before the public at large. She quickly found out that most people simply didn’t accept the “wisdom” that she was trying to sell.

Alyce was shocked to see how the public reacted. Before she decided to testify, someone who cared about her well-being should have taken her aside, and told her the following. “Alyce, you’ve been a small fish in a small pond. Your ideas and theories may be right or may be wrong but most people have never come across or been presented with your theories. Millions of people will watch or read your testimony at the Jodi Arias trial. If you’re right in your theories of domestic violence, then most people will agree with you and you will be well received. But if your theories, thoughts and conclusions about Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander are wrong, you will be severely criticized and rejected. Do you want to take that chance at this late stage of your career? I mean, you’re just about to retire and in that small pond in which you’ve swam, nobody’s paid too much attention to you. You pretty much swam where you wanted to and said what you wanted to. Nobody really challenged you. In essence, you’ve published very little and what you have published has been in small pond publications, read by very few people and certainly not read by the public at large. I know that you have not made a lot of money during your career. I know this because you’ve said exactly that. I know that you can make somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 if you get involved in the Jodi Arias case. But is it worth it? You are putting your reputation, your entire career on the line. Think it over carefully Alyce because once you climb those steps to the public podium you won’t be in Kansas anymore.”

Alyce Laviolette, should never have testified in the Jodi Arias trial. It was a tactical error on her part. In essence she sold her career and good name for approximately $50,000. It wasn’t worth it. Remember, the people viewing the trial were forming their own opinions about Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias and the possibility of domestic violence. Many people were deeply involved in the trial and formed strong opinions. Many victims of domestic violence, completely rejected Alyce’s conclusions that Travis had been guilty of domestic violence. There was absolutely no evidence that Travis had abused Jodi. Now we had the sworn testimony of Jodi Arias herself but Jodi is an internationally renowned liar. In all honesty no one with half a brain would believe anything she had to say. I mean undoubtedly there are times that Jodi tells the truth because it’s too difficult to lie all the time but it’s impossible to determine when she is telling the truth and when she’s lying. Once you know that someone is capable of and willing to lie about virtually anything, you can no longer believe anything they say. You can allow for the fact that what they’re saying may be true. But you simply cannot believe that what they are saying is true because they swear that it is true. You very simply would be a fool to take them at their word for any purpose.

Alyce stated on the stand that she believed the things that Jodi told her. Doesn’t this alone make Alyce a total fool? Well it made her a total fool in the eyes of most Americans familiar with this case.

Now let’s look at the issue of death threats. Did she really have any legitimate death threats? Where is the police involvement? You know that they would have investigated and brought charges if there were legitimate death threats. I can find no evidence of an investigation or charges being brought against any individual. Alyce herself, when discussing death threats, gave the example of someone writing to her and saying “I hope you choke on a chicken bone.”

Does that sound like a death threat to you?

We are a nation of laws. If you break the law you should be punished. If anyone made a death threat, a real death threat, to Alyce LaViolette they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But the very real question remains, is there any evidence that death threats, legitimate death threats, were made to Alyce LaViolette?

As far as Alyce’s theories and opinions regarding domestic violence, there is certainly no scientific evidence, evidence published in journal articles, to support her theories. I have studied her theories, I have read her book and I can sum up her theories very succinctly. Everyone, every mother, every father, every brother, every sister, every boyfriend, every girlfriend, every husband and every wife, is guilty of domestic violence. Her ideas are so outlandish as to be ridiculous.

Why do you think so many victims of domestic violence publicly reacted with vehement rejection and criticism of her testimony? They said, “hey I’m a real victim of domestic violence. I know what it is. I struggled to live through it. I carry the scars of that violence on my body and in my soul and Jodi Arias is no victim of domestic violence.”

Alyce is back on the airwaves complaining. She thinks people should just accept her as an unchallenged expert. Well she can complain all she wants to but it will do her no good. People just aren’t buying the nonsense that she’s gotten away with selling for all those many years.

212 thoughts on “Alyce LaViolette Is Back In The News & We Are Still Not Buying What She is Selling

  1. nance

    YAAAY, Dr. R!!!!!!! Thank you. This is a common sense posting and you tell it like it is. This is worth reading. I appreciate that you bring up her paycheck from her testimony. That is how I feel as well. Again, I have to say that I think she absolutely lied in her testimony. I cannot believe that she was so naive that she actually believed the murderer. But hopefully she won’t be able to treat many more clients. Very unhealthy. And she did cry during this interview but I do not believe she is at all sincere and I think she was able to bring out the tears to make people feel sorry for her. I do not. I do know people who can cry at will to get people to feel sorry for them and it isn’t genuine. You probably do too. Anyway, again, thank you very much. And I do hope you discuss this further in your book.

  2. Sue

    Couldn’t have put it better. If she’s so bright why doesn’t SHE get it and go away from MORE scrutiny? She only makes herself look foolish…AGAIN. Could the defense be responsible for this coming forward on her part? They are motioning for no cameras and a change of venue now. Was this interview a calculated move to bolster their reasons for the motions? More games from the Arias side….and Ms. LV right in the thick of it.

    1. Linda K

      Sue, I think it’s more likely CNN’s reporter read in the motion that ALV was unwilling to testify in mitigation and decided to go for the scoop. I think she agreed just for the chance to get some sympathy but that, of course, backfired. If she really is that naive, it’s no wonder she didn’t spot Jodi’s lies.

    2. myredpony

      Sue, I think you may have a very valid point. We’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure. If Nurmi’s next motion mentions this, then we will know for sure that LaViolette’s appearance was nothing more than a calculated plan by the defense team to not only get their own way, but to delay the case even further.

      1. Penny

        A.V. is on ethical and should be banned from practicing therapy and being a speaker on abuse. She tripped up her own fame she thought she would get.

    3. pj

      Thank you. You found the nail and hit it right on the head. This is absolutely timed, by Nurmi and Wilmont, to coincide with their motion for no cameras. It’s so very ironic: filing a motion to ban the cameras, when NO ONE used, enjoyed, and played to cameras more than Jodi Arias herself. To be ignored or forgotten would be the worst consequence of all for this murderer. This duh-fense team is wily and cunning and have orchestrated fully this Alyce re-visit. So transparent….so very obvious. And most of all, so disgusting.

  3. NERN

    Very astute synopsis Dr. K,
    But no where in it do you wish any malice towards this woman. That is my main objection to all the rude and vile remarks that were sent her way. You objectively tore apart her opinions and possible reasons for testifying but again, no malice.
    I feel her crying was genuine but after reading your take on her, I believe that she is broken and the tears were for all the things she said that no one listened to. Her world as she knew it was gone. I believe she was sincere and I believe she believes she is right and cannot, in her mind, reconcile that others don’t.
    One last stab at trying to persuade people to take her seriously through this interview backfired again.One last stab to help Arias. Calculated by the defense and her vulnerability played on. Manipulating Arias at work.
    Now, after this second attempt by her, she needs to retire and fade into the background. She needs professional assistance to help her through her future because she just doesn’t get it.
    She does not need people being malicious in their critical view of her.

  4. Michelle

    Excellently reasoned and clearly stated. I wish someone would’ve taken her aside and said the same thing too. She needs to read this.

  5. Lou

    I could barely watch her when she was on the stand because everything she said raised too many red flags. Dr. Samuels was bad enough. You were spot on about her. I’m sorry she destroyed her reputation for that murderer.

  6. Chris

    Dr. K,
    You are on fire! This article says it all. The defense was actually brilliant in choosing Alyce. That folksy charm, being a little older gave the appearance of a grandmotherly
    type as someone you could trust. What a total sham.She told the defense exactly
    what they wanted to hear,Alyce was being taken for ride by the defense and she didn’t even know it.

    1. Zooyork

      It was so telling into ALV’s true nature how the “folksy charm” exhibited by ALV at the start of her testimony, when she was being spoken to by the defense lawyer, disappeared and ALV’s smug, sarcastic, rude and mock “confused” facial expressions came out when being questioned (decimated) by Mr. Martinez.

  7. Shirley Cullip

    Excellent article. Let’s be honest here. the only reason ALV did not agree to testify in the mitigation phase is because she committed perjury when on the stand. She would have to face Juan Martinez once again and possibly charged this time.

  8. Penny

    Thank you everyone for the responses and a special thanks to Dr K. We all said it a little different but it came out the same concerning A.L. My personal thought is she should be barred from treating any patient or being a speaker. After working 8 yrs for a psychiatrist that did have to appear in court at times he would never conducted an abuse case like A.L. did. He could not get up on the stand without positive proof and it would have to come from more then just the patient. He would follow up with family, friends or anyone he deemed truthful.

  9. Kathy

    Very good read. I’m very surprised that even as it was proven that Jodi lied on the stand to the jurors, that Alyce still believes her. With evidence of Jodi’s lies, Alyce still believes her. I also noticed that Alyce lied on national TV to everyone when she said that Nancy Grace laughed at her when she went to urgent care. I watched every show, and not once did Nancy Grace laugh at her or mock her, in fact Nancy Grace said nothing but good stuff about her. Alyce herself is a liar.

    Scared of threats and still goes on national TV, yea right.

  10. Don Osborne

    Dr K., this woman who so vilified TA in court did not know him from Adam, yet she purposefully set out to destroy his character and reputation without a scintilla of evidence to support her. She stands condemned by her own actions and utterances, and fully deserves every ounce of scorn and ridicule that comes her way.
    This unforgiveable character assassination of a deceased man was motivated by an all-consuming hatred for the male of the species . She knew full well what she was doing , hence her statement at the outset of her testimony that she wondered whether she would still have a practice after this – or words to that effect. What ‘expert’ witness (or any witness) comes to testify in court with a gallery of supporters? What witness (during the course of their assassination of the deceased) approaches a family member of that person during a recess? Yet she wants our sympathy.
    Maria’s post that LV proposed to Arias that she was a victim of domestic violence and that the killer filled in the details is logical to me.
    The only obstacle in her path was a male – the prosecutor – and the spotlight then became a blowtorch. Oh – how she must hate him. Ironically, the only one she claims to have bought the arrant nonsense and malicious claptrap she espoused from the witness box was a male – the foreman of the jury.
    However, the foreman of the jury’s reluctance to vote for the death penalty had nothing to do with ALV or DV, but everything to do with abdicating the responsibility he undertook as a juror in relation to the DP. Likewise, ALV’s reluctance to testify in the upcoming trial has nothing to do with a death threat, but everything to do with the threat of going another round or two with Juan Martinez.

    1. Zooyork

      YES Don! I agree 100% with everything you said. You expressed exactly how I feel about ALV but did a better job than I could do.
      I am certain as well that ALV hates men. Something you may find interesting to know- months ago I read all of the Amazon reviews of ALV’s book. One woman mentioned that her boyfriend had once taken a college course (about feminism, I believe she said) that was taught by Alyce Laviolette. Her boyfriend said that ALV ‘purposely ignored the males in the class.’
      I think its outrageous that this arrogant woman has gotten away with her biased, bulldozer behaviour for as long as she has. I’m so glad that its all come full circle for her- and, with her being so close to retirement, she almost got away with it too.
      I think it was a Godsend that the prosecutor in this case happened to be a male, as I think that it elicited, through ALVs hatred of men, her true nature and thus her shoddy, biased work in this case.
      I also believe as you do that ALV is too terrified of the possibility of facing Juan Martinez again to go another round.
      Remember how rude and condescending she was toward Martinez? What a fool.

      1. Don Osborne

        Thank you, Zooyork for that info. about the Amazon reviews. It was interesting that the chap doing the college course observed that she ignored the males in the class – I can well imagine that, but wonder what made her so resentful of the male gender.
        She was foolish in the extreme for confronting the prosecutor and your observation of him being male which brought out the worst in her was something I hadn’t considered before, but certainly makes a lot of sense.
        It was one of many poor choices she made that brought about her own undoing. But for me her choosing to vilify the already slaughtered victim was unforgiveable.
        That you cannot excuse.

        1. NERN

          Don
          Despite my many comments on ALV that have seemed to have gone against the wave of so many others, I do agree with you in that her defamation of Travis is unforgiveable. Yes, there is no excuse for what she did to Travis on the stand using Arias’ words and picking and choosing the texts/emails and phone calls from Travis without getting the entire story.

        2. Patti Nowak

          Alyce was the one that wanted to do the interview with Jodi and now she puts Dr. Drew down! Come on Alyce, we know you don’t like men and furthermore nobody asked you to do this! I don’t care what you say as we all know the truth and you are mad b/c you didn’t win!! Ha! Ha!

          1. Penny

            Just thinking of ALV puts me in a rage and I’m a woman.Can’t imagine what men must feel.

  11. Dena Campbell

    I have only one issue with your post. When you say, “Think it over carefully Alyce because once you climb those steps to the public podium you won’t be in Kansas anymore.”
    Is Alyce from Kansas? Because Kansas is having a hard enough time these days without being further besmirched with the likes of Alyce LaViolette.

  12. Linda K

    Atheists do not believe in a supreme creator being, but is it fair for them to label persons who do believe as liars?

    I don’t believe LaViolette “lied” on the stand about anything other than certain credentials shown on her overly-padded resume. Yet I have every reason to believe this woman was, and apparently still is, a True Believer in Jodi Arias — that Jodi was abused by Travis Alexander. Just because we find her belief is totally unfounded, is it fair for us to conclude she “lied” about the alleged abuse?

    On the stand, ALV said she would not have agreed to testify on behalf of JA if she did not believe in the abuse. Was that a lie?

    If an expert witness truly believes in their opinions/conclusions, is it unethical for him or her to testify on behalf of an unpopular defendant? Is it unethical to be paid for their services?

    Sadly, we know there are expert witnesses who will testify to virtually anything for a price. Do we have evidence ALV is one of these?

    If we stop to consider ALV is a human being for just one moment, a defendant against a world of criticism, why are we repulsed because she cried? Wouldn’t any one of us be hurt by so much hate directed toward us?

    Just sayin’

    1. NERN

      Linda K. – I have been reading – for two days now – all the comments regarding ALV. I have been trying to come up with a way to say exactly what you have just said.
      Alyce is a woman who got caught up in the Arias machine. She was way out of her area of expertise and I believe she is knowledgeable but the insidious way that Arias manipulates played on the weaknesses of ALV, her maybe outdated knowledge and her personal opinions.
      But she is a human being and deserves to be treated as such.
      We may be all so terribly upset by her stand on Arias and feel that she is totally “out of touch” with the realities of DV in general and specifically in this case but to accuse someone of lying, taking money for her testimony as her only motive when there is no proof or evidence of this is way out of line.
      Dislike her, be in opposition to her and her position but treat her as a human being. She is no monster – unlike the very defendant she believes.

  13. Uppity

    You completely encapsulated the thing that is ALV, Dr. R,

    She had the audacity to say that she was amazed that people could judge Jodi without knowing her – when she eviscerated Travis Alexander on the stand and never knew him.

    She doesn’t even have the brain power to understand why she was criticized by mental health professionals – they recognized she is full of crap. This is a woman who went and got herself a BA and never bothered to learn another thing. She attended those”continuing Education” seminars, those three-day things conducted in warm places in winter, where everybody eats all the time and schmoozes, and she calls that furthering her education.

    ALV struck pay dirt at a time when there was nobody else championing the cause of battered women. She’s was out-classed, out-brained and out-practiced decadess ago, but she was too busy being impressed with herself to notice. She’s been nothing more than a seminar entertainer for years. It’s about time somebody gave her a dose of humility and reality. I am confident you will give her what she deserves in your book just as you did in this post, Dr. Randle.

    1. Zooyork

      Very interesting insight into ALV’s “educational” background, Uppity. I appreciate learning from your post the reality about the mickey mouse seminars you described that boastful, lazy ALV constitutes as her “continuing education” in her profession,a world I knew nothing about. Thank you for adding more facets to the dialogue and filling in more of the picture of ALV.

      1. Penny

        I hope more people look into ALV back ground to understand she should have never been put on the stand to tesify. She is a disgrace to all professionals

        1. NERN

          I believe that there is no worry about ALV being used in court cases in the future. Her notoriety from the Arias case will make most “gun shy” about using her. She is toast.

          1. Penny

            Nern what worries me is she still a “counselor” for anyone? If so what damage is she doing?

          2. NERN

            @Penny
            I totally understand your worry and of course it is of great concern, but…… she has not committed any crime or anything that would warrant her “therapist” license being revoked (that I know of) and therefore she can continue in her practice.
            I feel all the publicity about her ethics (lack thereof) and her testimony will certainly hurt her practice a great deal. People will not flock to her doorstep unless they like what she does and it suits their agenda.
            I do not feel that her peers will put in recommendations that a client see her.
            She is in serious trouble in making a living like she was used to.

          3. Penny

            Nern the only one that will still flock to her are the women that claim DV and of course she will agree. Let’s hope she is never heard from on a custody case. Poor father would have no chance.

      1. NERN

        Very interesting link to ALV’s CV info.

        Alyce LaViolette was the only “expert” that the defense was able to employ to do their will.
        I believe she believes in her work to date and saw this as an opportunity to “get it out there”.
        What she didn’t realize, in HER naïve mind, is that only she believes in her work. Arias took advantage of this woman for their own needs. Arias, in her manipulative way, saw that ALV would stop at nothing to get her opinion heard and it worked for Arias.
        Too bad ALV got sucked in, but she did and apparently is still feeling the pull of the Arias machine.
        Still, she is a human being and should be treated as such and not like a lying monster. The lying monster is Arias.

      2. bellkurve

        Yeah, I agree; this is one of the most absurd CVs I’ve ever read. I personally think she lucked out – she got into the DV game early and was accepted repeatedly by courts as an expert in DV before there were really decent criteria for DV counselors, let alone experts. Once accepted as an expert in a field by one court, it’s easier to be accepted as an expert by another court. Most of the court stuff looks court appointed, and testifying towards her bias rather than as an expert. Wonder how many people she’s hurt through this modality?

        20 pages for somebody with an MA, citation issues, etc. Most people with licenses are required to do a certain number of continuing education courses each year. I’m wondering if her listing of seminars is the equivalent of her saying, “see? I’ve met the CE requirements each and every year!”

        I bet she’s the type of person who has every document ever issued to her framed and on her ego wall, a wall that everybody who comes to her office has to see when talking with her.

        Still makes her a prostitute – somebody who’s opinion is for sale. Most of what she’s done with her life seems to be book promotion and testimony. It is curious that her CV says she’s currently involved in a custody case as an “expert”. Ugh! Another “Dr. Death” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Grigson

        1. Zooyork

          Totally agree, Bellkurve. I’m dying to know how ALV’s practice is doing nowadays. If I hear in the news that she is being allowed to testify in another court case I will be outraged and moved to write to the court about what would amount to be a miscarriage of justice for the poor male party involved.

          1. Penny

            Dr Dumb was bad enough but ALV was over the top. As a woman I do feel men get the short end of the stick. If it is a teacher having sex with a student a male teacher would get years in most cases and a woman a slap on the had, custody usually to mom, murder a man will be sentced much faster. Look at Jodi’s case, If it had been Travis he would have already have gotten the DP. Only one that I have seen lately that I want to scream is the teacher that had sex with the 14 yr old that killed herself and the judge only gave him 30 days. Justice should be equal for both men and woman.

          2. Zooyork

            Penny, I agree with you. My mom is a lawyer (in Canada ), and she’s always said that the courts grossly favor women every time in custody cases, even when it’s glaringly obvious that the father is the better parent / person. Its heartbreaking sometimes, she says.

          3. NERN

            @Zooyork
            I also live in Canada and through personal experience with my own family – I agree with you and your mother.

          4. Penny

            Zooyork unfortuately is is not just in custody cases that woman are favored. To me a crime is a crime and should be treated as such man or woman.

  14. Lara Martinez

    Alyce Laviolette was “sad” that people aren’t fans of a brutal, calculated murderer? How is it that this woman can’t see how absurd her comments are? It would be a total joke if it wasn’t such a serious topic.

    A woman who touts herself as an “expert” on “domestic violence” gets on the stand and supports Jodi Arias’ actions of stalking, blackmailing with a sex tape, stealing, slithering through Travis’ doggy door UNINVITED, TORTURING ANIMALS and stabbing, slicing and shooting a defenseless, naked man in his bathroom, and she wonders why people are angry?!?

    Violence is violence, Alyce. Jodi is a violent felon. She started out like most killers do–abusing defenseless animals, lying, doing drugs and dropping out of high school. In fact, Jodi could be the poster girl for losers who will abuse and kill their domestic partners.

    The fact that ALV is on TV to gain some sympathy just makes her past actions come back into the limelight. SHE LIED ON THE WITNESS STAND! Do we really need to waste any more time discussing this woman, CNN?

    She was so unprofessional she brought an entourage with her into the courtroom & they shrieked with supportive laughter when their guru thought she was showing up the prosecutor. Unbelievable.

    The evening of her “anxiety attack” that sent her to the hospital, ALV was photographed eating dinner with Willmott & that horrible “mitigation specialist” in a hotel lobby WHERE THE OUT OF TOWN PRESS WAS STAYING. Nice try, ALV. You are a liar and a con artist trying to sell “Jodi Arias is Innocent” grift to the general public. It didn’t work–she’s convicted of 1st Degree Murder and she will probably get death.

    ALV is lying about the “death threats” in order to justify refusing to testify again now that she has been outed as a perjurer.

    1. Zooyork

      “She was so unprofessional she brought an entourage with her into the courtroom & they shrieked with supportive laughter when their guru thought she was showing up the prosecutor. Unbelievable.”

      1000 x yes Lara. This INFURIATED me!!!! (Second only to the travesty of ALV trying to trash Travis’ memory). Words cannot describe the loathing I feel towards the ridiculous, silly, hostile ALV. ALV deliberately set out to try to humiliate Martinez. I love SO much that it completely backfired on her. Serves her right.
      Also, love how you use the word “absurd” in speaking about ALV. It is a very fitting descriptor for ALV.

  15. Katie

    Thank you so much for this post. I couldn’t agree more. I too think her tears were genuine but for her own lost career. When she was saying “why do people hate this person they’ve never met” of course she was talking about herself. And you answered the question right here.

    I lost all sympathy for her or credibility belief in her during the trial.
    She asked for a break from testimony five minutes early as if she couldn’t wait those five minutes to take a bathroom break. Fine, no problem with that. Except for the fact that she stood quietly waiting for the jury to exit then waltzed, slowly, straight up to Samantha Alexander, leaned down and got in her face and spoke to her. Right after she’d spent hours tearing Sam’s brother to shreds referring to him as the “worst case” of abuse she’d ever seen.

    Then she, complicit with a local reporter, indicated she’d been “stalked” and “followed” to a local restaurant. Both were lying. She was seen in the open in a busy local food chain eating dinner and talking openly about defense strategy and a nearby diner, recognizing her from this high profile trial, snapped a photo and tweeted it. She claimed that was “stalking”.

    She then, just days later, walked in with the defense team, past tables of reporters, in to the one hotel most all of the reporters covering the trial were staying. You couldn’t even walk through that hotel without running in to someone from CNN or Nancy Grace or Good Morning America. How do I know? I attended this trial nearly every day and know that hotel well, going there nearly every day for gathering after the trial day.
    I also witnessed her ambush on Samantha first hand.
    She’s no victim but she wants to play one now while portraying this cold blooded brutal sociopath as a victim along side her.
    That’s the legacy she chose and is still choosing.
    She deserves all the scrutiny she’s receiving. Not “death threats” or vile comments but well reasoned scrutiny.
    She’s an embarrassment to herself and her profession.
    Thanks for this article.

    1. Penny

      She not only an embarrassment but unethical. She wouldn’t know the truth if it hit her between the eyes. Can you imagine how many people she has hurt by her testaments in court. What a disgrace.

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          You deserve the love Katie. You made me cry listening to you on Tricia’s true crime, and I saw you on Katie Couric too. I’m sorry about your sister’s horrible death. I was very moved by the spiritual way you share what happened to her–and the things I’ve heard you say to Chris & Sky Hughes. YOu’re awesome!

    2. Zooyork

      Excellent post, Katie. I totally agree with everything you said. And thank you for including your first-hand observations of ALV behind the scenes, very interesting.

    3. Zooyork

      Forgot about that one : ” the worst case of abuse she’d ever seen.” give me a f***ing break ALV, you’re nothing but a joke.
      ALV actually thought people would buy that! Why?? On the strength of her ‘greatness’ and ‘intellectual process’ she tried to demonstrate by sparring with Juan Martinez? Ahahahahhaaaaa haa.
      She helped turned Juan into a national hero, the exact opposite of her intentions. Hahaha!!!

  16. NancyB

    Important article, Dr Kristina that I wish had a larger platform in the media.
    Alyce, spare me your sanctimonious attitude. I resent you misleading the public again, in your recent interview on HLN. You must be cognizant of the fact that if the defense wanted you to have testified during the mitigation phase that they would not have allowed the judge to release you from your subpoena. You have no right to refuse to testify, having been paid to be an expert on the case. The only way you could get out of it would be by court order and I see no such motions that were filed. I think this is more baloney spread by you and the defense to make it appear as if you couldn’t testify due to so-called death threats that thankfully have not materialized and that no police agency can verify. Until an attorney decides he does not need you a subpoenaed and paid expert does not “come forward” at their own discretion, they are required by law to do so.

    If you didn’t want to be judged, then you should not have taken the money and agreed to be an expert witness for Jodi. If you agree to be an expert witness for this defense, you are begging to be judged–and our ability to judge folks who testified during the guilt phase of the trial is a good thing. TV instantly validates people and things as important. We need to be critical of bad things on TV or testimony live streamed in a criminal trial–and voice our judgments. It’s become obvious during this trial that some “professionals” in the mental health field will say anything for money.

  17. monica

    I am a survivor of DV,I carry the scars everyday inside and out,all the things Jodi and Alyce tried to say are the most outlandish things I have ever heard of..what they were selling no DV survivor was buying..they both will be forever doubted one for her accusations and the other for trying to make the public believe it..

  18. LindaNewYork

    Amen to ALL you said!!

    I was appalled at Arias and her “DV, foggy, PTSD self-defense” defense. And the “experts” who testified on that murderers behalf. Her, her attorneys and those “experts” made a mockery of REAL DV victims and those who suffer from PTSD.

  19. Mike Hood

    Thanks for your very eloquent rebuttal of Alyce LaViolette’s testimony and her after-trial complaints. I suspect (as stated in a post on my blog yesterday) that Alyce has never had any valid expertise as a domestic violence expert, but the Jodi Arias trial is the first time she has come under public scrutiny.

    1. Zooyork

      I suspect that she well. And, can you BELIEVE, I think I read somewhere that Alyce actually teaches a course on, get this; how to testify in court!!!!!!!!! It’s just mindblowing what this fool Alyce has been able to get away with in the course of her career. I’m so happy that she now is not able to retire in a blaze of unwarranted glory, never having been scrutinized.

  20. Michelle

    What a wonderful read as a person of REAL domestic violence at a young age of 18 for 2 years and was finally able to get away from my abuser thanks to NYC PD. they “Officers” made the hospital keep me over night after being called for a second time in one week and gave my abuser 24hrs. to get out of the State of NY or they would arrest him for domestic violence. I am now 47 years old and back in the 80’s domestic violence wasn’t an issue that officer’s arrested for it was considered “Oh they had a fight” but today they arrest all involved. Those 2 officers’ saved my life that day, my ex moved out of our apartment and left to move back to Florida where we were from. It was hard at first for me to adjust but I did and I sure in the Hell Did Not Go To Florida I Stayed As FAR AWAY from my abuser Ms. LaViolette that’s what someone does if they are abused and able to get away from their abuser they Do Not Go Back For A Bootie Call to boot drive a 1,000 miles for it. Today I have a great life a wonderful man and a beautiful 25 year old daughter who was spoken to about abuse her whole life and knows it’s Not Ok and It should never happen…No Matter What! Ms. Lavallette you need to speak to real victims before you try and relate to them or even try and put a book out on a subject you obviously know nothing about. Get Facts from people who have REALLY SUFFERED domestic violence not figments of their imagination. Thank you Dr. R. for saying what we “Victims” can’t say to Ms. Lavallette. Today I have a great life a wonderful man and a beautiful 25 year old daughter who spoken to about abuse her whole life and knows it’s Not Ok and It should never happen…No Matter What!

  21. RealityCheck

    Truer words…

    Alyce LaViolette is an example of what can happen when one works in a vacuum their entire life without the regular scrutiny that anyone in a typical workplace environment would have. Remember the awkward man who took the stand and kept spilling his water and actually burped out loud into the microphone..? Remember Dr. Samuels who was inappropriate with Jodi Arias (in giving gifts to her), didn’t appropriately administer the testing, didn’t arrive in court with his necessary paperwork, and was a stumbling, contradicting, ineffectual imbecile?? These are Alyce’s peers, example #2 and #3 of working in a vacuum, and even enabling the nonsense between peers. And who suffers? Their patients.

    I have a member of my extended family that is a therapist and is *clearly* outside the boundaries of “normal,” in fact she stands out like a big, abnormal “sore thumb” to everyone who knows her. She’s never, ever had an intimate relationship with anyone and lives alone. She has been fired from every job she’s ever had and actually banned from working with children in schools for inappropriate conduct. She seeks out inappropriate relationships with “friend’s” children. Subsequent to not being able to hold down any job–even a job as a fund raiser for a religious non-profit group–she got her marriage and family counseling license and has tucked herself into the comforting obscurity of being self-employed in the field for decades… working in that same vacuum. She takes the written test to update her license as necessary, and returns to her scrutiny-free environment. What she shares about her interactions with her patients wreaks of inappropriateness. And this is the way she makes her living.

    I’ve also had personal encounters with therapists over the decades that have ranged from not at all helpful, to entirely inappropriate, to encounters where I should have called the police and filed charges. All of these “professionals” were working in that same vacuum, for years on end, getting away with everything from ineptitude to law-breaking behaviors.

    People are at great risk in the hands of these “professionals,” and they don’t even realize it. An awareness may have been born when someone like Alyce–or the bumbling burp-meister, or the ill-equipped Dr. Samuels–stepped out into the public spotlight to reveal all their ugly warts.

    Alyce wasn’t some shrinking violet on the stand. She was antagonistic and condescending to the prosecutor, having her jaw pre-set before he ever even approached her. I have never seen a more “hostile witness” and am surprised she wasn’t labeled as such. Her bias (and ignorance) was so paaaainfully obvious to everyone but her, completely enraging and disgusting a nation.

    And now Alyce is coming back out into the public eye, donning the title of “victim,” still completely avoiding ownership of her own behavior. Absolutely amazing. And clueless. What she needs is for those in her inner circle to stop enabling her nonsense.

    Really, Alyce, could the vast majority of the country be totally “wrong” about you..? Perhaps you need to reevaluate.

    The two most hated women in this country are Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony. I would estimate that Alyce LaViolette has taken the number three spot. She has for me.

    1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

      RealityCheck, I so agree with what you’re saying here.

      I can’t say too much about this, but I attended a professional conference and got to personally know some of the people in a group that posted Alyce Laviolette’s work on their site. Robert Geffen (or however you spell it) is involved in that organization. (Although I have nothing negative to say about him because I don’t really know much about him.) But many of the others are a motley crew of disordered individuals with delusional beliefs banding together in support of their “work” against the non-believers. Much like a cult. I still remember the creepy feeling of being closely watched by a couple. They were studying me to figure out if I was one of them or one of the false memory syndrome people in cognito.

      When I read that someone should have taken her aside and warned, “You’ve been a small fish in a small pond where your views have been accepted,” I thought back at my attending one of those conferences. Everyone there is in the same situation. Many of them are well known “experts” in the circles they created. Some have created their own professional journals to publish their unscientific stuff rejected by peer reviewed journals and have enabled one another. Lending false credibility to one another by citing one another’s unscientific “work” in their writings. Much like a conspiracy of fraud. Which one of them would take her aside when they’re living the same delusion?

      I too have had the opportunity to observe “therapists” whose lives are a mess, who have no concept of boundaries, and who get their intimacy needs met through invading other people. I am tempted to describe the personal lives and psychiatric disorders of two I know in particular but will refrain seeing that this is an open forum anyone could find.

      Every social worker and psychologist today wants to supplement their income by getting involved in legal work. It takes very little to be an “expert” in the mental health field for purposes of testifying in court. There is no litmus test. If someone wants to hire you and put you on the stand to testify, and you have worked in any capacity in the area at issue–like Alyce doing group sessions with batterers–you qualify.

      My favorite book on this issue is free for download online. It’s written by Margaret Hagen, a professor of psychology who recently also graduated law school. Its called Whores of the Court. Very funny in addition to being very serious. http://whoresofthecourt.com/preview.htm

      1. lizzie

        “Every social worker and psychologist today wants to supplement their income by getting involved in legal work.”

        While that may have been ALV’s motivation, Maria, (remember ALV said on the stand she didn’t have much of a retirement account) I have to disagree that “every” social worker and psychologist today wants to go to court to supplement their income. I don’t think that’s true any more than “every” physician wants to testify (although there are plenty of MD’s who have made big bucks doing it.) I do realize though that attorneys are likely to run into a subset of “professionals” who seek that sort of opportunity.

        Another poster suggested it was possible ALV believed what she said and was mistaken about Jodi rather than lying.

        IF ALV had not padded her CV (a really BIG deal) and IF she had not said on the stand she had testified on behalf of men when she had not and IF she had made SOME attempt to talk to relatives and people who knew Travis and Jodi rather than spending such an inappropriate amount of time with only Jodi and Jodi’s journals, and IF she had not been so combative from the start of cross-examination, then maybe, just maybe, I could decide ALV was taken in by Jodi and was merely mistaken in her views. But given the way ALV approached this case from the start, it does appear she was in it for fame and fortune and threw ethics and good practices out the window. Besides examining only Jodi’s side of the case before coming to a conclusion (a big ethical non-no and similar to what got Samuels in trouble in NJ–and whether she believed Jodi or not should not have made her forget the requirement that a mental health professional making a legal recommendation needs to talk to more than one party) I feel her behavior was unethical in other ways. Telling “stories” on the stand was a dumb thing to do as an “expert” witness anyway but that approach may work in her lame seminars. But those stories often involved situations with past counseling clients– even though she did not mention names– and so it was unethical to do it at all. (Had I been a past client of hers and saw that, I would have freaked out and wondered where else she’d blabbed and wondered if she’d talked about ME.) And IF ALV changed the facts in those stories to hide the clients’ identities in court, then she may have been engaging in perjury. She is supposed to keep counseling information confidential unless she has a release from the client OR unless there is a pressing need to violate confidentiality without the client’s permission (e.g., client suicidal) OR she is under court order to reveal information about a particular client. In this case, there was NO legal reason for her to tell stories about past clients and IMO, that was clear evidence of her incompetence. Some of the entries on her CV also suggest a violation of the same sort. No, she doesn’t deserve death threats but as KR noted, “I hope you choke on a chicken bone” is a pretty silly “death threat” unless ALV believes mere thoughts and hopes can make actual things happen to her (like the silly views Jodi talked about on the stand.)

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          I admit its an over-generalization, Lizzie. Problem is I know dozens and every one of them wants some way into the legal system (or are fully in it already). Also, if you look up the continuing education and other seminars for mental health professionals, they heavily emphasize how you too can become a forensic expert in court! Alyce taught some of those ridiculous courses herself. The economy has pounded an enormous hit on all mental health varieties, and one way to deal with this has been to try to get into providing services for court. (Custody evaluations, drug court treatment, groups, domestic abuse, child welfare cases, on and on.) Just google and see how much emphasis is placed on this to help them survive.

          It used to be that the professionals who testified in court had graduated from forensic psychology programs. No more. Now almost anyone right out of the gate with no prior experience even in their own field starts off trying to establish a practice as experts for court purposes. (It could be as simple of treatment programs where they write reports to probation officers or courts giving recommendations.) This has tainted the reliability of the whole system.

          I know a professor of forensic psychology who told me one of the child custody evaluators in my area was rejected when she applied to his program. He said it was for very serious reasons related to her background but could not tell me the whole story. She popped up anyway doing child custody evaluations after graduating from the regular psychology PhD program. His assessment of her work was that her methodologies are not valid and she committed numerous leaps of logic and ethics. This happens all the time now because of the shift into “expert” work by people poorly qualified. Rant over…

          1. Elaine

            @Maria,

            Three things, first, I really enjoy reading your comments! Second, a lot of ground has been covered about Alyce’s roll, good bad or indifferent. Yet, it’s difficult to dismiss the roll of Nurmi, Willmott, Dr. Fog and the Mitigation Specialist, Maria DeLaRosa…
            http://www.arizonamitigation.com/what-is-a-mitigation-specialist/

            Third, given the knowledge of DeLaRosa’s findings, what would Alyce have been privy to and to what extent do you feel DeLaRosa is responsible for information provided to her through those interviews…and are these available to the prosecution?

          2. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Thanks Elaine, I enjoy our discussions here too. Those are good questions. I hold Nurmi, Wilmott and DeLaRosa totally responsible for pretending their expert is an impartial expert. And for doing everything they could to make her partial to Jodi.

            The mitigation specialist’s role is to SLANT everything possible to Jodi’s favor. Her job is to uncover and organize everything she can to help Jodi evade the death penalty. Alyce’s role as an expert is supposed to be IMPARTIAL to the extent that she cannot SLANT information or pick and choose or conspire with the mitigation specialist to help keep Jodi off death role. That’s the ethical way it’s supposed to work.

            Does anyone believe that’s what really happens? Of course, not. The expert who begins an evaluation and shows resistance to being guided by the defense, who does not show sufficient sympathy for the defendant, who shows no special interest in the information they’re being spoon-fed, that doesn’t seem to understand the leads they’re being given, will be handed her walking papers within the first 4 hours. No need to waste 44 hours in interviews plus hundreds more on “expert work.” (Just ask all the other experts they consulted with and eventually did not hire.)

            At the risk of getting sidetracked, wonder why Nurmi couldn’t find a medical examiner and had to put on a psychologist to rebut the bullet in the brain conclusions of Dr. Hottie. (I forgot his name right now.) :)

            That’s why some people like Dr. Margaret Hagen calls them “whores of the court.” Because they sell what should not normally be up for sale.

            I think Alyce bears full responsibility because the role she pretends to fulfill and the ethical duty of her profession requires she not allow anyone to improperly influence or substitute their “findings and conclusions” for ones she should reach by a fair and impartial collection of data and evaluation.

            DeLaRosa’s role is more like that of a defense attorney–with one goal in mind: Make them see she deserves to live.

          3. NERN

            Maria Cristina – I too like the discussions and comments that you engage in (with the exception of the Knox trial). I find that you take apart the comments you receive, methodically and using your expertise and although we may not totally agree on all, it certainly adds an interesting take on things.
            Although the attorneys and the mitigation lawyer have jobs to do, I cannot shake my belief that Arias continues to rule the show. She knows full well that she can have an active role in her defense and she uses it fully and continually to what she believes should be done.
            You mentioned that the defense would have interviewed and ultimately rejected other “experts” for their conclusions until they found ALV. I agree the is unethical and an obvious disgrace to the field that she is in and other “experts” were most likely solid in their beliefs and when it was not what the defense wanted, they were rejected. ALV on the other hand came from a place in her mind and her practice that they knew,especially Arias, could be played upon to achieve what they (she) desired.
            ALV was manipulated by them (Arias) in that they knew her history and practices and that she was steadfast, feisty and that it would solidify in her mind (ALV) her life’s work. I feel she came with no beforehand malice and saw this as an opportunity to, along with making some money, get her (misguided) message out there.
            Nurmi, Wilma and the mitigation lawyer were all working to one end – follow the guidance from this diabolical murderer in keeping her alive. ALV got caught up in it.
            One should never underestimate Arias.

          4. Penny

            I have to disagree with you on both the defense and ALV. Nurmi looks disgusted and I think he wishes he never took this case but as a defense attorney you have to do everything possible to get your client off or at least a reduced sentence. I’m sure he would even like to see her get DP but can’t go there. As we all know Jodi runs that show and as her team they do have to go along with her. If you watch all the trials that have been on lately makes you wonder how anyone could become a defense attorney. As far as ALV I really don’t think she was fooled by Jodi at all. ALV is a know at all and was always this way. Look her up and you will see she talked about DV the same way for years and with most things she says it is in her head alone. As far as Jodi’s defense team ALV would be my first choice. They have to pull all the big guns out whether we or they like it. That’s their job. If they had any sympathy for Jodi they would not have ask repeatedly to be let off her case. Now all they can do is try and make the DP go away by any means they can. We may not like it but like I said that’s what they are hired to do.

          5. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            True. never underestimate demonic possession. I agree Jodi controls much of what goes on. Only that certain specifics on how to accomplish her objectives are chosen by the lawyers. The intimidation factor of those soulless eyes alone must keep Nurmi and Wilmott strolling the halls at night checking closets and under the bed.

          6. NERN

            Maria,
            From the moment that I found out that Nurmi tried numerous times to get off this case, I have felt that he was just “going through the motions” as he must as Arias’ lawyer.
            Arias dictates and as you stated, the lawyers handle the specifics.
            I cannot imagine how relieved he will be when this is finally over.

            Wilma – hmmmm – do not know but it is evident that the “Chumminess” demonstrated throughout the trial between Wilma and Arias seems to have abated with their total lack of any contact during the last televised hearing.

          7. Penny

            Yes I think Nurmi wants of the Jodi case ASAP. He looks like he could care less what happens to her.

          8. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            I noticed! Wilmott seems not to have reconciled with Jodi over whatever happened between them. She’s been detached from her since the Troy Hayden interview. The very next court day, I noticed Jodi intensely trying to make eye contact with her and Wilmott not looking at her. Jodi would lean into her neck like always but with an intensity I had never seen trying to force Wilmott to look into her eyes. (Someone said on tv they heard Jodi and her lawyers yelling at each other in the other room before the Troy Hayden interview.) It made me think of how scary she must have been to Travis when she got emotionally demanding. I would be very afraid of sitting next to her if I were Wilmott at this point. Jodi never lets go of her little pencils.

          9. Linda K

            Jodi never lets go of her little pencils. How can I ever thank you for planting that disturbing image in my head, Maria? Now I have to actually feel sorry for Willmott.

          10. Linda K

            Thanks for the links, Maria. That’s not a blog I regularly visit but I did stumble across months ago. It’s fascinating to watch an author turn something that sends most into a state of disgust, anger and (often) outright hatred into a Laughable Moment. It’s a rare gift.

          11. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            And, Nern, I think what you’re saying here about Alyce probably comes closet to what really happened. I do believe Alyce came with gullibility and religious fervor about her ideas but no real malice because she believes her gender biased views. I too feel Jodi seduced her (so to speak) into feeling this case would elevate her life’s work into public understanding and acceptance and prestige.

            I think she became complicit once in the process, once inconvenient facts became known to her and she had to take a psychic turn into denial. But we can see the pride and expectation she had of making an enormous impact on the world by her body language the first couple days, and how she mentioned everyone should read her book and watch her youtube videos. She was high on the praise and importance everyone had put onto “the domestic violence expert” who inform us all.

          12. NERN

            Maria
            I am a happily retired Canadian who, until this trial, have never followed nor researched in-depth cases.
            My opinion comes from working with people throughout my working career and more importantly, from what I heard and saw during this whole trial. I do not pretend to know the law, especially in the States. I have drawn my own conclusions based on what was before me as a member of the public.
            ALV is a sad commentary on people who are true professionals in the field of DV. I understand their outrage.
            She was out of her depth but her opinions and beliefs propelled her into the forefront and now she is getting the fallout.
            I agree that she BECAME complicit but her original intent was not this eventual fact. She was out of touch but entrenched in her misguided opinion.
            There was no malice intended by defending Arias but she just didn’t see how encompassing Arias’ personality coupled with her manipulation can be on others.
            Hopefully people will learn from this.

          13. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Your common sense life experiences are more valuable than professional psychobabble for sure. There was a time we all knew this!

            I’m in my 40s, but I really miss the days in the 70s when my parents and my friend’s parents, many of them either Cuban exiles, Jewish Holocaust survivors or regular people of one kind or another, could zero in on what’s right and wrong, what’s moral and immoral, what true and what’s nonsense, like a laser. :)

          14. NERN

            Maria
            Psychobabble has its place. I do not totally discount it.

            Otherwise – I too miss the good old days (even if I am not THAT old yet – retired early) ha, ha

          15. Elaine

            @Maria

            Thanks Maria! Yes, there is a collective responsibility and to each individual a greater one. Yet how many times have we all heard from jurors, “if we’d known that at the time, our decision would have been different?” The question of legal and ethical standards are blurry.

            I’m not forgetting either that Arias had ample time in jail before ever speaking with Alyce or Dr. Fog. Arias gained considerable knowledge ‘inside’ from her cell mates. “The truth is, he attacked me.” (pause) “And I defended myself.” Arias had all of her ‘documents’ to peruse, define and refine. Arias’s memory isn’t a problem, her story is…and for that, I’m disgusted with Alyce’s ideals of the “whole picture” she claims has been missed, by others, though from an admitted liar, the story ‘this time’ is real.

            I understand the mitigation specialists role. The charge against Arias warrants that, but, I am wondering whether the prosecution has access to the specialists records.

            Nurmi was at the losing end the day he met Arias. Yes,”Dr. Hottie.” (I forgot his name right now.) :) No you didn’t. LOL. And yes, I did know why Nurmi couldn’t find anyone to legitimately counter Dr. Hottie. “Whores” are a rare breed for the court system, but it dilutes every ounce of ethics in law. I hold the judge responsible for allowing it.

            I agree 100%, “Alyce bears full responsibility because the role she pretends to fulfill and the ethical duty of her profession requires she not allow anyone to improperly influence or substitute their “findings and conclusions” for ones she should reach by a fair and impartial collection of data and evaluation.”

            “DeLaRosa’s role is more like that of a defense attorney–with one goal in mind: Make them see she deserves to live.” And make sure you can ‘slip’ notes to the family.

        2. Linda K

          @lizzie, you wrote:

          Besides examining only Jodi’s side of the case before coming to a conclusion (a big ethical non-no and similar to what got Samuels in trouble in NJ–and whether she believed Jodi or not should not have made her forget the requirement that a mental health professional making a legal recommendation needs to talk to more than one party)…

          We’ve debated here before what was meant when she testified she was “not allowed” to interview anyone other than Jodi. If memory serves, there is a rather understandable legal prohibition against contact with other witnesses and/or the family of the victim. And, if that is the case, no mental health professional would ever be able to conduct a proper evaluation in a case involving domestic violence [real or fake]. So do we blame Alyce for that handicap? I’m not inclined to, but some may.

          Let’s face it, ALV didn’t display one whit of courtroom savvy — much of her misbehavior has already been cited in this thread by others so no need to rehash it. Judging from this recent interview, she’s learned nothing from the humiliation she brought on herself. But is she a victim? Perhaps — a victim of what I believe to be her own desire to help someone who did nothing but use her and lie to her and, most likely, ruin her career, not to mention take advantage of her inexperience with criminal court cases.

          If, as has been and is still being alleged, she testified for fame, glory and the almighty dollar then she blew it. Big time. However I’m not buying those were her motivations. I may be alone, here.

          1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Maybe that is the point, no expert can fully evaluate anything that has happened in the past between people. The limitations inherent in the situation demonstrates that the expert is selling a fraudulent product.

            It’s not that she’s prohibited from speaking to anyone, it’s that no victim or victim’s family or friends is compelled to talk to an expert hired by the perpetrator. They have no protection against the expert distorting what they might say to help her side. And she has no independent authority to go out and talk to Jodi’s camp even though they could volunteer information, but that skews the evidence further and makes her more biased. So she operates in a vacuum, trying to interpret emotions and states of mind of dead people on the one hand and a person trying to get out of being punished on the other.

            I do blame Alyce because its no excuse that she’s limited in who she can talk to. The inherent impossibility of what she claims she can do just shows it’s a fraudulent product. That is blameworthy to my mind.

            Experts testifying in court used to be limited to scientific experts and medical doctors where there was no need for subjective interviews with many people because they were not evaluating a story but physical facts. (Traffic accident reconstruction, surgeries, land surveys, broken bones, chemical explosions, etc.) The legal system became a mess once soft experts began proposing they have subjective “conclusions” about PEOPLE rather than physical facts that can help persuade a jury to see it their way.

            It started with good intentions, experts who could explain psychological phenomenon or childhood development or things lay people may need some guidance on without making assessments about ultimate issues or what any of those things mean to the case. But it quickly grew into experts reading tea leaves about the people in the case and things they did not witness.

            Maybe I’m being harsh, but I’ve had my fill and I’m tired of it. They should be accountable when they pretend they can know things that are unknowable to them.

          2. Penny

            You could not have said that better. The psyciatrist I work for hates court cases would much rather be in his office with patients. He would never go into court that unprepared and would not be reading out of a book on what he thinks it could be. All Jodi would have to do is sign a release or even have A.V. go to the judge to be able to speak with other people to get all facts known. She has an ego that makes her feel she has more knowledge then other Dr.’s She has probably hurt a lot of court cases due to lack of intelligence. I really worry about child custody cases she may have been involved in. She should never ever again be allowed to treat or do her speaking engagements as she could ruin so many lifes.

          3. NERN

            To Linda K – You are not alone with these words you wrote,

            “But is she a victim? Perhaps — a victim of what I believe to be her own desire to help someone who did nothing but use her and lie to her and, most likely, ruin her career, not to mention take advantage of her inexperience with criminal court cases.

            If, as has been and is still being alleged, she testified for fame, glory and the almighty dollar then she blew it. Big time. However I’m not buying those were her motivations. I may be alone, here.”

            AVL got caught up in the Arias machine – used, manipulated and taken advantage of. AVL lived in her small world prior to this trial believing, unfortunately, in her work and her stance on DV. Arias saw this as she could find no one else and used it to her advantage. It worked for Arias, at the expense of another, and she is where she is now.

          4. Linda K

            Thank you, NERN. I suppose it’s odd that I would say anything at all in defense of this woman, considering I am a victim of DV. It’s not always easy to divorce my distaste for her “wrongness” from my compassion for her as a person who seems to genuinely believe in her “rightness.”

          5. NERN

            Linda K. – I admire your capacity to take the stand that you have.

          6. lizzie

            Thanks Maria for pointing out that ALV’s hands were NOT tied in terms of making an attempt to talk to those on Travis’s “side.” I know his family did not have to speak to her and perhaps they would not have, but it seems ALV never made an attempt (other than speaking to Travis’s sister in open court!) It doesn’t seem she made any attempt to talk to Travis’s friends, former girlfriends, co-workers, or acquaintances either.

            IF ALV was prohibited from talking to anyone on Jodi’s “side” except Jodi because Jodi (and/or the defense team) would not give her permission, then ethically, ALV should not have taken the case. The fact that she did makes it clear to me she did it for the fees and perhaps for “fame” to boost the sales of her books and paid speeches, a strategy that certainly backfired. IMO, what she did was akin to a psychologist being asked by a parent to assess his/her fitness for child custody but being told by that parent “you can’t talk to anyone else about me but you can talk to me all you want and you can read my journals.” No responsible psychologist would take that sort of case. (I do realize ALV stopped practicing under her psychological associate’s license after her supervisor’s license was revoked and now practices under a “counseling” license instead. But we are discussing the ethics of mental health practice and she does have a master’s degree in psychology.)

            The ethical guidelines for psychology for the area of assessment state (caps added): http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=11#

            (a) Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports and diagnostic or evaluative statements, INCLUDING FORENSIC TESTIMONY, on information and techniques SUFFICIENT TO SUBSTANTIATE THEIR FINDINGS. (b) PSYCHOLOGISTS PROVIDE OPINIONS OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS ONLY AFTER they have conducted an examination of the individuals adequate to support their statements or conclusions. When, despite reasonable efforts, such an examination is not practical, psychologists document the efforts they made and the result of those efforts, CLARIFY THE PROBABLE IMPACT OF THEIR LIMITED INFORMATION on the reliability and validity of their opinions and APPROPRIATELY LIMIT the nature and extent of their conclusions or recommendations.

            A few folks posting here appear to have decided ALV was simply mistaken in her view of the relationship between Jodi and Travis. They are entitled to that opinion, but I don’t see how anyone could decide ALV was even remotely ethical given that she felt free to testify extensively about Travis’s “psychological characteristics” when ALL of her information about Travis came from Jodi ONLY. If she was “honestly mistaken” about Jodi’s veracity, then ALV is a total idiot. No one with any sense and any degree of experience would take as gospel ONE person’s perspective of a relationship–no matter how compelling– even IF that person had a reputation for telling the truth and had nothing to gain by distorting the truth. (I think we’d all agree neither of those fits Jodi.) And ALV currently practices under a marriage, family, and child counseling license! And we all know that within families, perspectives can differ and one person’s view may not reflect reality or be “right.” But if ALV was as unethical as it appears she was, then the issue of being her being “honestly mistaken” seems pretty unimportant. After all, one purpose of the above guideline in psychology is to PREVENT critical conclusions from being drawn based on too little information or drawn based on biased information. As I’ve said before and as KR and many others here have said, ALV did not deserve death threats (if she really got them and citing the chicken bone example in the interview weakens that claim) but she deserved everything else she got in terms of criticism and damage to her “professional” image.

          7. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Those are excellent points, Lizzie. Especially her obligation not to make assessments about Travis’ characteristics and mental states without sufficient, reliable, unbiased data. You went to the heart of the matter. Her profession forbids exactly what she did with regard to Travis. She was not a victim of Jodi’s lies She chose to ignore all the ethical warnings and obligations to go ahead and do what she’s dedicated her life to do—BLAME THE MAN.

          8. Linda K

            @lizzie,

            I’ve taken some time to consider all you’ve said so this reply is late in coming. The points you presented are undeniably correct: most importantly, that she did not adhere to any reasonable interpretation of the ethical guidelines. That, alone, serves to accentuate the level of her foolishness (as if the Snow White matter wasn’t enough evidence) but, in my painfully humble opinion, it does little to indict her for malicious intent.

            One of the key phrases, “SUFFICIENT TO SUBSTANTIATE THEIR FINDINGS” requires psychologists to quantify just how much information is “sufficient”. After going over the evidence she was presented with, ALV found it sufficient to draw the conclusion that Travis was the abuser and Jodi was the abused. You and I did not view that evidence with eyes cloudy with gender bias which we know she has.

            I compare this to someone, a millennium ago, who concludes the earth is the center of the universe around which all heavenly bodies revolve. He sees it with his own eyes, from his vantage point, and finds the evidence sufficient to support his conclusion. He looks up at the night sky and observes some stars appear larger than others but has fails to suspect there are hidden truths yet to be discerned: that not all stars are equidistant from the earth and that the sun is nothing more than a single, comparatively small and unimpressive star among many stars in a trivial galaxy in an infinite universe of galaxies.

            Put this same man in a time machine and present him with deep-space images taken from the Hubble telescope. Will he readily believe such a thing as the horsehead nebula actually exists among the stars? He can’t see it. He wants you to show him so he can see it with his own eyes. In your efforts to educate him, you tell him the Hubble takes its pictures from outer space. You can’t show him. He concludes you’re a liar and a fool, talking hogwash, and he walks away in disgust.

            So, I ask, who is the fool in this case? Who refused to believe deeper truths exist because they haven’t seen the evidence? Yep. That’s right. You nailed it, Lizzie.

            I keep going back to ALV’s testimony where she stated she was “not allowed” to interview anyone other than Jodi. I cling to that as a telling assertion and have spent a fair amount of time contemplating what she meant by that. Bottom line, all I can do is take it at face value: that she made at least an inquiry into conducting other interviews but was denied. I do recall she was provided copies of third-party interviews and/or depositions for review but I don’t think it was ever disclosed which interviews and/or depositions they were. So I don’t think it’s fair to say she ONLY relied on Jodi’s pathological lies to draw her conclusions.

            During her testimony, ALV discussed a number of emails, text messages and instant messages written by Travis, concluding his angry language constituted both verbal abuse and character assassination — not an altogether unreasonable conclusion under other circumstances. It’s also worth noting that Jodi did not reciprocate the verbal abuse or character assassination during these exchanges. ALV mistakenly concluded this failure-to-engage was evidence the abuse was one-sided instead of seeing this was Jodi’s pattern of passive-aggressive behavior. But that would require reading tea leaves, I suppose.

            Many of us can recall the painful and heated exchange between ALV and JM regarding the definition of a liar. She kept insisting it was important to know what the lies were about and whether there was a pattern involved. We recall how silly she sounded when she classified Travis as a liar because he repeatedly, over a long period of time, misrepresented himself as a virgin because she detected a pattern. Conversely, she saw no evidence Jodi is a liar because she only lied for the understandable [cough cough] reason of not being charged and convicted for the murder of Travis — no pattern there! Pattern or no pattern, this is clearly a blind application of gender bias. But was her “professional opinion” regarding which of the two was The Liar in itself a lie created solely for the purpose of trashing Travis? Or was it something she truly believed as a result of her dogmatic gender bias?

            Sheesh, I could go on virtually forever citing examples of foolishness on the part of ALV. But although I wouldn’t rule out the possibility I’m naive, I still think it’s more likely than not that ALV acted according to her misguided beliefs and not out of malice or greed.

            I’ll be quiet now. :)

          9. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Excellent points.

            Evidence she never tried to talk to Chris and Sky Hughes. They went on Tricia’s True Crime Radio to say how angry they were that Alyce distorted their emails without asking to speak to them about what they meant. They explained the whole thing of what they said and did not say and how she twisted their words. This might be that night (they’ve been on more than once) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/websleuths/2013/05/20/tricias-true-crime-radio-sunday-night-8-pm-eastern

            Another good one where Chris told creepy stories about Jodi is here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/websleuths/2013/05/06/tricias-true-crime-radio-sunday-night-8-pm-eastern

            Alyce can’t claim the Hughes turned her down for an interview cause she never tried to get clarification from them.

          10. Linda K

            @Maria,

            Yes, I remember Chris and Sky complaining that neither the prosecution nor the defense called them to explain that awkward email exchange they had with both Travis and Jodi. But didn’t both give police interviews as well as depositions? I know they gave an interview to at least one documentary program [Dateline? 48 Hours?] I don’t think we can rule out the possibility ALV had access to any of that without their knowledge.

          11. Penny

            On N. Grace it was stated they think they found the body of baby Elaina in the garage of where she disppeared.

          12. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Of course she had access to all of that. But she can’t legitimately piece together what people meant in email exchanges without specifically asking them. Depositions would not have covered that in detail as those are limited in the number of hours and would have covered so many other issues that Hughes were aware of that I don’t see how it even came up. (And they say no one asked them about the emails.) Reading into whatever statements they may have made instead of asking them is still operating in a vacuum (by choice) where you can superimpose your view onto the evidence. It’s the oldest trick in the book. Very different from asking them so they can say, “No, Alyce, you got it all wrong; let me tell you what was really going on in those emails” like the Hughes have said in interviews.

            And those 44 hours with Jodi must have been mainly conversations about evidence, what to look for, where to get support for what Jodi was saying, her distorted version of what the Hughes said and did. Remember Jodi even claimed Travis had a “special” relationship with the Hughes little boy, and had a photo of him running after the child naked (in front of other people). Alyce slipped once and tried to say something about a concern about Travis and the Hughes child. How could this woman not ask the Hughes themselves or at least make the attempt? Easy answer to my own question–because she would risk having her evaluation blow up in her face.

            That’s why as Lizzie pointed out her evaluation to be legitimate in any way needed to be extremely limited and needed to communicate clearly what her limitations were. Not only did she evaluate Travis’ mental state and motivations but also those of the Hughes without going to the source directly and without adequate data to speak about what they believed or felt. Remember she claimed they thought Travis was abusing Jodi and had abused Deeanna. They deny saying anything like that ever.

          13. Linda K

            Points well made, Maria. But I see where you and I have a slightly different take on what ALV was actually testifying to regarding the Hughes’ emails.

            May I take a moment to relate my take on that whole exchange? I can’t cite specifics without going back and listening to the entire portion of her testimony so I’m going to share my general impression to the best of my recollection.

            First, I can only assume there had been an objection to actually reading the Hughes’ emails into the record. Second, I was under the impression ALV was being asked to paraphrase the contents of the emails, paragraph by paragraph, rather than provide an analysis of the meaning. For example, I remember the testimony going something like this (in a repeated manner):

            Willmott: “And did he then say [something or other]?”

            ALV: “Yes, he said…”

            Martinez: “Objection.”

            Stephens: “Are you reading?”

            ALV: “No, I’m paraphrasing.”

            At the time, I might not have picked up on any analysis ALV may have slipped in — I’ll give you that. We’ve never seen the actual emails and, in fact, in the May 6th interview given by Chris [which you linked, above] he stated even HE didn’t have copies of all of them.

            At any rate, hearing the context behind the exchange from both Chris and Sky, we know the intent was radically different than the impression left by any paraphrasing. Heck, if ALV had just read the emails ver batim they would be just as damaging. In this instance, context is EVERYthing!

            So now we’re back to the point that ALV should have asked to talk to Chris and Sky. Please don’t think I’m arguing otherwise because I’m not. I just wanted to point out that I didn’t recognize any “analysis” during that specific portion of her testimony but it may well have been there.

            Having said all that, why in the Sam Hill didn’t Juan call Chris or Sky in rebuttal? There would have been the remedy, right there!

          14. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            I don’t think you’re arguing, you’re expressing your thoughts. I remember it slightly differently. Alyce specifically said that among the data she collected that supports that Travis abused Jodi and abused several other women was the emails from Chris and Sky.

            Remember she said that Travis had a pattern of insinuating himself into the lives of women when they were vulnerable? And he had emotionally abused several of them? She cited the fact that Lisa wrote some emails saying she was upset about his mentioning sex so often and putting down her wanting to be a teacher. And another woman who is now married had exchanged emails about how her husband was treating her and Travis told her she didn’t deserve to be treated that way and she should go to her bishop? Alyce said this was inappropriate and an effort on his part to have influence on her when she was vulnerable? She then cited Deeanna and said Chris and Sky Hughes had witnessed Travis emotionally abuse her and had sent emails to Travis complaining about what he had done to Deeanna and that he was doing the same thing to Jodi? It was all part of her analysis that Travis had a pattern of abusing women. She linked it to her domestic abuse chart under one or more of her “characteristics” or “behaviors” of abusers.

          15. Linda K

            @Maria,

            The answer to all those questions is yes, yes and yes, I remember it all. What I don’t remember is the exact context and sequence during her testimony when she said any of it. Was that all slipped in as part of her testimony on the Hughes’ emails? Someone pass the ginkgo biloba, please!

            I should go back and watch that testimony again but… I’m kinda busy right now… reading WotC. ;) I’m about halfway through and so discouraged by it I can’t even laugh at her sarcasm — which I’m sure would have me ROTFL were it not such a serious subject.

          16. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Yes, all connected. With her made-up Domestic Abuse chart projected overhead on the screen. If I find time some day, I’ll post the relevant moments. But it might be awhile…

          17. Linda K

            Actually, I have a pretty good idea of the answer to the last question I asked: Chris & Sky must have have been double-edged swords for both sides.

          18. Linda K

            P.S. @ Maria,

            If ALV made an initial interview request directly to the Defense team instead of Chris & Sky (or others) would they have told her, “No, you can’t,” for legal reasons? If so, that could explain why Chris & Sky would be unaware of any request.

            Thinking back, I believe JM tried to question her about the “not allowed” statement, asking who told her that. She essentially did a little tap dance in reply without actually answering the question. I need to go back and watch that exchange to make sure, but I think there was even a sidebar involved. But, at any rate, the line of questioning was dropped.

          19. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            There are no legal reasons she cannot ask to speak to people or to see all the evidence. She can’t require anyone talk to her, of course. But she can ask people. The defense cannot tell her no because they’re not supposed to interfere with her professional judgment if she says that she will try to talk to witnesses, friends, family. Doesn’t mean any one of them would talk to her, most would be crazy to cooperate with the killer’s expert. But she didn’t try and then lied by saying she couldn’t.

          20. Linda K

            Thank you, Maria. I wasn’t sure whether there might be some legal prohibition against interaction between witnesses, either under specific circumstances or in general. I respect your opinion that ALV simply lied on the stand about not being allowed to interview anyone else [and I’m not ruling that out], but I guess I’m stuck on the notion that the average person needs a good reason to commit perjury. And I don’t see a good reason for that one when she could just as easily have said, “I didn’t interview [Jane Doe] but I reviewed a [transcript/email/text] which provided enough information for me to draw a conclusion.”

            Also, thank you for the links to the interviews with the Hughes. I just finished listening to the May 20th broadcast. In it, Sky does confirm she was not asked by ALV to explain the emails in question but it sounds to me she would have jumped at the chance to explain and is bothered by not having had it. Sky did say she thinks ALV is probably a good person who was taken in by JA’s skilled manipulation. She went on to explain how people just cannot understand how good JA is at it, that she fooled many people prior to the murder — not the least of whom was Travis himself.

          21. Penny

            Working for a psychiatrist for a number of years I know he would never have conducted himself in the manner that ALV did.He has been subpoenaed to court on occasion and would never testify to anything he did not know 100% and would not be to much into himself to admit that in front of the court. Also in anything this serious he would have spoken to other people and not depended on just one person and text that were not complete. Even an idiot could see Jodi had taken some of her text off or ALV had ommited part of them. ALV is a disgrace to profesionals and I can only wonder how many people she has hurt. She was not taken in by Jodi but was hired by the defense and that is a court whore. Just think of it this way if must of us did not believe Jodi how could someone who has credentials and should know more then the laymen be suckered in?

          22. Linda K

            @Penny,

            You wrote, “Just think of it this way if must of us did not believe Jodi how could someone who has credentials and should know more then the laymen be suckered in?”

            That’s the whole point of the book by Margaret Hagen — mental health professionals are no more intuitive than the average person.

          23. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Linda, I too used to feel people would need good reasons to lie. But it happens so often that I no longer expect any testimony to be free of a few lies. People lie easily when the lie is for a personal excuse. Alyce’s lies were excuses. Each time. When she lied about testifying for a man in a criminal trial, it was because jurors had pointed out anti-male bias and asked about testifying for a man in a similar criminal situation. She needed to cover her obvious bias, an excuse to her behavior, and lied about having testified for man before.

            There’s also a distinction between lying and perjury. It’s only perjury if its about a material issue, not a collateral issue. Perjury charges cannot be brought for lying about not being able to talk to other people. Perjury would be if she claimed Travis killed himself after Jodi tells her she killed him. The material issue is Travis’ murder and who did it.

            Shellie Zimmerman, for example, committed perjury because the material issue at a bond hearing is the amount of bond the court can impose based on the defendant’s financial situation. Her lie about the financial situation is perjury. But if she had lied about simply not having talked to George about finances, its not really perjury even though it is a lie. In some situations a court can impose a fine as a sanction for lying where it is not perjury and criminal charges cannot be brought. But perjury is a felony that requires the issue to be material, the lie to be a deliberate attempt to deceive on that material issue.

            Alyce’s slippery lies were mainly excuses to save face.

          24. Linda K

            @Maria,

            Lying v. Perjury — I knew that. Thanks for the headslap. LOL

            BTW, I do agree she lied about testifying for a man in a criminal case. I’d be surprised if she testified for anyone in a criminal case prior to this, considering how goofy she acted on cross.

          25. Penny

            Linda K I never have and never will believe a word out of ALV mouth. She thought this would give her some fame.

          26. NERN

            Linda K. – your comments of September 5th are very insightful. I find that I lean the same way as you do. Do not be quiet – your opinion is valued.

          27. Linda K

            Thank you, NERN. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve said pretty much everything I want or feel the need to say in defense of my rationale for not thinking ALV acted out of greed or malice. I don’t mind that others disagree and I’ll still be happy to consider any counterpoints or evidence they’d like to discuss. Who knows — my mind may yet change. What? It could happen! :)

    1. Don Osborne

      @ Lizzie
      Lizzie, you have made several telling points about the genuineness of La Violette’s ‘testimony’. Anyone who seeks to support / justify / excuse her slaughter of the victim in court, is attempting to defend the indefensible.
      If this woman is other than a complete idiot, her ‘testimony’, ‘findings’ and selling of her soul were beyond contempt.

      1. Penny

        If us as laymen did not believe Jodi then we all should know that ALV who knows soooo much about DV was only on that stand to help Jodi out. And that my friends is a court whore.

  22. psychoncrime

    I truly enjoyed reading your assessment of the “zany” Ms. LaViolette. Not only did you lessen the sting as we revisited her painful blunders both past and present, you also managed to convey a subtle, yet, highly effective, comic undercurrent, providing the much needed relief from the reactions her bizarre behaviors can, at times, elicit.
    Although I would love to analyze Ms. LaViolette further with you , there is a time and place for everything. Anyone who can distort realty to the degree she can demonstrates the need for further consideration and possible entertainment too – If Alyce can label the murder victim,Travis Alexander, as the perpetrator, in his own murder trial, then, why wouldn’t she also be capable of seeing a chicken bone as a perpetrator or death threat,as well? Thanks again for a great read!

  23. Colleen Nagle

    I was a victim of domestic violence 35 years ago… I found Alyce to be totally ridiculous.. She deserved everything that was dished out to her.. All that Snow White and 7 dwarfs bull !! What a joke !! My heart breaks for the Alexander family and I hope they get the justice that they so deserve !! She better brush up on dealing with Wackos instead of Walt Disney fairy tales.. She was rude and made herself look so stupid !!! I bet a lot of people have lost respect for her after that charade !!! What an ass !!!

    1. Uppity

      The Snow White thing is typical of a seminar entertainer. This is what she is. She’s like the warm-up act for the real show.

  24. Don Osborne

    Dr K., this woman could not possibly be viewed as anything other than a total disaster for the defense, and anyone that suggests that her utter BS positively influenced any jury members is casting a rather large aspersion on the level of their intelligence.

    1. NERN

      No question that ALV was a disaster on the stand. No question that she is a bad representative, supporter and therapist for DV victims.

      Her career is destroyed and essentially her life as she knew it.

      Many people continue to try and influence others that their opinion is correct and will go on national television to do this. They use whatever it takes to get their point across. Look at the sister of the man who abducted Hannah – she went on P. Morgan’s show and although she backed off on the paternity claims, she still does not believe that her brother was at fault.

      AVL is so appalled and feels victimized by J.Q. Public that she went to the airwaves once again to state her position. Dream world or just so fixated on herself, she cannot help but try to explain that she is right.

      She is wrong – this has been proven over and over again. She has defended a cold-blooded murderer and continues to do so. She misrepresented her credentials. She deeply offended true survivors of DV.
      SHE DESTROYED HER OWN CAREER AND HER LIFE.

      Now, with this “outing” of ALV and all her faults, we need to forget her and let her try to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Just like Arias, she needs to fade away. The info on her is out there and people can act accordingly but from my perspective, this continued rehashing of her life, testimony and subsequent actions serve no purpose. She will have to take the fallout.

      The focus now should be to end this whole circus/fiasco. The focus should be on putting pressure on the Arizona judicial system to get this mess over with, once and for all. No more stalling, no more placating the defense and especially Arias. No more.

      Try this poor excuse for a human being and give her the sentence she deserves and then all of us and especially the Alexander family can move on.

      People now know who ALV really is. All those who knew/know her will act accordingly.
      Beating a dead horse does not serve any purpose.
      Ignore her. Be outraged but ignore her. She will go away.

      Just saying.

      1. Linda K

        @NERN,

        We shouldn’t forget the example of the jury foreman, William Zervakos, who provided interview after interview in an attempt to persuade “stupid people” Jodi was abused by Travis and that it was an important (and righteous) factor in his decision to vote for Life. One court watcher (Camille Kimball observed him vigorously nodding at ALV as she testified.

          1. Penny

            A.V. convinced not only the forman but 3 others on the jury. And don’t forget about her fans.

          2. Linda K

            When it came to PR, ALV didn’t do the Defense any favors. But she did at least convince one juror (the foreman) to believe abuse was a sufficient mitigating factor to spare Jodi’s life. We don’t yet know why the other three jurors voted for Life but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to speculate they also believed in the abuse.

            Nurmi and Willmott surely knew all along Jodi would inevitably be convicted of murder. The only realistic chance they have for “success” in this case is avoiding the death penalty. So far, they’ve done that. Now they need only convince one more juror that Jodi’s life has value and they’re home free.

          3. Don Osborne

            I am far from convinced that anyone on that jury believed that abuse was a mitigating factor in this case but rather the foreman chose it as an excuse to avoid responsibility for voting for the death penalty.
            I have not set out to make an ass of the foreman of the jury – he has done a pretty good job of that himself.

      2. Zooyork

        Do you think ALV knows deep-down that she was a disaster on the stand? Or do you think she’s so obtuse and arrogant that she (still) thinks she was brilliant, humorous and ‘showed up’ Juan Martinez, despite all the backlash? Perhaps telling herself that the backlash has nothing to do with her, but only everything to do with people’s “biased hatred ” toward jodi; to soothe her ego?
        Unfortunately ALV’s comments in this interview suggest this to me.

        You know her “childhood friends” who shrieked with laughter at ALV’s rude comments to Martinez probably tell her she did awesome on the stand, and ALV eats it up.

        After these months had passed since ALV’s testimony, I had been hoping for some contrition, humility, and maturity from this woman after the backlash she received,but alas, no.

        1. NERN

          @Zooyork
          I like to think that despite her entrenchment in her beliefs, she is not a stupid woman – just totally stubborn and misguided over the years. I think her pride gets in her way but she gets it – how she royally messed up. I still believe she does not do what she does with malice of thought.
          She is broken and probably trying to salvage her career.
          Unless she is like a caterpillar who changes into a beautiful butterfly with new life, open to the world around her and not so stubborn to learn from this, we will not hear any “contrition, humility, and maturity from this woman”.

        2. Penny

          My feeling is ALV is so arrogant that she believes everything that came out of her mouth was true. Sure her cheerleaders are still patting her on the back.

  25. Patricia

    Well put. I would add is that she brought a lot of this on herself (in my opinion) when she was disrespectful and confrontational with Juan Martinez. She says with (obviously fake) sweet comments like “Mr. Martinez are you angry with me?” and “If you were in my group, I would put you in a time out.” just to name 2. Prior to my retirement I testified many times in criminal cases and I would have never taken that attitude with a professional lawyer no matter how he challenged me. Because he is just doing his job. And because I wanted to keep mine. Those type of snarky comments were not allowed in our courtrooms.

    1. Linda K

      @Patricia,

      I have a question for you. Since you mentioned you’ve testified in many criminal cases, are you at all offended by people referring to expert witnesses as prostitutes and whores? Just curious.

      1. bellkurve

        I know this question isn’t directly addressed to me, but since I’ve been banding about the term “prostitute” let me clarify; there’s a big difference between a prostitute and a true expert.

        When you look at the cases of a prostitute, they all say the same thing. Take the case of Grigson mentioned above – he testified virtually 100% of the time that everybody he interviewed was a future danger, even in a maximum security prison setting; he was always going to be a future danger. He always testified for the State when seeking the death penalty.

        ALV is similar – she testifies for her agenda. I bet she’s never found a case where she hasn’t said the woman was abused.

        A real expert is an expert across the board. His/her opinion is based in peer reviewed, time tested science. His/her opinion falls where it falls; if s/he’s hired by the defense, his/her opinion doesn’t change to aid the defense. So, if the blood spatter indicates the victim was running away, that’s the expert’s opinion, no matter who asks (and why the Defense won’t call that expert to the stand, but will use the opinion to understand and try to counter the State’s expert, assuming the state’s expert comes to the same conclusions for the same reasons).

        Hard science is difficult enough, but as soon as you get into psychology, things get strange, and psychology has a hard time dealing and policing itself. But, the courts have to rely on the field to try to make some difficult decisions – who to put in a mental institution and for how long, who’s competent to make a will, who should be put to death.

        Take a look at this: http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/96q1/wizard.html
        and you get an idea of the problems that the law and legislators have with psychology and psychiatry. It’s a real senate bill. It passed 100% in the state senate of New Mexico, but died in the house (according to the legislative historian I contacted a number of years ago).

        The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of people in every profession who’ll take your money to give you what you want (whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is irrelevant – they’ll give you exactly what you pay for) – I’m not talking just psychology. Morality is interesting, but the cumulative affect is that we have to wade through a lot of crap to try to get to the truth of the matter. ALV is one of those rare species who demonstrates unequivocally that she’s a prostitute. These are the people who advertise their “expert” services in bar magazines, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s doing the like in her neck of the woods.

        1. Linda K

          …since I’ve been banding about the term “prostitute” let me clarify; there’s a big difference between a prostitute and a true expert.

          Absolutely. My concern is that the labels tend to denigrate all experts, regardless of their credentials or sincerity. It seems there are people who believe any expert who testifies on behalf of a defendant, particularly an unpopular one, must be a professional prostitute. On principle, I think that’s unfair.

          1. bellkurve

            I agree. I also know a huge variety of psychologists and psychiatrists who never want to appear in court – they prefer either the classroom or more usually, their actual practice.

            The problem is twofold: finding the true experts from amongst the huge amount of dreck, and convincing a jury that the true expert is the true expert and not the whore that the other side put on the stand. Rarely is it so cut and dried as ALV v. JM et al. And, as we saw from the jury foreman, even when it appears so very obvious to the vast majority of people, some people will drink that Kool-Aid, and buy into everything that the prostitute says.

            And yes, working in the courts is much more lucrative than your standard therapy practice. ALV could not command near that hourly rate with just an MA and her personality. Professional “experts” are in a completely different tax bracket than a psychiatrist with a thriving practice, don’t work as much, and they don’t have to carry near the malpractice insurance.

          2. Linda K

            @bellkurve

            …convincing a jury that the true expert is the true expert and not the whore that the other side put on the stand…

            That seems to assume it’s not possible to find two true experts who genuinely disagree. I find that a sad indictment of our legal system.

  26. Kc

    Alyce L. was nothing but a hired goon, she sold her soul to the devil for 350.00 hr. She proved she was a “man hater”, and should not be allowed to continue with her “practices”. Travis DID NOT ABUSE SKANK ARIAS. The e-mails she based her “information” on, is widely known that Skank Arias provoked that Sex tape with Travis, and was using it to black mail him. That is what set Travis off to call her names…. Skank Arias is a physco Anal queen and was using sex to get what she wanted from men, she was looking for someone to trap and be “taken care of”. When it did not work with any man she was using, she went off her bonkers. SKANK ARIAS WAS USING THAT SEX TAPE TO BLACK MAIL TRAVIS. And if Juan M. was to investigate I had heard somewhere even her brother said so. Alyce is a IMO fraud, and she ruined her reputation all on her own.

  27. Karmah

    Good!! Nobody wants to see her ugly fact or hear her spew her lies for the second time! And as for the death threats…There is a HUGE difference between actually threatening her and just wishing her ill will. Of all the posts I’ve read, I never once read an actual threat.

  28. Katie

    Of course anyone or most anyone would “feel hurt” Her feelings are not under scrutiny here. Refusing to stand up to her convictions and continue to support the client she championed by refusing to testify in an attempt to save her life, is. She could have even requested to testify via video or off camera but we didn’t see that. Just a flat out victim posture and making it all about HER.

    In my opinion this press conference aka “interview” she served up and her refusal to continue her commitment to this case is far beyond her feelings.

    It’s trial strategy that she’s willing to cooperate with. Just like her testimony was.
    I too think she’s convinced herself Jodi was a “victim” here. She’s also convinced herself that she’s a “victim” here.
    But she also tried to sell she was stalked yet walked the next day in to the most populated hotel in the entire Phoenix area by media covering this trial yet claimed she was being harassed. Talk about putting a spotlight straight on herself.
    By design.
    All of this, ALL OF IT, is a slap in the face to true victims of abuse and true victims of stalking everywhere.
    Of all people, she should know better.
    (this was responsive to Linda K but this system keeps telling me I’m entering an incorrect captcha value but I do know basic math ;) )

    1. Linda K

      @Katie, you wrote:

      Her feelings are not under scrutiny here. Refusing to stand up to her convictions and continue to support the client she championed by refusing to testify in an attempt to save her life, is.

      If there actually were death threats as serious as she alleges, then she at least has a legitimate reason to be frightened — even if not a legitimate reason to refuse to testify in the retrial. I realize this is a legal issue and that she, as an expert, can be compelled to continue. If the Defense chooses to use her refusal as a Trial Strategy and not compel her, then time will tell whether it was a smart strategy.

      Didn’t Kirk Nurmi originally intimate the primary reason neither ALV nor Patti Womack were willing to testify was due to witness intimidation on the part of the Prosecution? Then when that didn’t work to trigger a mistrial, he said the women were getting death threats? Well, we know Patti has some “issues” that could prevent her from testifying but she admitted on TV she never had any death threats. Now ALV is telling us she had death threats but makes no mention of any intimidation issues. Makes me wonder, but that’s just idle brain noise. I have no suspicions or accusations to offer.

      1. Katie

        If there were death threats as serious as she stated, then she should have, could have, likely would have contacted authorities. Filed a police report. Called a detective, anything. Heck she even had/has a local reporter who’s been doing all kinds of barking about these death threats in the news. He’s also the one who inaccurately reported she’d been “followed” to that restaurant and never did a retraction even though the person who took the photo clarified there was no “following”. She was simply a fellow diner who was appalled hearing defense strategy discussed in the open like that so she snapped a pic.
        The fact that that one act was so wildly and inaccurately depicted leaves, to me, all of her “fears” as suspicious. In fact right after that article was written about her being “stalked” and “harassed” she walked as into the open as she could possibly could with the exception of bringing a picnic to the news trucks parked outside the courthouse for dinner. She was one small step and one block away from that though.

        I find her allegations of “death threats” suspicious at best and excuses for not following up on the sentencing phase, justifying her abandonment of Jodi Arias more realistic.

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          Its very ironic too that according to her reasoning, Travis was NOT stalked and DID NOT fear for his life. But she IS stalked and DOES fear for her life from harassing notes sent by people that have never broken into her home or slashed her tires.

        2. Linda K

          @Katie,

          I hear you. And I don’t blame you or anyone for being suspicious due to some of her other, rather paranoid claims. On the other hand, I’m not convinced we could or would know whether or not any death threats have been reported to authorities. It’s the old caveat, “absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.” We may never know unless and until either an arrest is made or some sleuthing reporter gets hands on a copy of a criminal complaint or the threat itself straight from ALV. :(

        3. Elaine

          “Her feelings are not under scrutiny here. Refusing to stand up to her convictions and continue to support the client she championed by refusing to testify in an attempt to save her life, is.”

          @Katie
          Agree. Alyce’s “feelings” are not the issue. Refusing to stand up to her convictions makes me question her confidence in those convictions about Arias and her reasoning comes into question then, as to why she chose to accept Arias’ case. She needs to buck up and eat a burnt grilled cheese sandwich.

          It’s not her first pony ride. This ‘woman’ counsels abusers, both physical and verbal. I’d pull my left front tooth if she’s never felt threatened or been threatened before. She’s likely not been in a single session but in one where multiple abusers circle her words and in an emergency, someone would have her…back. And, she’d have a police report and restraining order placed on that person. They wouldn’t be able to return for Court ordered counseling.

          Every opportunity was presented for witness protection, the defense is asking to bar cameras now. Yet Alyce, timed with multiple motions by the defense, cites her reasoning. I think Juan Martinez would call her actions out. Her public displays make her words all the more disingenuous.

  29. Elaine

    I’ve read through every post and the recurring theme appears to be that Alyce cannot be trusted, then or now. Though the tears may be real, I couldn’t get beyond the word “sad.” Sad that people would have so much hatred for someone they didn’t know. Alyce’s objective slip is showing, again, for Jodi. I was “sad” when I burned my grilled cheese sandwich. I didn’t cry and yes, I ate it. That’s what I want Alyce to do.

    I’m 100% against threats of any kind and certainly, there was language that was completely uncalled for, maybe even deranged. Those individuals have issues. I think the percentage though is rather low. But, when it comes to Alyce not testifying for the mitigation phase, collectively, her reasoning doesn’t make sense to me. I can’t make it, fit.

    Who reasons that placing ones self in the media spotlight again (especially after purported death threats) could produce an altogether different response from the public? Or that she feels safe enough to take her words to the media yet in the same breath, she can’t step up for Aria’s mitigation now? Do we see her any differently today as opposed to her testimony during trial?

    Based on this thread, I’d say, no. She’s still perceived as *unprofessional, *outdated, the *Mistress of Misandry, a *sell-out to true Domestic Violence victims and most of all, *out of touch with reality about who the true victim was…and seriously, what does Alyce want from the public? To cut her some slack for her belief that she gave her “professional educated” opinion? I’ve read her CV. That would be, no, I can’t.

    Hatred for her, that didn’t seem as important to her since she placed Jodi first in her speech. To me, we don’t ‘know her’ on a personal level. That’s entirely different than the public feeling outrage, even hatred, for her biased opinions and host of other embarrassing guffaws. We saw a trial, we heard a trial, Jodi is the trial and Alyce…”remember what the dormouse said ~ feed your head.” And that she did, in spite of Nurmi, Willmott, Arias and all of the evidence.

    I place the blame solely on Alyce for not being able to subjectively review what was given to her because it’s likely she saw and heard a lot more than we did, that couldn’t be brought into trial. But she agrees (in this latest interview) that Arias “slaughtered” Travis…and that’s where I feel like going off…because in turn, she was still defending Arias’s lie of self defense and abuse as a justification for slaughter.

    Alyce “asked around” if others, faced with (paraphrasing) the same dilemma, and a knife, would they know when to stop (slaughtering)…and people said they didn’t know. Alyce is looking for justification.

    I think if she felt that strongly, still, wouldn’t she be inclined to accept the judges reasoning for securing any witness for the mitigation phase? It isn’t enough that her “family” doesn’t want her to testify…Alyce doesn’t have a legitimate excuse. Is she distancing her self? And if you’ve read the motion about the witnesses, Alyce and Womack, it’s interesting because near the end of the document, they only list Alyce.

    Yes, Womack is in there, but not near the end, where the language is specific about Aria’s rights. Womack has her own set of problems…and asking for a change of venue is not going to bring character witnesses for Arias’s climax. Pun intended.

    1. NERN

      Blame ALV for her own demise if you will and partially, I believe it is true.
      but I also believe that she entered a realm that she was totally unprepared for in any shape or form and in her arrogance, she is treading water to keep some semblance of the life she once had.
      I have never underestimated the manipulative and cunning behaviour of Arias. She knew exactly what she was doing in choosing ALV. Unfortunately, ALV had no conceivable idea of what she was getting into.

      1. Penny

        Oh come on. ALV knew what she was walking into she just thought she was smarter then the average person and could get away with blaming DV. She wanted money and her few days of fame. She did get the money and she also got a few days of SHAME

      2. Elaine

        @Nern
        I can see that Nern, “treading water to keep some semblance of the life she once had.” It was comfortable, then. But I’m not hearing Alyce give any credence to Arias for the negative reactions to her credibility as a Domestic Violence Expert. I’m not hearing her question or re-evaluate her opinions. I’m hearing Alyce support Arias while blaming the public for their opinion and the true victim, Travis Alexander. It’s like a mirror of Arias. I’m not hearing Alyce acknowledge the foundation of recovery for DV victims, the base on which she built her life, because she is ignoring their outcry of betrayal. Alyce is saying to them, you don’t know me. I believe they do, now. Alyce has been exposed. Alyce is no longer comfortable, because of that.

        Alyce, by her own words, has advocated for the abuser and her base recognizes this betrayal because they are victims who survived and know others were not as fortunate. Alyce hasn’t acknowledged that proceeds from Arias’ “Survivor” T-shirt sales are no longer accepted by the Long Beach Women’s Shelter, the place Alyce advocates. They also requested to be removed from the jodiisinnocent site. Has Alyce requested her own name be removed from that site? It may be gone now.

        I don’t believe Arias “chose” Alyce for anything other than to tell a pathological liars story of abuse and self preservation, which Alyce acknowledges as a justified “slaughter” while using others to support her own questions of “what would you do in the same situation, if you had a knife.” This comes from an expert in the field of DV? It’s the same kind of rage an abuser levels against a victim and by all accounts, something a DV Expert would instill in a potential victim the observable signs of abuse and methods for self preservation at the first sign(s) of abuse. Leave. I believe Alyce chose Arias, for all the wrong reasons. I think some victims feel confused and angry about…Alyce’s word.

        And IF I believed for one minute, which I don’t, that Arias had control over Alyce, then I have every reason to believe, which I do, that Alyce LaViolette has perpetrated the worst kind of fraud against the abusers that she counsels. They’ve committed a crime, they’ve been arrested, they are ordered by a Court to obtain DV counsel and, a felony abuse will remain on their record for the rest of their life. Should they ‘trust’ her? Do the victims trust her, now?

        Alyce’s portrayal of expertise on abusers suggests to me that she cannot be controlled or duped, as evidenced by her display in court: “If you were in my group, I would ask you take a time out, Mr. Martinez.” If Alyce was consistent in anything, it was on responding with “Mr. Martinez,” to let him know (or so she believed) that she recognized him, by her definition…as an abuser. He bit back, exposing her further.

        I can visualize Alyce throwing her weight of knowledge AT those she counsels about their behavior and using alternative methods to verbal and physical abuse. Still, Alyce is “sad,” but not angry about the hatred leveled against her…and “Jodi.” I’m unable to cough up an empathetic ball for a murderer. Alyce cries because of it.

        If it were true, which I don’t believe it is, that Alyce “had no conceivable idea of what she was getting into,” then there isn’t any value in the words on Alyce’s CV either.

        1. NERN

          Elaine, I have reread your comments, taken my dog for her walk so…

          The points you raise are valid ones.

          But I still believe that she was out of her depth by accepting to work for Arias. I am not privileged to know anything about her practices over the years, her personal history or anything else except what I have observed through the trial.
          Whatever her methods over the years, bullying, using her arrogant personality or even possibly being a victim herself somewhere in her past, I do not know that she is a “man-hater” as so many have alluded to.
          I believe SHE believed in what she was doing and how she did it.
          Padded her CV – absolutely! Has deeply offended true survivors of DV – absolutely! Displayed her complete arrogance in the court room – absolutely! Created this animosity for her by the public – absolutely!
          But I do not believe that she is like Arias who is cold-blooded, malicious, devious, manipulating and horrible person.
          Again, ALV may be unethical in many ways and she has that arrogance about her but she did not resort to slaughter. She believes what she believes and has gone with it. If she may have been a victim in the past, that would be her entire basis for her claiming to be one now.
          She came up against someone who far out-weighed her in their actions and personality and when I say she is “treading water”, I believe that she really does not get it – that she is so incredibly wrong so she keeps trying to state her opinions, as outlandish as they are, to validate herself and what she believes.
          She got caught up in something that was way beyond her but her arrogance that she is right is a hard habit to break I guess. That is why I believe she is “sad” and not angry.
          I take nothing that she has to offer about Arias, DV or her being a victim through all this with anything but seeing it as rubbish.
          Her future will be up to clients, peers and how much more she puts herself in the public eye. (Notice that Samuels has just faded away?)

          As an aside – this was well timed by the defense (Arias) to probably encourage her to go on national TV).

          1. Elaine

            @Nern…

            Thanks for your reply Nern.

            “She came up against someone who far out-weighed her in their actions and personality”

            To me, that’s what makes Alyce dangerous to those she counsels, perpetrators and victims alike. Abusers often display the same behaviors as Arias, but haven’t slaughtered their victim. What makes Arias a bird of a different feather in Alyce’s field of expertise on DV with years of experience?

            “and when I say she is “treading water”, I believe that she really does not get it – that she is so incredibly wrong so she keeps trying to state her opinions, as outlandish as they are, to validate herself and what she believes.”

            I can’t forget that Alyce spent some 40 hours of interviews with Arias including review of documents. And in turn, Samuels spent considerable time as well. I cannot deny that Arias is an exhausting client for all involved. Her psychopathy sucks the life out of a room. But I still hear Alyce supporting Arias.

            Alyce is caught in a conundrum…if she remotely admits she was ‘wrong.’ What’s the best way out, for Alyce? “Anxiety.” According to her, she’s never had that in her life. And that “anxiety,” is it because of “threats”…threats that haven’t materialized? Threats that fail to keep Alyce out of the spotlight? Where is the proof? Is being “sad” a form of depression…a form of “anger” turned inward?

            Yet, here is something we haven’t really explored and I hope Dr. Randle can shed some light on this as well as Maria Cristina Santana…the roll of the Mitigation Specialist and coordination of that Specialists findings with the Defense team. That includes the “professionals” who testified. They’re essentially the closing argument before opening the can of worms, about Arias.

            The following link provides a limited scope of the Specialists expectations:
            http://www.arizonamitigation.com/what-is-a-mitigation-specialist/

            “She got caught up in something that was way beyond her but her arrogance that she is right is a hard habit to break I guess. That is why I believe she is “sad” and not angry.”

            If it is a “habit” for Alyce, I’m thinking it’s more “anger,” directed outward. The public’s “hatred” of what Alyce purported dismays her, how could she be wrong? She’s an expert!! Does “anger” turn to sadness, the reverse, or both? When I think about that, I think of Alyce as repressing anger. After all, doesn’t Alyce counsel perpetrators about their “anger” issues?

            Why isn’t Alyce expressing a constructive “anger” for having been attacked with vile insults, the barrage of “anger” expressed on Amazon or through phone calls or emails or letters or on Twitter? Isn’t “anger” a true emotion? It’s the very same thing Alyce LaViolette castigated Travis’s character for as he hurled ‘words’ at her, about her behaviors…he called her a “sociopath.” A “three-hole wonder.” He exposed her for what she is …and it made her…angry. She slaughtered him…and Alyce sees him as the abuser. And she’s sad, for Arias, because people don’t “know her.” Now I’m getting angry thinking about…Alyce.

          2. NERN

            Elaine – I like the sharing of opinions.
            I found one thing you said a bit disturbing although I am sure you did not mean it the I took it. “Threats that never materialized”. I am sure that you would not want this to happen but do they have to happen to make them real?
            Everyone is different and some may take the vile remarks such as made to AVL as threats, as she did, and some would just consider the source and take them for hateful remarks and move on.
            Maybe she is angry, sad and beaten and is handling it the only way she knows how. Her way is to fight back. It does not make it right or ethical and I understand that one can deduct that she is a menace in her field.
            Call her what one will, chastise her for all the damage she has done but I still believe that she is beaten, knows it but is too arrogant and a bit too self-righteous to admit defeat.
            Whatever, the trial is done and if she wants to be in the spotlight thinking she is still helping a monster, so be it. She will have to live with the fallout and I would venture to guess that there will be plenty of it for her.
            I have to trust that the state and Juan Martinez will continue his already proven ability to get justice for Travis.

          3. Elaine

            @Nern

            ““Threats that never materialized”. I am sure that you would not want this to happen but do they have to happen to make them real?”

            That’s correct, I wouldn’t want the “threats” (words) to become acts (materialize). When does it become “real?” When action is taken. At least that’s my perspective, because it has happened to me in an Urgent Care facility. The individual expressed the words, the reality was that he brandished the gun as an act to facilitate what he wanted. Thankfully, he did not shoot his intended target, one of our physicians. But being held hostage, locked in a facility with SWAT on the outside and a 4 hour standoff cemented the reality of an act of aggression.

            David Lee Simpson is an example. He was infatuated with Arias. He was indicted on “stalking” and “computer tampering” for threats on Twitter both before and after the trial of Arias. He threatened Velez, Grace and another woman. He then quit his job and was leaving town when he was captured heading south, out of NY. It’s reported that he had several guns, shotgun ammunition, handcuffs, zip-ties, binoculars, a knife and a police radio.

            Any threat should not be taken lightly, I’m not suggesting that it should. In our situation, security became relevant after the fact as it did in an inner city ER, where drug seekers were becoming the norm, hiding on floors and in utility rooms to pilfer narcotics from drug carts. Desperate times often create desperate acts by individuals. From those examples of what I experienced as well as another incident in a small community clinic, my senses became heightened to the potential. I found myself triaging behaviors that presented themselves.

            But I’m not a public figure in the sense that Alyce was, where the backlash to her testimony from her own ‘camp’ and the public at large, went viral. In spite of that, as Katie noted, Alyce placed herself squarely in the public following those “threats.” Telling to me was that neither Willmott nor Nurmi had an issue being in public with her in the halls of the court and in local eateries. Telling to me as well, was Alyce responding to comments on her own Twitter. The defense team doesn’t address those facts.

            I agree with you; “a bit too self-righteous to admit defeat.” Which to me, makes her recent interview disingenuous. Warts and all. As Dr. K said, “we are still not buying it.”

          4. NERN

            Elaine, It is obvious that you have nasty experiences to draw your conclusions from – something that, thankfully, I do not have. It helps me to understand your position and respect it.
            Whatever ALV’s motives are for her stance and continued rhetoric on it, I believe that she is trying to salvage some semblance of her former life before the trial. Doing it in the most incorrect way – yes. Perpetuating the public outcry against her – yes. Revealing more and more about who she really is – yes. But having said this, I still think that she is sadly scrambling just as the very person she is defending is doing with her antics before the court.
            Heard the last of her, along with Arias? Not by a long shot.
            I strongly believe that is high time this entire issue was finished and the sooner the better.

          5. Elaine

            @Nern

            “I still think that she is sadly scrambling just as the very person she is defending is doing with her antics before the court.”

            Agree. That’s what I meant when I said Alyce is like a mirror of Arias. When Alyce got into the boat in spite of the hole (evidence) she was going to make that boat float. Arias doesn’t see a boat, she can walk on water, it matters not that the others drown. They’re both looking for a lifeline now. They can defend the laws, they just can’t defend the reasoning.

            In the long run, the jurors will decide. If they’re unable, it’s in the judges hands.

            “Heard the last of her, along with Arias?”

            Not by a long shot, agree. It’s going to be another bumpy ride.

          6. NERN

            Ya know Elaine, I think the thing that is upsetting me so much (excluding how upsetting and horrible the crime) is that through all the rhetoric, Arias is still not sentenced for the brutal slaughter of Travis that she has been convicted of. To feel that this thing is going to go on for quite some time further is exasperating to me.

          7. Elaine

            @Nern,

            “Arias is still not sentenced for the brutal slaughter of Travis that she has been convicted of”

            It sure can be “exasperating!” Everyday Arias was on the stand bears that portion out. Circuitous defense? Judicial waste? Staggering defense costs, because of the death penalty? A hold out, against the prosecution? They’re preparing, as they should, that the prosecution isn’t going to offer anything other than what they have, the death penalty. The laws allow for both.

            For each state, I would love to see a compilation of the most expensive defense cases in history! Some may speculate that justice, in this country, at any cost, not just monetarily, proves that the system works.

  30. Linda K

    In reply to Maria’s post here:

    Harsh? A little. But it shows your passion about the valid points you make about the wild world of psychology when it intersects with the law and criminal justice. I respect that and can’t argue with your reasoning. But my thoughts wander beyond what you said to the greater implications of this uncomfortable situation.

    On 18 May 2009, the Court ordered Jodi Arias to submit to both an IQ Test and a Competency Screening. On 22 May 2009, the Court notes that the Defense objected. From those facts, I’m going to make several assumptions: (a) the Court has the power to compel; (b) the Defense has no valid legal reason to object; (c) the tests were, in fact, conducted; (d) a mental health professional conducted the testing; (e) Arias was found competent for trial but other “issues” were discovered in the testing process.

    I’m unclear where the power to compel an IQ test comes from but I think all here agree to the need for Competency testing. Society has a need to know whether the Defendant in a capital murder case is mentally capable of standing trial and of assisting counsel. This creates a forced marriage between the fields of psychology and justice. In legal terms, it would seem the door into the Defendant’s mind is forcibly opened by the Court so that both the State and the Defense may now explore any “issues” revealed by the testing if they so choose.

    I don’t have any idea who conducted the court-ordered testing (it may even have been Dr. Karp), but I strongly suspect this initial testing provided Arias with an avenue of pursuit for her defense; an avenue of pursuit she had a legal right to travel.

    We do know Dr. Karp diagnosed Jodi with PTSD stemming from domestic abuse and violence. The Defense then hired two mental health professionals: Dr. Samuels to explain the PTSD [and the Fog] and Alyce LaViolette to explain the abuse. The Defense had an obligation to call expert mental health witnesses and these happened to be the two they chose.

    We can speculate forever on why the Defense chose those two and why those two agreed to testify and we can criticize the conclusions of both. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

    Maria, it seems you are saying that NO mental health professional should ever be called to testify because NO mental health professional can read tea leaves [i.e. people’s minds and motives]. I agree, they can’t read minds. But the good ones do the best they can with the knowledge they have and the nature of the science within the limitations placed on them.

    The questions I pose are these:

    (1) Does a Defendant have the right to call a mental health professional of his/her choice to testify?
    (2) If the Defendant wishes to assert that right, are his/her attorneys obligated to assist?
    (3) Does a mental health professional have an ethical obligation to refuse to take a case based solely on the inherent deficiencies in the science and the process?
    (4) Once the Court rules that the mental health professional’s credentials are sufficient to qualify them to testify, what role should the Triers of Fact play in determining the validity of the testimony? [Yeah, that’s the kicker, ain’t it?]

    1. NERN

      Excellent questions Linda K.
      I have another. Does the defendant get to see all data on the expert and do they get the opportunity to read their final report before they, the defendant testify, if in fact they do?

      1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

        YES, they do! She got to read all the reports from all the experts including prosecution experts.

        1. NERN

          So….whatever the motive behind ALV and Samuels for accepting to testify for Arias…..their misrepresentation of their careers, their arrogance, etc. etc. Arias tailored her testimony to reflect the conclusions made by the experts. Very calculated and manipulative move by this defendant.
          I have felt all along that Arias knew exactly what she was doing. She used and continues to use people around her for her own end.
          But….that is where she fails – she cannot read people (except ALV and Samuels – where she used their outlandish opinions to further her case). the voice of reason is not within her.
          Yes, she got to the jury foreman and obviously got to others to have no verdict reached for sentencing but she never has nor will she ever be that intuitive about the honest and reasoning deductions from people when given the facts. This will be her downfall despite all of her tactics to stall and continually “play” her game. Pathological liars with such arrogance and narcissistic personality will always lose in the end.
          Least that is my unprofessional take.

    2. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

      Linda, I’m short on time today. I think you would really love reading “Whores of the Court” by professor Margaret Hagen. Don’t be put off by the title that you find offensive, it’s not a tabloid type book. Amazing, really. Answers all these questions you’re asking and so much more. (the whole books is free for download online.)

      The IQ test stuff was part of the competency to stand trial examination. The defendant has no right to refuse a competency examination. In every death penalty case those examinations must be done. IQ is part of competency because low IQ is one factor in understanding the charges against you. But those examinations are done by true forensic psychologists. No information gained from that can be used in the trial on the merits of the underlying charges.

      Defendants in criminal cases have a few absolute rights on strategy decisions that their attorneys cannot override. They include the right to a jury trial, the right to have scientific experts testify in their case, and the right to personally testify. (This is why Don West got so upset and nervous in the Zimmerman case when the judge directly asked George if he was still thinking about testifying and Don wanted to prevent him from leaking that he was insisting but his lawyers didn’t want him to. Because the lawyer can only advice, should not pressure against testifying, and that was obviously going on.)

      So that’s the answer to questions 1 & 2.

      On number 3, yes, a mental health professional is being unethical in pretending they can know something they cannot know. The disaster they have created is that instead of coming in to say, “I’m an expert in domestic violence because I know the scientific research inside and out, and these are the features one would find in a domestic violence relationship…” They come in to say, “It is my opinion that Jodi was the victim of domestic violence and that Travis was not.” Crossing the line from giving impartial information about a specialized area into assuming they can opine on facts is dishonest. Dr. Hagen’s first chapter of the book is called Psychologists as De Facto Triers of Fact. It gives examples of how this has played out in cases.

      Dr. Samuels in his arrogance tried to testify that the crime scene showed that Jodi’s act was impulsive rather than premeditated. Can it get more outrageous? Based on what science? How the hell does he know what was in her mind or how the crime scene was staged or altered by crime investigators? Fortunately, there is a rule of evidence that prohibits experts from testifying on the ultimate issues in the case, such as the mental state (mens rea) required as an element of the crime. Because jurors are the triers of fact on the elements of the crime, no expert is allowed to come in to say “this element is missing or is present.”

      But they get around it by testifying about collateral things like domestic violence that insinuates indirectly that she lacked premeditation. Or FOG that insinuates she was a victim traumatized by what happened.

      Recently, there’s a really interesting turn of events with Shaken Baby Syndrome because the science now puts into question what experts had testified about in many cases that convicted people with no actual physical evidence they had personally done anything. Experts used to come in to say that certain internal brain injuries (with no external signs of injury) could only occur by violently shaking a baby and the child would die almost immediately. I don’t know enough about the testimony of those experts–I hope they did not then say, “It’s my opinion the child was shaken by the defendant since she was the only person with the child.”

      But mental health experts like Alyce and Samuels and Geffner don’t stop where real medical experts stop. They go on to opine that they know things that are UNKNOWABLE to them. Geffner claims Travis could walk after being shot in the head and the medical examiner is wrong. Alyce testifies that Travis had no fear and wasn’t stalked but Jodi was. Samuels testifies that amnesia overcame Jodi at the moment the violence started and she developed PTSD from either trauma A or B, whichever.

      Courts do not micromanage the experts qualifications, though. It’s left to cross examination and impeachment. That’s why they’ve made inroads into a system where they don’t belong. This rant was fun!!! :)

      1. Linda K

        Okay, let me ask for a quick clarification before I respond to you in full. A quick answer will suffice, if it’s doable.

        So you are not saying you believe mental health professionals should never be allowed to testify in criminal cases. Instead, you would be okay with having their testimony restricted to specific findings as you described. Is that correct? And who would be the arbiter of what questions could be asked and answered? I can’t imagine you’d advocate for a lengthy pre-trial hearing to go over attorney questions in advance so that the judge could rule on admissibility…

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          Yes I don’t mean they should never testify. They should explain science only.
          Yes I advocate lengthy pretrial hearings on evidence. :)

          Pretrial hearings on evidence happen all the time. That’s the way its supposed to be. They’re called motions in limine, and they require the judge to issue orders on the admissibility of evidence and expert opinions. The hearing doesn’t review the attorney’s questions, though. It’s for the judge to narrow subject matter or facts based on rules of evidence where there’s a possibility something will be slipped in that is inadmissible. The rules also require that an expert not deviate in any way from what they said in their report. So in those hearings, a party may bring to the court’s attention something in the report that is inadmissible under the rules of evidence and seek a court order directing the expert that they cannot testify on that issue.

          There was at least one such pretrial motion regarding Dr. Samuels. Judge Stephens responded by ordering that Samuels was not allowed to mention his conclusion that Jodi’s crime shows an “impulse” killing. That’s why on the first day that Samuels was supposed to testify, Juan objected when he noticed Samuels showed up with slides not previously disclosed and an addition to his report trying to reword the “impulse killing” to some new idea that means the same thing. Wilmott tried to argue that it was not the same thing, he was not violating the order, blah, blah. The judge reasserted her prior order and did not allow his creative re-wording or any mention of Jodi’s mental state during the killing. (She did allow the slides summarizing what was in the report.)

          I haven’t searched the docket, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were pretrial motions and orders regarding ALyce. I know there were pretrial orders about the sex tape, emails, and I think Dr. DeMarte.

          1. Linda K

            There were at least two pretrial motions re ALV that I recall offhand. Both from the State: the first to compel her complete notes and the second to compel an unredacted copy of her complete notes. The latter motion was granted in part, with the judge ordering around 20 of the redacted pages to be un-redacted [is that a word?].

            Anyway, thank you for the clarification. And I’m sorry I was not as clear as I thought I was when I wrote, “I can’t imagine you’d advocate for a lengthy pre-trial hearing to go over attorney questions in advance so that the judge could rule on admissibility…” but you answered my question anyway. I know you’re in favor of evidentiary hearings! LOL

            I feel better knowing now that you don’t want to throw all mental health professionals out the window. Sorry for having that false impression there for a little while.

            I remember well Willmott whining and begging and pleading and saying Samuel’s stupid theory of the crime wasn’t being submitted for the truth of the matter. I nearly blew a gasket. Thankfully, Stephens didn’t fall for it.

            But then that leads me to my next level of questioning…

            You did say the Court isn’t going to go over the list of questions attorneys intend to ask the mental health witness but any red flags opposing attorneys spot the witness’s report can be objected to during a pretrial hearing.

            What, if anything, is in place to (a) prevent an attorney from asking an improper question and (b) prevent the witness from offering improper conclusions? Yes, I realize the opposition is expected to object and Court will sustain but, using the Arias trial as our example, we can see this didn’t work well. Samuels got his inadmissible blurb in and I think even Willmott was caught off guard.

            $64,000 Question: How would you have controlled LaViolette if you’d been in Willmott’s shoes. Would you have put her on the stand for 3 days to teach a course on the dynamics of DV? [Silly question.] What facts would you have used her to establish and do you think you could do that without straying into what you would call that infamous UNKNOWABLE territory. :)

          2. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Hi Linda, yes Samuels made me blow a gasket too. So the question, what protections are in place to prevent the attorney or witness from going into forbidden territory? If there’s an order, the only protections are monetary sanctions against the person violating the order and mistrial. But everyone goes crazy at the thought of mistrial, I know. But it is sometimes the only remedy.

            The judge in the Casey Anthony trial warned Jose Baez with sanctions several times for his trying to sneak in things that were forbidden and I have read he also filed a bar complaint. But the real remedy the judge needed to impose and failed to do is that he should have called a mistrial after the defense finished putting on their case. Why? Because at that point the judge knew that Jose Baez lied in his opening statement saying he would put on evidence of Casey being sexually abused. The defense had the right to decline to put on any evidence despite saying that, but they did not have the right to put on evidence and have nothing on sexual abuse that they stated in the opening. Because the opening statement must have a good faith basis with evidence they intend to put on if they go forward with any evidence at all. (Jose did not have even one witness or piece of paper on sexual abuse.)

            But imagine how the world would have reacted to a mistrial. People would have screamed for the judge’s head. Most people seem to feel that DELAY makes a mockery of justice or means a judge is out of his/her mind. Far from the truth. Casey may have been convicted if the judge had called a mistrial and started over with a clean slate where Jose could not lie in opening about evidence he did not have. Since there are not other protections in place to stop that behavior the only other thing is to sustain objections and strike what was said pretending that will strike it out of the mind of the jury.

            What I would have done with ALyce? I would not have put on an expert for the illegitimate purpose of using their “expertise” to give opinions of what happened in the crime or relationship of victim and accused. If I were to use an expert, it would be to explain some specialized area a lay person may not know. If limited to that, I would have never put on a domestic violence expert in this case because every thing they say could cut both ways. The experts descriptions of domestic violence tactics and the common reactions of victims could crystalize for the jury that it was Jodi committing the DV and Travis the victim. But we know the real reason such experts are put on is not to impartially educate anyone, its to slither into their testimony opinions about what really happened. Using the “appeal to authority” fallacy.

            By the way, Linda, I have a very close friend with a PhD in clinical psychology from an Ivy League school and 30 years experience who testifies as an expert a couple times a year. She is excellent because she does not stray into opinions of things she could not possibly know or to give her vote, so to speak, on what it all means in the case at hand. (It’s different with scientists and medical doctors giving opinions on physical things where its legitimate to make conclusions linked to the physical facts of the case.) And I know a professor of forensic psychology. So I do respect those who legitimately give expert testimony narrowly tailored to explain an issue, not to explain the people or their actions.

          3. Linda K

            I could write a book in response, Maria, but I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet.

            Sanctions. Probably as effective as a parking ticket?

            Mistrials. Bring ‘em on if that’s the only way to get justice. I absolutely thought there should have been a mistrial in the Casey Anthony case not only because of the BS about sexual abuse but also because of the drowning theory. There was no evidence presented to substantiate either claim; the Defense just tap danced and pretended there was. Had Judge Belvin Perry declared a mistrial I’d have sent him a fan letter! LOL

            DV expert in the Arias trial. You really wouldn’t have called one? I’m taken aback by that. DV was the whole basis for the self-defense theory. Wouldn’t it seem suspicious not to call one, as if you’re trying to hide the fact it’s a bogus defense? Of course your point about the testimony cutting both ways is spot on.

            Mental health experts in the courtroom. I have absolutely no doubt that credible mental health experts exist and routinely make positive contributions to the justice system. Hopefully the entire field won’t be judged on a few goofballs.

          4. Linda K

            ADDENDUM — Maria, I’m sorry for the above reply that looks even more disjointed now than it did when I hastily wrote it. [Bad dog, no cookie!] I hope it was, at least in part, intelligible. Please allow me a follow-up to finish explaining where my head is on all this.

            I’m concerned that Samuels, LaViolette and Geffner were pressured at trial, by the very questions they were asked, to venture beyond their expertise and present conclusions they probably should not have drawn in the first place (let alone testified to). However, beyond what that says about them as professionals, what does it say of the Court and the justice system in general? Shouldn’t the Court bear some of the blame here? I think it should.

            Your argument, Maria, is that these experts should stick to the science and that they all strayed out of bounds in this case. I certainly don’t disagree with you. But Samuels was asked to explain the biological process that caused Jodi’s alleged “fog” and Geffner was asked to opine on the possibility of ambulation after a gunshot wound to a particular part of the brain. And LaViolette was asked whether Jodi was abused. Should those questions have even been asked? On their face, I believe they are fair questions. The dilemma is to whom they should have been posed.

            At any rate, once the questions were asked, and answered, what remedy is there? Opposing counsel can make an objection which may or may not be sustained. They can hire their own expert to present an opposing opinion. But whenever we get into the area of dueling experts, the responsibility ultimately rests with the jury to decide what is truth, what is fiction and what is reasonable doubt. The jury is the last line of defense.

            Then there is another issue of concern: Just how much should justice cost? How much are we, as a society, willing to pay? How many experts should a Defendant have to call (and compensate) in order to get a fair trial — and how much should the State have to pay to get justice for victims?

            In my previous reply, Maria, I asked you how you would have questioned LaViolette on behalf of your client. Now I certainly didn’t expect you to prepare a detailed line of questioning in response to me, but I posed it as a question I’ve been struggling with for quite some time now — without benefit of a degree in anything, let alone law or psychology. Trying to put myself in the shoes of Willmott, and in consideration of her obligation to Arias, I find this a most difficult dilemma.

          5. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

            Good questions, Linda. The system is broken, no question. It may look like those experts were pressured by the defense to make conclusions but its not really how it happens. The only conclusions they are allowed to express at trial are ones they have already made in their reports. So those are squarely their own conclusions–a product they offered to the defense, the defense liked what they heard and made the purchase. The trial is only the moment where those conclusions the expert made, that the defense liked and agreed to buy, gets to tell it to the court.

            The lawyers only craft the questions around what is in the report to facilitate the expert in orally giving their conclusions. So it’s the expert rather than the lawyer that provides the substance of what will be presented in the form of questions. (Of course the lawyers hired the expert that says what they want said.)

            With Geffner, for example, he was hired to rebut the medical examiner, because the PRODUCT he sells is that he claims to know how the human brain functions after an injury. (Yes the guy who admitted to having never been to an autopsy or having ever handled a human brain says Travis could walk after being shot through the frontal lobe). Why? Because they obviously could not find an actual medical examiner that disagreed with the medical examiner. But Geffner looked at the evidence and told the defense he was on board and could say he disagrees. So they play a trick by bringing in a….cough, cough…psychologist whose worked with brain injured patients. The defense questions didn’t pressure him. Those questions were phrased as a way to give Geffner the opportunity to orally say what he had promised in his report he would say. (Experts are not allowed to testify to any conclusions or opinions they did not already disclose to the other side in a written report. So that’s how we know the lawyers questions did not pressure the expert to go outside of what he wanted to testify.)

            On cost, something definitely needs to be done. Indigent defendants end up getting a more expensive defense than someone who pays with their own money. Reforms are on the way though. The US Supreme Court recently ruled that an indigent person may be entitled to the state paying for a “Ford” defense and not a “BMW.” States may soon put caps on what they pay for these people.

  31. Don Osborne

    Dr.K., I find the term ‘prostitute’ totally suited to Ms La Violette, and the notion that Arias used her and manipulated her nonsensical. She entered that courtroom with a high level of confidence that she could hoodwink the jury with the totally unfounded and completely absurd ‘finding’ that the victim was the abuser in this case without any evidence to support her.
    Such was her confidence, she deluded herself that she could outwit, outmanoevre and belittle the prosecutor, and had the audacity to take along some supporters to cheer her on. However, the extraordinarily astute Martinez laid her bare – and she knew it.
    Her all-consuming hatred for males, combined with the lure of financial reward, led her to internationally villify an apparently decent young man who had been the unfortunate victim of a she-devil. That she chose to willingly support this monster is her own condemnation, and it is absurd to attempt to justify or excuse the course of action she so willingly undertook. So outrageous was the ‘testimony’ she provided, she actually managed to shield Samuels from much of the scorn he so richly deserved.

    1. Don Osborne

      Dr K. I wish to apologise for the unintentional use of the word ‘nonsensical’ in the above rant. I meant to say ‘unlikely’ but pressed that danged comment button before proof reading.
      I believe it more likely that when ALV became available, the DV defense was conceived around her willingness to testify and provide her ‘theories’ rather than through manipulation by Arias. ALV was no inexperienced and naive ‘expert’ and impressed as being in charge of what she was doing rather than of having been manipulated. She believed she could carry the day for the defense.
      I hope I didn’t offend anyone who holds to the quite feasible belief that she was manipulated – that was unintentional.

  32. Linda K

    In response to Maria’s comment here:

    You wrote, It may look like those experts were pressured by the defense to make conclusions but its not really how it happens. The only conclusions they are allowed to express at trial are ones they have already made in their reports.

    Thank you for pointing out that my use of the word “pressured” in that context was obviously improper and the word I perhaps should have used, instead, is “obligated”. As you said, expert conclusions are contained in their reports — although we know that LaViolette did not submit a report since much was made of this at trial and the Court ordered the Defense to turn over all of her notes (I assume in lieu of a report).

    In reference to Geffner, his entire testimony was a joke and if anyone in this trial is a prostitute, he’s it. And Juan Martinez made no bones about exposing that. I’d like to get back to LaViolette for a moment since she’s the topic of this article.

    It appears to me LaViolette was primarily asked by the Defense to do two things. First, she was asked to educate the jury on the nature and dynamics of domestic violence (a critical element of the defense theory of the crime). Second, she was asked to explain how certain documentary evidence constituted evidence of abuse. On principle, I’m good with that. I think you and I agree that where she went astray was when she began to “go behind the words” and interpret — with authority — not what was said but, rather, what was meant by persons she either could not and/or did not interview. NObody was able to either prevent this testimony or stop it once it began. I simply cannot fathom why and that’s the beef. Oh yes, Juan Martinez called her on it, but she refused to back down. The bell was rung and at least one juror believed.

    Maria, if I send my small children out to play without proper supervision and they’re injured as a result, would you hold me responsible? Of course you would. That’s how I feel about the Court allowing expert witnesses to play to the jury without proper supervision. We can rant all we want at the experts themselves, but, at the end of the day, the Court allowed the testimony.

    1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

      I don’t disagree in principle. It’s the court’s that should not allow this, for sure. But it has to be on the appellate court level with more stringent requirements. Judge Stephens doesn’t have discretion to impose standards on the expert to control what she can say in these slippery areas where appellate courts are leaving it up to the opposing side to impeach and discredit the expert as the remedy. Except where the expert tries to testify on ultimate issues, like Samuels with Jodi’s premeditation state of mind being absolutely disallowed. I’m only saying that the trial judge is limited in how much they can exclude. That’s why the system is broken.

      1. Linda K

        Oh, I know. I get it. I just wish there was an easy way to fix it. I keep wanting the trial judge to have more discretion to act upon objections from opposing counsel… to recognize and rule on “gray” areas, on what should not be allowed. But I could also argue we perhaps don’t want judges to have that much discretion.

      2. Linda K

        BTW, Maria, I’ve started reading Whores of the Court and see why you recommended it to me, personally. Thank you! I’m only about 50 pages in but I find myself troubled by the author’s apparent conclusion (so far as I can tell at this point) that clinical psychologists have absolutely no place in the courtroom — let alone any credibility outside the courtroom. It’s a harsh view which I’m not yet sold on. But I’ll keep reading. ;)

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          I understand. But whether one agrees with the ultimate solution she’s advocating, her facts and analysis of the issues is pretty mind blowing. It’s at least an expose of things most of us can only wonder about. She’s a professor of psychology and now recently became a lawyer a year ago. I also think it’s a pretty funny book the deeper you get into it. I could not stop laughing some times.

  33. Linda K

    Minorities outside the white power structure-principally blacks and Hispanics but also gay people, immigrants, drunks and druggies, the disabled, and . . . well, everyone who somehow qualifies as a member of the great disadvantaged class-are seen as morally equivalent to adult abused children. As such, they are not, cannot, and should not be held responsible for the shape of their lives or for changing that shape by taking any action. Broken in childhood and manipulated by outside forces they cannot resist, they cannot be held accountable for their behavior no matter how heinous the crime or how innocent their victims. This makes it impossible to conceptualize members of the “disadvantaged” as the masters of their own fates, as the captains of their own souls. As adult abused children, they could not be.

    This grotesque characterization of the societal family, like the equally grotesque characterization of the nuclear family on which it is based, throws the weight of scientific psychological authority behind traditional liberal characterizations of society’s problems and greatly strengthens liberal clout, especially in the legal system.

    The above is a quote from Margaret Hagen’s book, Whores of the Court [p. 103].

    While Ms. Hagen has understandably cherry-picked some of the most egregious abuses of psychology in the courtroom to prove her thesis point, the above quotation is the best explanation of why the problem exists in the first place. It’s a liberal dogma that people are not responsible for their own actions. Someone or something else is to blame.

    As our society evolves, we become increasingly hungry for explanations and excuses for abnormal behavior; we expect mental health professionals to feed us a tasty stew of rationality. I would venture to say many if not most of us feel helpless to assign an explanation or reason, particularly to criminal acts so heinous they defy understanding. And yet, we still want to understand. Who better to turn to for assistance than a mental health professional?

    Ms. Hagen provides dozens of examples of the more ridiculous theories of behavior in her book and rightly criticizes their validity [no, Mr. Freud, not everything is about a penis or lack thereof!]. And yet, there are those in the professional community who buy into these eccentric theories — hook, line and sinker — and are quite sincere in their beliefs. Unfortunately, possession of a professional license is no protection from gullibility and quackery — and just plain wrongness.

    We often take offense at the opinions offered by these experts, viewing them as equally nonsensical as the behavior they purport to explain. And that’s our right and privilege as members of the public exo-jury. But how does the legal system purge itself of such nonsense and still preserve the rights of the accused to present their defense?

    The final arbiters of sensibility are the individual jurors, the Triers of Fact. Can we trust them? Do we have any other choice?

  34. Zooyork

    Very delectable read, Dr. Randle, thank you.

    I hope and pray ALV reads this article and the comments. I doubt she will though.

    I cannot believe (well actually- from the shockingly audacious behaviour of bulldozer ALV on the stand, I should say I CAN believe)- that this woman, instead of having done some soul-searching, learning, maturing and regretting after the public backlash- has actually walked away from this with smug satisfaction that ” the jury foreman believed her.”

    Of course she had to gloat and point out “foreman.”

    ALV makes me so angry. I cannot imagine anyone feeling pity for this woman, which she is obviously seeking, hence the unprofessional tearful interview.
    Is she still hoping for and seeking personal fame and fortune off of Travis’s murdered back? I think she is! Why else do this media interview?

    She obviously still has no regrets or sensitivity about the hurt she caused Travis’ family. If she did, she wouldn’t have put out this interview, where she tries to make HERSELF out to be this victim.
    ALV is just nauseatingly disgusting.

    Regarding the supposed “death threats”:
    Since the trial, recovering from surgery, I think I have read every comment from every poster on every website that had any article about Alyce Laviolette. I’m not joking, nor am I exaggerating. For example, I read EVERY SINGLE comment about her on Amazon.
    I never saw a single “death threat” against ALV. NOT A SINGLE ONE.
    I don’t buy that she received death threats. I never saw any evidence of it.
    I saw disgust, outrage, shock, sadness etc from the public, but NO “death threats.”

    I hope ALV knows that this tearful interview did not make the public like her, as she is hoping it will.

    1. Linda K

      I understand you never saw a death threat. Neither did I. But that doesn’t prove to me that she didn’t receive one — even a single one — by phone or through the postal service or directly to her personal or professional email account or by some other, non-public means. Also, it’s not impossible there might have been a public threat that was promptly removed before being forwarded to the authorities.

      Maybe she did make it all up, but I wouldn’t be comfortable making that assumption (or accusation) based solely on what I know. And maybe that’s just me.

  35. lizzie

    @Linda (replying to Sept 5, 8:01PM post)

    Your posts are always interesting but I’m just not on the same page w/you and some others re: ALV’s ethics. I agree meaning of “sufficient” in the guidelines partly lies in the eyes of the one doing the assessment–but not entirely. It’s also shown by adhering to accepted standards of practice in the field as a whole. So even if ALV is clueless about the standards in the field today and/or is a member of an agenda-ridden “professional cult,” those are not a defense against ethics violations. Say in 2013 psychologist believed in phrenology (18th-19th cent. practice of assessing character/personality by bumps on the head.) No matter how strongly held the belief, and even if the psychologist belonged to a small group of cult practitioners who zealously adopted the belief as a path to true enlightenment, assessments based on skull shape would not be judged to be based on sufficient acceptable data and would represent unethical practice (as the guidelines require a psychologist to base her practices on current and scientifically-supported methods. And the burden is on the psychologist to know what those methods are.) ALV felt free to testify about Travis’s psychological characteristics without speaking to anyone but Jodi. One doesn’t have to be a psychologist to know ANY defendant could have reason to lie, and especially when the death penalty is on the table, any defendant would have reason to lie. And being alert to possible malingering/secondary gain when doing ANY assessment, forensic or not, is expected within the standards of practice.

    ALV did read email/texts but early on, there was a concern those could have been altered/written by Jodi and only a carefully selected portion of those could be used to support ALV’s conclusions. Some of us posting here, while we’ve written mostly cogent pieces, have occasionally written emotional comments like “I’d like to wring X’s neck.” Is that evidence the writer is violent and may actually strangle someone? ALV also read police transcripts but if she had truly intended to seek complete information re: psyc issues, there would be areas to explore not covered in the interviews (since during investigations, police don’t routinely ask the same questions psychologists ask during assessment.)

    I agree there WAS ambiguity in ALV’s statement she was “not allowed” to speak to others. I suspect the DT discouraged her from speaking to anyone (except Jodi) as “outside information” about Travis OR Jodi could be damaging. (Maria’s Sept 6 post re: how attorneys should handle experts suggests that would have been unethical DT behavior but what else is new?) I think the sidebar was a DT request to ensure jurors didn’t learn they restricted ALV. (JM didn’t request it, did he?) Given questions he asked, it seemed JM wasn’t afraid ALV would say “I tried–Travis’s family/friends wouldn’t talk to me.” And if Jodi/DT would not agree to let ALV approach Jodi’s family/friends, that should have been an ethical red flag to ANY psychologist. That flag should have been waving long before ALV formed a “personal attachment” to Jodi. (Her obvious attachment is also an ethical issue re: boundaries.)

    If ALV was told by the DT not to talk to “Travis’s people,” she should have known that restriction would prevent a sufficient assessment of Travis’s functioning given accepted standards. “Not allowed” seems to imply even SHE thought she ought to speak to others. And even if the DT unethically blocked her, that doesn’t relieve ALV of her own ethical responsibilities. If she thought she should have talked to people but was not able to—for whatever reason—if she was to testify and provide opinions of that sort she did about Travis, ethics mandate she must document unsuccessful efforts she made to gather information AND further require her to voluntarily opine on the effect lack of additional information may have had on the reliability/validity of her conclusions.

    I’ve not seen her report, but ALV did not attempt to do any of that on the stand. When JM asked about sources, rather than “volunteering” or even answering, she actively resisted. She bobbed and weaved suggesting SHE was not convinced of the sufficiency of her information. Prior to the call for sidebar, she resisted answering before finally saying she was “not allowed” to talk to others, leaving the impression she KNEW she had done something wrong. Even IF the DT lied and said legally she could not speak to anyone who knew Travis, her behavior suggested she knew the score and she wasn’t THAT naïve. And if she went along, knowing it was ethically wrong to accept that restriction, we’re back to where we started–questioning ALV’s ethics. She can’t have it both ways—“I couldn’t talk to other people. I know I should have, so I’m ethical and my conclusions should be accepted as valid. It wasn’t my fault I was forced to use an unethical and unacceptable approach by the people who paid me lots of money.”

    Another part of the ethical guidelines addresses deceptive public statements (caps added): “Public statements include but are not limited to paid or unpaid advertising, product endorsements, grant applications, licensing applications, other credentialing applications, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, PERSONAL RESUMES OR CURRICULA VITAE or comments for use in media such as print or electronic transmission, STATEMENTS IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, lectures and public oral presentations and published materials. PSYCHOLOGISTS DO NOT KNOWINGLY MAKE PUBLIC STATEMENTS THAT ARE FALSE, DECEPTIVE OR FRAUDULENT….”

    The issue is whether ALV knew she was making false statements including claiming she had testified for men. If not material, that latter claim wasn’t legal perjury, but it WAS false. We can’t know if she said it to give the jury a fraudulent impression (it sure looked like it!) But I am 100% convinced she knew it was false and unlike the law, the guidelines don’t distinguish between material and non-material false statements. Her vagueness interwoven with bouts of combativeness when questioned about sources suggests she was knowingly attempting to be deceptive. I also believe she knew aspects of her CV went beyond questionable “padding” and were fraudulent. (After attending conferences for 30 years, she had to have known the difference between being the conference “keynote” speaker and being one of many “break-out session leaders.”) She may have rationalized her online CV was “good for business” and it may have been, but that doesn’t make it ethical.

    By the time of trial, I agree ALV was attached to Jodi. She saw herself as a “protector” so she was no longer an objective expert. But for things to develop to that point, early in the case ALV had to jettison her ethics. I think she did that for the fee and perhaps to boost her book sales. How else can we explain her weird statement on the stand about her lack of a retirement account? Sometimes even “paid whores” get flustered and accidentally tell us the truth!

    1. Linda K

      @lizzie,

      As always, your detailed and well-made points are much appreciated. Before I address them, I want to back-step a bit and offer background on how I reach some of these non-mainstream conclusions that have everyone so perplexed. :)

      First and foremost, I don’t get emotionally invested in ANY trial. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. That’s not to say aspects of a trial can’t temporarily derail my emotional calm — it happens (Alyce did it in spades). However, for the most part, I observe. I learn. I speculate and re-speculate, analyze and re-analyze. I try to remain objective. I look at the law and the evidence and how they align to reach a determination of guilt (or not). And of course, in the end, I draw my own conclusions. That said, I’ll be the first to admit I make mistakes.

      I have spoken here before about the fact I’m no stranger to DV and how I was greatly impressed by ALV’s testimony about the nature and dynamics of DV itself (much of it described my own experiences). DV was my personal “dog in this fight” and, up until she sent me into a blithering rage talking about Jodi and Travis, I was ready to sign up for her fan club.

      As a victim (I do dislike that word), it was OBVIOUS to me that Jodi was the abuser in that relationship. I couldn’t help thinking then and there Alyce was destroying her career — and I couldn’t figure out why. Why wasn’t this OBVIOUS to HER?! IS SHE STUPID?! Heaven help me understand this woman!

      The vast majority of posters here came to the conclusion she’s an unethical, paid hack who did nothing but lie on the stand and make a mockery of victims everywhere. But if you [the collective you] believe that, then don’t you also have to believe she’s not so stupid after all? Maybe crazy like a fox? Don’t you have to believe she knows quite well Jodi was the abuser and that she cleverly and maliciously shifted all blame to Travis while covering up for Jodi’s psychopathology? Don’t you have to believe she effectively destroyed her career for the sake of one big monetary score off a high-profile case — knowing the whole world would be watching her make a fool of herself?

      I’m sorry, lizzie, but my imagination just can’t handle that scenario — it makes no sense to me that ANYone who spent 30+ years working with abuse victims, who cared one whit about them, who crusaded for them, would do such a thing with deliberate intent. So, if not deliberate, then what? What makes sense to me? Is there a motive?

      I find sense in the notion this woman is so blinded by decades of listening to abused women (no doubt most of them essentially truthful and legitimately abused) that she saw exactly what she was programmed to see. Nothing more, nothing less. “All the world’s a nail when you’re a hammer.”

      She found no reason to doubt the crooked finger “evidence” of abuse. When Jodi explained her adherence to the “Law of Attraction,” Alyce “understood” why Jodi never wrote of the abuse in her diary. When she failed to see “evidence” of Jodi’s manipulative behavior, she believed Travis was the manipulator.

      Then there’s a dilemma each of us face each and every day in a variety of situations. When is it appropriate to take someone’s words at face value? When is it appropriate to go “behind” the words? Who among us gets THAT right 100% of the time?! When my husband says that new side dish I served at dinner was “tasty,” I know not to serve it again. I can go behind the word with confidence and without hesitation. My mother-in-law was never that astute.

      Back to the ethics violations… did she make some? I have to agree she did. My only question is whether there was deliberate intent. I’m too lazy to go back through her CV this late in my evening, but I think she earned her Masters back in the 70s. She’s a counselor, not a psychologist or psychiatrist. Is she bound to their ethical standards? I would hope so, but I don’t know. The code you quoted specifically uses the word “psychologist.”

      Her CV is filled with seminar speeches so, certainly, she should have known the difference between a keynote speaker and a break-out speaker. Maybe she lied about that or maybe she misremembered when she added it years after the fact. Personally, I think that’s getting pretty nit-picky in the grander scheme. People do make mistakes.

      Testifying on behalf of a man in a criminal trial? No way she made a mistake there. I’d cut her slack if she’d testified dozens of times but couldn’t recall the exact number — but she would absolutely remember ZERO.

      You mentioned not seeing her report. It was brought out at trial that she didn’t submit one. So what’s up with that?! Why didn’t the DT insist on one?! Smelly socks.

      Her vagueness interwoven with bouts of combativeness when questioned about sources suggests she was knowingly attempting to be deceptive.

      I know and that still bugs me. But I think there’s an alternative interpretation: she went through so many documents that she might not actually remember the precise source and, out of pride, didn’t want to admit it. Apparently she didn’t “know” she might need to bring her notes — I don’t remember seeing her ever refer to any notes during her testimony. Now, had she written a report…

      By the time of trial, I agree ALV was attached to Jodi. She saw herself as a “protector” so she was no longer an objective expert. But for things to develop to that point, early in the case ALV had to jettison her ethics. I think she did that for the fee and perhaps to boost her book sales.

      Agreed, she lost all objectivity and, with it, she lost all credibility. Without credibility, there’s not much hope of selling books. I wouldn’t think that would be a sound strategy.

      OMG, lizzie, this post is so long I’ve gone and buried my train of thought somewhere and lost it. ;)

      1. NERN

        @Linda K.
        “I’m sorry, lizzie, but my imagination just can’t handle that scenario — it makes no sense to me that ANYone who spent 30+ years working with abuse victims, who cared one whit about them, who crusaded for them, would do such a thing with deliberate intent. So, if not deliberate, then what? What makes sense to me? Is there a motive?
        I find sense in the notion this woman is so blinded by decades of listening to abused women (no doubt most of them essentially truthful and legitimately abused) that she saw exactly what she was programmed to see. Nothing more, nothing less. “All the world’s a nail when you’re a hammer.”

        What you write seems close to what I feel but seem to be unable to express as well as you have.

        I do not believe there was malice of intent on ALV’s part.
        Padding her CV – a lot of people build up their CV’s and Resumes.
        No report – that I do not get.
        No notes when testifying – dumb

        She was out of her depth but resolved in her interpretation and she is incapable of seeing beyond her convictions. Inherently incapable. That is why she was used in this case. Arias knew her position and used it to her advantage by employing her for her defense. Then, Arias tailored her testimony to match ALV’s. And thus the defamation of Travis was cemented.

        But……despite all of that, Arias lost – big time. She was convicted of pre-meditated, first degree murder with extreme cruelty.

        ALV is the cause of her own demise, intentionally or not and I believe that her future in the field SHE has chosen to be a champion of will be determined by her peers and all those who have been involved in DV. People say they feel sorry for those who were clients in the past but no one knows how many she may have actually helped. The thought is that she only hurt them further.
        One cannot undo the past but many will determine if, in fact, ALV has a future.

        Trashing Travis – abominable to say the least. But consider the source – Arias – and then it becomes easier to see she is the true perpetrator.
        Those who knew him, loved him and grew to know him through this whole issue will forever know the man he really was, cherish this and continue to speak to his “good” name and character.

        Would people still be talking so much about the defense’s case and ALV in particular if Arias had received the death penalty the first time around?
        I think not.
        Analysis of the whole case would of course be a subject of discussion. Most high-profile cases are and often used for teaching purposes BUT the continued, long debate of ALV’s role would not be so relevant if the case was finished and Arias had been sentenced to death.

        I am by no means defending the defense’s case, the witnesses used and the tactics that were used at the hands of Arias. I feel, as there was no conclusion back in June, and the prospect of having to hear repeated, horrible testimony only fuels the debate.

  36. lizzie

    I appreciate your responses Linda and Nern. Just a few points (I’ll try to keep my reply shorter for a change :) but it may not end up that way!)

    I quoted psychology ethics, Linda, because according to her CV, ALV earned a master’s in 1980 in community/clinical psychology. So her degree is in psychology, not counseling. Psyc associates (those w/only master’s degrees in PSY) must practice under permanent supervision by a doctoral-level psychologist in most states—including CA—but have the same ethical responsibilities in practice as psychologists. Licensure board documents I saw posted online (I can try to look for source but don’t have it now, might have even been here) showed her psyc associate license lapsed after the psychologist supervising her had his license to practice revoked. I don’t know what the supervisor’s violation was, but usually license revocation means something very bad happened—note Samuels received only a fine and reprimand in NJ for his ethical violations. (Whatever the supervisor did may not have involved ALV)

    ALV now practices as a counselor and that does not require supervision in most states (after acquiring an initial set of supervised hours.) But so far as I know, ACA ethical guidelines and continuing educ requirements are quite similar to APA’s with a few exceptions. (Ex: Counselors can’t do “psyc evaluations” but they can and do “assessment.”) The fact her degree was earned yrs ago does not relieve her of the ethical requirement to stay current in her knowledge. If we go to an MD who graduated from med school in 1980, we don’t excuse him for not knowing about drugs and other advances made since 1980 (and neither would medical ethics or a licensure board.)

    I do know what you mean about developing “blinders” from experience in an area, Linda. You may be correct that’s partly what has happened to ALV. But say someone has odd physical symptoms. Because the person’s aunt has MS, she goes to an MS specialist. He quickly diagnoses MS based on his “experience” without doing testing (MRI, spinal tap etc) that can be supportive of an MS dx. He prescribes treatment that harms the patient because she doesn’t HAVE MS. Plus, what she does have, (say, an infection in spinal fluid easily diagnosed with a tap) becomes untreatable due to the delay. We don’t absolve the doctor of responsibility for the error simply because he was “used to seeing” people with MS.

    Like mental health practitioners, MD’s DO make mistakes but whether an error constitutes unethical practice (and civil malpractice) or was just a mistake depends largely on whether the MD’s actions fell within accepted standards of care. Not doing any testing before treating for MS likely would not fall within today’s accepted standards just as not attempting to seek information from unbiased sources before testifying to Travis’s characteristics did not, IMO. Remember the rash of day care child abuse cases in the 1980’s (like the McMartin case) where it often turned out nothing happened? (The kids weren’t taken underground to watch bunnies sacrificed in Satanic rituals, they did not see a human baby beheaded nor were they taken up in spaceships. But many lives were ruined by the charges.) I don’t doubt the therapists involved “believed” there had been child abuse. And so they pressured children to “admit” abuse by saying things like “all the other children said it happened. Why won’t you?” Child abuse is awful just as DV is so I understand why people might have agendas. But having an agenda doesn’t make whatever is done (or not done) in a case ethical or acceptable practice. It is incumbent on the practitioner to be aware of current practices AND to do whatever she needs to do to be sure blinders aren’t distorting her judgment. (At least the child abuse cases resulted in improved standards of practice when questioning children who are potential witnesses or victims. But we already had standards re: not “taking sides” without investigation)

    ALV’s mistake on her CV is likely a big deal to some although it may not be to you and Nern. (If it wasn’t, provision against making false statements on a CV would not be in the guidelines.) I agree if she didn’t keep her CV current and tried to recall exactly what she did where years later, there might be inadvertent flaws. But professionals don’t wait years to do the updating for that very reason. And confusing being THE conference “headliner” with being one of many “worker bees” isn’t quite like misremembering the exact month and day of a conference and doesn’t seem inadvertent. (Let’s see, was I the maid of honor or only 1 of 6 bridesmaids? Was I the valedictorian or did I only graduate with honors? Did I teach that course or was I only a guest lecturer? Gee, I don’t remember.) Also, when she defended her “error” on the stand, she claimed it wasn’t an error because all break-out session leaders were called keynote speakers at that conference. Sorry, I just don’t buy that. (And she surely claimed to have perfect recall of that conference!) And with this known “mistake,” I have to wonder about other listings on her CV. The fact that JM could only identify this one as problematic when looking back doesn’t mean there were no other issues. As you say, the CV covers many years. And many of the speeches ALV said she gave were to small groups that are likely defunct by now. IF the CV issue was the only ethically iffy thing she’d done, I’d say OK. Not good, but OK. But it seems like it is part of a larger pattern of unethical behavior (including falsely claiming she had testifed for men. I’d be forgiving if she’d testified twice but said it was 3 times, or testified 5 times but said 8. But when the number was 0?)

    Not providing a report doesn’t relieve her of her ethical responsibility to own up to any limitations in her findings during testimony. (I knew I hadn’t seen a report so thanks for the info.) I do agree if her strategy was to boost book sales, it backfired. But I expect Samuels didn’t plan to have his prior ethical violations, prior boundary issues, and unacceptable testing skills revealed when he signed on either. Like you and Nern, I don’t think ALV specifically plotted to draw attention away from Jodi’s possible abuse of Travis. But I do think ALV was in it for the money and I think she thought she could get away with being “an expert” according to her whims of what that meant. (And she may have been able to get away with that when in Family Court but in a death penalty case?) If the money wasn’t a motivator, why else did she mention her lack of a retirement account on the stand? Can anyone here even hazard a guess to explain that in a way that doesn’t involve her attraction to the fee? And if her motivation was to stay on the case to keep the money rolling in, of course she’d need to please the DT by not seeing, hearing, or heaven forbid, uncovering any information that could threaten their case even if that meant violating professional ethics and standards of practice.

  37. Linda K

    Another round of good points, lizzie, to which I will try to reply in the most succinct way possible. Try being the operative word. LOL

    (1) Code of Ethics- I honestly don’t know if things have changed since I was an undergrad but, back then, you didn’t get to call yourself a “Psychologist” until you obtained your PhD in Psychology. A Bachelor’s was virtually worthless; the best you could hope for was a grunt job in a research lab. A Master’s allowed you call yourself a Counselor. And of course an M.D. allowed you to call yourself a Psychiatrist. If all that has changed, my apologies, but that’s why I questioned whether she was bound by the same ethics [yes, I do think she should be].

    (2) Continuing Education – I don’t disagree with the wisdom in it; I just don’t know what the requirements are for a Counselor or Psych Assistant (whatever that is, that’s new to me).

    (3) Comparing a Counselor to an M.D. – I do get your point about the MS doctor but that’s really not a fair comparison since there are many diagnostic tools available to an M.D. for which there are no comparable tools available for a Counselor. As painfully pointed out in “Whores of the Court,” there’s a huge difference in the nature of psychology and other sciences. And many would argue psychology is not a science at all.

    (4) Accepted Standards – Regarding psychological testing, ALV had to rely on the tests administered by Drs. Karp, Samuels and DeMarte. And of course the validity of those tests were directly proportional to the [un]truthfulness of the subject. I don’t think anyone would have been pleased to hear ALV come into court and tear down the evaluations of those DOCTORS — considering the disparity in training. Both Karp and Samuels diagnosed Jodi as having been abused. Who was she to argue? [Rhetorical question]

    (5) Seeking unbiased sources – Yeah, we do agree here, she didn’t try hard enough to do that. We just disagree on why and whether or not she tried at all.

    (6) Professional blinders – I’m at a bit of a loss to suggest how one goes about overcoming a blindness if you aren’t aware just how bad your vision is.

    (7) Keynote vs. Break-Out – I thoroughly enjoyed your analogies, although I was thinking of misremembering more along the lines of… “I gave that speech three times that year, once as a keynote and twice at break-out sessions. I *think* this was the keynote event.” I don’t doubt there are professionals who update their CV every time they sneeze. But I do doubt that’s the rule. Most probably update it only when they prepare to present it. Remember DeMarte was chastised for not having a comprehensive CV? At any rate, I agree it sounded ludicrous for her to argue the Keynote Point when JM had the program in his hands.

    (8) Not providing a report – I cannot figure out how she got away with that. Maybe in Family Court you only submit a report if you’re not going to testify? Heck, I don’t know. Like anything else in this discussion, I’m not looking for excuses, just plausible [if unprofessional] reasons for her actions that are consistent with stupidity and not maliciousness. I’d want to blame the DT first for this because I think, had they asked for/demanded one, she’d have obliged.

    (9) In it for the money – Virtually every expert witness expects to be paid. “Will Work for Money” isn’t necessarily malicious. I think she was being brutally honest about the state of her retirement fund. I mean, if you’re going to do a job you believe in, what’s the harm in being paid. Right? Or no? Who would have believed her if she said the money didn’t matter to her? Riiiiight.

    (10) Hear No Evil, See No Evil – How could she, with those coke-bottle-bottom blinders and her fingers in her ears? “I saw no evidence of that.”

    1. lizzie

      Good points Linda. Re: ALV being a counselor—there’s a field called “counseling” separate from psychology although psychology includes “counseling psychology” as well as “clinical psychology.” Counseling is a separate profession w/ethics mandated by the American Counseling Assoc. A licensee in counseling is called an “LPC” –licensed professional counselor—or something similar although sub-area licenses (school, marriage, etc) also exist in some states. Most states, if not all, prohibit a person from calling herself a “professional counselor” without having the appropriate master’s, passing a national exam, receiving a number of post-master’s hours of supervision and acquiring a license. (Of course, nowhere can a person call herself a “licensed” anything without having the actual license.) As you say, by law in many states including AZ, according to the trial testimony, “psychologist” does refer to a Ph.D. or Psy.D although this also varies. I’ve never heard of a master’s level licensed psychology practitioner being called a “counselor” by default just because she lacked a doctorate but I guess it’s possible. Some states don’t license master’s level psychologists but of those that do, some use the term “psychological associate.” (Ex: NM, NC, Alaska, TX) CA currently uses the term “psychology assistant” to refer to a licensed master’s level clinical practitioner supervised by a licensed psychologist. But in KS, someone w/a master’s can be licensed as a “master’s level psychologist.”

      It seemed reasonable to quote psychology ethics since ALV’s master’s is in community/clinical psychology and others were writing about psychology ethics. As you pointed out, APA ethical guidelines use the term “psychologist” but the guidelines also govern those with master’s degrees working in the field. Ex: A person holding a master’s working in a psyc lab would be bound by APA’s ethical guidelines that govern research activity. The lack of Ph.D. would be immaterial. (And in KS, if licensed, he would be called a master’s level “psychologist” anyway.) But on her CV, ALV describes herself as a “Marriage, Family, Child Counselor, State License” so here are some selections from ACA’s ethical guidelines (caps added, some material omitted for space)
      http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf E.13 seems especially relevant. Introductory material: Counselors aspire to open, honest, and accurate communication in dealing with the public and other professionals….

      A.1.b. COUNSELORS MAINTAIN RECORDS NECESSARY FOR RENDERING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES…Counselors include sufficient timely documentation…
      A.4.b. COUNSELORS ARE AWARE OF THEIR VALUES, ATTITUDES, BELIEFS, AND BEHAVIORS AND AVOID IMPOSING VALUES…
      C.1. Counselors have a responsibility to read, understand, and follow the ACA Code of Ethics.. adhere to applicable laws…
      C.2.a. COUNSELORS PRACTICE ONLY WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THEIR COMPETENCE (Lizzie’s note: ALV said she didn’t explore Jodi’s sex life because she’s a “prude” raising a competence issue IMO as the case clearly involved sex. And how can she be a competent “marriage” counselor if sex can’t be discussed?)
      C.2.d. Counselors continually monitor their effectiveness as professionals…COUNSELORS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO SEEK PEER SUPERVISION TO EVALUATE THEIR EFFICACY AS COUNSELORS.
      C.2.f. Counselors recognize the need for continuing education to ACQUIRE AND MAINTAIN A REASONABLE LEVEL OF AWARENESS OF CURRENT SCIENTIFIC AND PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION IN THEIR FIELDS OF ACTIVITY. They take steps to maintain competence in the skills they use, are open to new procedures, and KEEP CURRENT WITH the diverse populations and SPECIFIC POPULATIONS WITH WHOM THEY WORK. (Lizzie’s note: Many have said ALV’s view of DV is outmoded)
      C.3.a. When advertising or representing their services to the public, counselors IDENTIFY THEIR CREDENTIALS IN AN ACCURATE MANNER that is not false, misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent.
      C.4.a. Counselors claim or imply only professional qualifications actually completed …ACCURATELY DESCRIBE THEIR CONTINUING EDUCATION and specialized training.
      C.6.b. Counselors are ACCURATE, HONEST, AND OBJECTIVE IN REPORTING THEIR PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND JUDGMENTS TO THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING COURTS….
      C.6.e. Counselors use TECHNIQUES/ PROCEDURES/ MODALITIES THAT ARE GROUNDED IN THEORY AND/OR HAVE AN EMPIRICAL OR SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION. COUNSELORS WHO DO NOT, MUST DEFINE THE TECHNIQUES/ PROCEDURES AS “UNPROVEN” OR “DEVELOPING” AND EXPLAIN THE POTENTIAL RISKS AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF USING SUCH TECHNIQUES/PROCEDURES.
      D.1.h. Counselors alert their employers of inappropriate policies and practices. They attempt to effect changes in such policies or procedures through constructive action….voluntary termination of employment [may be necessary].
      D.2.a. Counselors take reasonable steps TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THE APPROPRIATE RESOURCES and competencies WHEN PROVIDING CONSULTATION services.
      E.9.a. In reporting assessment results, counselors indicate reservations that exist
      regarding validity or reliability DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ASSESSMENT… (Lizzie’s note: Elsewhere section states “assessment” includes interviews and so would include “jailhouse” interviews)
      E.12. Counselors use ESTABLISHED SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES, relevant standards, and CURRENT professional knowledge for assessment design in the development, publication, and utilization of educational and psychological assessment techniques.

      E.13.a. WHEN PROVIDING FORENSIC EVALUATIONS, THE PRIMARY OBLIGATION OF COUNSELORS IS TO PRODUCE OBJECTIVE FINDINGS that CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED based on information and techniques appropriate to the evaluation, which may include examination of the individual and/or review of records. Counselors are entitled to form professional opinions based on their professional knowledge and expertise that can be supported by the data gathered in evaluations. COUNSELORS WILL DEFINE THE LIMITS OF THEIR REPORTS OR TESTIMONY, ESPECIALLY WHEN AN EXAMINATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL HAS NOT BEEN CONDUCTED.

      H.1.a. Counselors understand the ACA Code of Ethics… LACK OF KNOWLEDGE or misunderstanding of an ethical responsibility IS NOT A DEFENSE AGAINST A CHARGE OF UNETHICAL CONDUCT.

      As I’ve said before, ALV could have convinced herself she had information sufficient to testify to Jodi’s characteristics although the fact of the DP should have been considered re: Jodi’s truthfulness during ALV’s interviews. My MAIN ethical issue is w/ALV’s testifying about Travis’s characteristics and her unwillingness to admit her conclusions could have been faulty since, for whatever reason, she did not talk to anyone but Jodi. You raise an interesting point re: how does one know what one doesn’t see? That’s part of the reason for the “advanced warning” ethical guidelines provide, required continuing ed to stay current, and the suggestion private practitioners seek voluntary supervision as blinders develop more easily in those settings. Also, a guide to avoiding unethical practice on ACA’s website states “a counselor is probably acting in an ethically responsible way if (1) he or she has maintained personal and professional honesty, coupled with (2) the best interests of the client, (3) without malice or personal gain, and (4) can justify his or her actions as the best judgment of what should be done based upon the current state of the profession.” I don’t see how ALV could be seen to have done that (except to serve Jodi’s interests.) I think my MD analogy from my last post would fit this too. Although there is no test for MS (only tests that can “suggest MS” and help rule out other dx) the MD’s actions would be unethical since he could not justify using “his experience” in lieu of testing given the current state of his profession. Same with ALV given the state of her profession.

      There is one last twist I just found though. According to what I could find online, the proper name for the license ALV holds is NOT what she listed on her CV. She actually is licensed as a “marriage and family THERAPIST”, not as she states on her CV, a “Marriage, Family, Child COUNSELOR, State License” and she has been since the 1990’s
      Licensee Name: LAVIOLETTE ALYCE DUNN
      License Type: MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
      License Number: 29119
      http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/WLLQRYNA$LCEV2.QueryView?P_LICENSE_NUMBER=29119&P_LTE_ID=720
      She did practice as a “psychology assistant” shortly after earning her degree in 1980. Then, as reported elsewhere, her supervisor—Charles Stockton—had his license permanently revoked for having sex w/a current client and then trying to bribe a minister to stop the woman from suing. See http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/WLLQRYNA$LCEV2.QueryView?P_LICENSE_NUMBER=10905&P_LTE_ID=724
      and http://articles.latimes.com/1997-03-27/local/me-42770_1_long-beach-therapist
      (The beginning of ALV’s gender bias?) I believe ALV also testified she is LICENSED as a “counselor.” Some may argue confusing “therapist” and “counselor” is a minor mistake for a professional to make but as I think KR would agree, accurate public portrayal of one’s credentials/license IS a big deal (in part because providing licensure info—also including a license number which ALV omitted on her CV— provides the public w/the means to voice a complaint to the proper Board.) And I’d think somewhere in the last 20 yrs of renewing her license, she’d have learned its name. Maybe though this means neither psychology nor counseling ethics apply to her? Licensure laws are complex but I sure wish JM had asked her about that!

      http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/WLLQRYNA$LCEV2.QueryView?P_LICENSE_NUMBER=29119&P_LTE_ID=720
      Licensee Name: LAVIOLETTE ALYCE DUNN
      License Type: MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
      License Number: 29119

        1. Penny

          I think ALV is a hot mess and should not ever be able to testify again nor have any clients. She had every right to talk with other people but she choose to believe Jodi knowing she had made up plenty of lies. She had no proof of any abuse that she accused Travis did. If she said remarks were abuse my husband would be in jail and with my come backs I would be right along side of him.

          1. NERN

            @Penny
            I do not think anyone needs worrying about ALV testifying in a court of law again – she made sure of that. No one will call her as a witness.
            Having clients?…..think she cooked her own goose with that as well except for maybe the few who need someone and she is all that is left for them. Again, those that know her story now will not seek her out for advice (unless it is to their advantage to have her “shore” them up with what they believe about their situation. Sad.

          2. Penny

            @ Nern she will have clients that want her to believe what they have to say. ALV thinks she is superior to all others. The wife that pushed her husband off the cliff needs to get in touch with her ASAP.ALV would make sure to tell the jury that Jordan was an abused wife and that is why she had to use both hands on his back to push him over a cliff and was to afraid to tell the truth at first. All it takes is one juror to believe ALV as she thinks she is superior to the rest of us.

          3. Linda K

            If Jordan Graham’s attorneys want their client convicted of 1st degree premeditated murder they should, by all means, seek the “expert” testimony of ALV.

      1. Linda K

        @lizzie,

        Wow! You did a lot of homework there, lady! Thank you! There isn’t a whole lot I can say in reply but I would like to make a few points.

        (1) License Type – The California Board of Behavioral Sciences has only three primary licensing options as far as I can tell: LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor); LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist). Given those three options, I would have to guess she is — or at least was — properly licensed since she does seem to have a specialty. I would also guess the LPCC license is for those without a specialty.
        [Source: http://www.bbs.ca.gov/forms.shtml#misc

        (2) Counselor vs. Therapist – This may be a CA licensing quirk, but I have always understood the word “therapist” to be reserved for Psychologists and Psychiatrists; I would never use the word to describe a Masters-level professional. Likewise, I would never expect a Counselor to provide clinical therapy. Now CA may have decided that, in the sole field of “Marriage and Family,” therapy is acceptable. I just don’t know. But if ALV is misrepresenting herself as a Counselor when she’s really a Therapist, it’s pretty stupid. She’d be underselling her credentials, IMO.

        (3) Psychological Testing – It was brought out at trial that ALV was not qualified (i.e. licensed) to do this which is why she did not. JM made a huge deal about it, the point being to denigrate her credentials. She used the tests of the other three Drs instead of getting a fourth set done just for her purposes. I’m not inclined to criticize her there, but I would fault her for her wholesale disregard for DeMarte’s report in favor of those by Karp and Samuels (both of whom found “evidence” of abuse). Again, blinders, but what good would a fourth set of tests do? Jodi would have lied on those just as she did on the others.

        E.13.a. WHEN PROVIDING FORENSIC EVALUATIONS, THE PRIMARY OBLIGATION OF COUNSELORS IS TO PRODUCE OBJECTIVE FINDINGS that CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED based on information and techniques appropriate to the evaluation, which may include examination of the individual and/or review of records. Counselors are entitled to form professional opinions based on their professional knowledge and expertise that can be supported by the data gathered in evaluations. COUNSELORS WILL DEFINE THE LIMITS OF THEIR REPORTS OR TESTIMONY, ESPECIALLY WHEN AN EXAMINATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL HAS NOT BEEN CONDUCTED.

        I understand why you capped the phrases you did, however I would have probably capped the following:

        Counselors are entitled to form professional opinions based on their professional knowledge and expertise that can be supported by the data gathered in evaluations.

        I know we disagree with her [wrong] professional opinions, but she DID cite examples of “data gathered” to support them. In a vacuum, they would sound reasonable to most people.

        As for the other items you listed from the ACA Code of Ethics, I would say this. I don’t doubt ALV read hundreds upon hundreds of pages of documents, many of them exchanges between Jodi and Travis which provided a “sense” of their relationship. Maybe she didn’t explore every intimate detail of their sex life during her evaluation of Jodi but I’m sure she learned more than enough through the documents and the infamous sex tape. I’m not sure a “Marriage & Family Therapist” needs to also be a “Sex Therapist” but who knows. As for defining the limits of her evaluation, yeah, I think that could have been done. But the most obvious limit was not being able to talk to Travis — yet, with him being so secretive about his relationship with Jodi, I’m not sure how much information his friends and family could have provided. Yeah, they loved him and disliked her but… I dunno.

        1. NERN

          @Linda K
          I agree – a Marriage and Family Therapist does not have to be a Sex Therapist as well. Having been to a Marriage Therapist (probably a Counselor – so many years ago) it is often a separate issue dealing with the dynamics of a marriage in general.
          They can be related depending on the circumstances but a Sex Therapist, in my understanding, is a very focused area.

  38. lizzie

    Hi Linda.

    I’m not trying to make this into an argument and I hope neither you nor anyone else still reading this thread thinks I am. I’m just concerned about the issue of ethical mental health practice. Earlier posts on this site seem to suggest a lot of people think most mental health practitioners have no ethics at all (e.g., are always “whores” in court) OR there ARE a lot of unethical practitioners out there (we’ve seen enough in this case and a few other high profile cases [Menendez brothers, Hemy Neuman] to give that impression, plus posters have related their own personal negative experiences.) While there may be bad apples in any barrel, I think it is important to note fairly clear ethical guidelines exist in the various mental health fields. In ethical professional practice, mental health folks aren’t free to do just anything or say just anything as long as it fits their personal “worldview.” Disgruntled clients who have received questionable services need to know there are avenues to voice complaints that don’t require commencing a lawsuit. If people don’t know that, they may be less likely to seek needed help. I think people also need to understand lack of awareness on the part of a counselor, therapist, or psychologist is not a defense against a charge of unethical practice.

    CA does offer a limited number of licenses but that still doesn’t mean ALV should have listed on her CV she had a state license as a “Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor” when the official title for the license is currently “Marriage and Family Therapist.” Part of the issue raised by using the wrong title is that it then becomes unclear which set of ethical guidelines apply to her. How a complaint to a licensure board is couched and ultimately judged depends in part on which set of guidelines the practitioner should have been following. Just today though, I was finally able to locate applicable state law. Apparently a statute went into effect in California in 1999 changing the name “Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor” to “Marriage and Family Therapist.” http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=04001-05000&file=4980-4980.90
    ALV should know that and should have updated the license title on her CV sometime in the last 14 years. (Good grief, she’s certainly spent time on her CV in the last 14 years as it seems to document every instance where she has uttered a single word to any kind of audience.) The law also requires the therapist to “display his or her license in a conspicuous place in the licensee’s primary place of practice” so ALV has to have seen a copy of her license in the last 14 years.

    Research (as well as common sense!) tells us marital discord most often revolves around sex, money, or children (but poor communication may underlie all.) A marriage counselor/therapist doesn’t have to be an expert in sex therapy, doesn’t have to have the financial expertise of a CPA, and doesn’t have to have legendary knowledge about parenting equal to that of “Dr. Spock” of the 1950’s, but a practitioner who is “too squeamish” to discuss those areas likely will be ineffective. That was my point about ALV’s testimony her own “prudishness” led her not to talk about sex w/Jodi. And too, the statute about CA marriage therapy notes prior to licensure graduate instruction is needed in “Human sexuality, including the study of physiological, psychological, and social cultural variables associated with sexual behavior and gender identity, and the assessment and treatment of psychosexual dysfunction.”

    I didn’t mean to mislead anyone re: ACA’s guidelines by my use of caps. I capitalized parts related to points I was trying to make. Legally an expert witness IS allowed to use her expertise to form opinions and, as you say, and as the guidelines I quoted (but did not capitalize) say, that’s also true for counselors in forensic situations. But the most important part of that section IMO was that ALV should have “defined the limits of her report or testimony, especially when an examination of the individual has not been conducted.” That’s the same sort of limitation we saw in APA’s ethics. But not only did ALV not do that in her testimony about Travis, she actively resisted efforts by JM to point out any possible limitations. And that’s where she crossed an ethical line IMO. She may have been wearing blinders, but the ACA guidelines and those from APA presented earlier pretty clearly forewarn her not to do what she did.

    Some may say in a justifiable homicide DV case where an abuser is killed, it’s never possible to conduct an exam of that person. That’s true. But it is possible to attempt to talk to people who knew the deceased and knew his psychological tendencies. It is also possible to attempt to talk to people who knew the couple and who may have been aware of abuse before the killing. The abused person may try to hide it, but often there IS evidence, albeit evidence that sometimes is much clearer in hindsight (bruises/injuries purportedly from “walking into a door” or “accidentally falling down stairs”, lots of yelling overheard, isolation and control by the abuser, incidents of psychological abuse directly witnessed, police calls to the home, attempted flight or known plan to flee from the abuser, etc.) In this case, none of that sort of evidence existed. While absence of evidence is not proof of absence, the absence of evidence of abuse other than Jodi’s story, made it even more important to attempt to seek out information from others before choosing to testify Jodi was abused and Travis was the abuser. It appears ALV made no effort to do that. Further, she may have actually lied when she said she was “not allowed” to talk to others. I’m also not sure Travis was as secretive about Jodi as the defense claimed when terming her his “dirty little secret.” Initially they certainly traveled a lot together, were videotaped together at conferences, and later she visited his house while he had roommates. So much of the supposed secrecy may have been defense spin.

    1. Linda K

      @lizzie,

      Let me say, for the record, I do not feel you’re arguing at all. I’ve greatly enjoyed this exchange of ideas and perspectives and hope you have as well. And I hope you don’t think I’m being argumentative, either, because that was never my intent.

      One of the key issues on which this discussion hinges is the fact that ALV failed to recognize Jodi is a pathological liar and the ramifications that flowed from that failure. The cause of the failure is either (a) a lack of experience with disturbed “victims” and a blind acceptance of two professional diagnoses of abuse or (b) a willful blindness for monetary gain. We both have our beliefs and I doubt either will change the mind of the other. And I’m fine with that. I hope you are, too.

      I understand you’re primarily concerned with ALV’s failure in the strict adherence to her professional code of ethics. It’s a concern many of us share. My only contention is, and always has been, that I just don’t agree there is evidence of malice here. Of course, that said, I will readily concede a number of points…

      Her CV contains errors. Her evaluation method in this case was unprofessionally sympathetic (e.g. 44 hours of interviews, the apology, the magazine subscriptions). She didn’t provide a report to the court. She made an assessment of Travis based on his killer’s accusations and reams of documents which WE know didn’t provide an accurate view of the relationship dynamics. She didn’t interview other potential witnesses for reasons not entirely clear. She had no idea how to behave on the witness stand. She clearly believes in the validity of her evaluation and refuses to concede any possibility of error in her conclusions.

      I really don’t know what else to say. My purpose in life is not to defend this woman, but heaven help her if y’all are right and I’m wrong. :)

  39. lizzie

    I didn’t think you were arguing at all, Linda. I’ve enjoyed our exchange too but I got to worrying that maybe I was the only one who had (as you never know when communicating in writing.) Obviously we can’t know what was in ALV’s head except I think we’d both agree there’s some empty space in there!

    I’ll admit there’s a chance you and others are entirely correct and ALV is just a misguided practitioner who lets her own attitudes and biases blind her. But with all the other ethical missteps she’s made we’ve talked about, I can’t help but wonder about her general lack of ethics and further wonder if her blindness was intentionally and unethically maintained in this case to keep the gravy train coming (which could also translate to malice.) And regardless, her blindness, whether intentional or not, makes her a dangerous unethical practitioner even when not testifying in a court case like this one. She would likely see many of her clients—not just Jodi— not as they ARE, but as her slanted worldview says they SHOULD be. (Men are always evil and strong, women are always good and weak.) And her therapy with clients would be dictated by her views.

    Despite what you’ve said and what others such as Nern have said, I just can’t get unstuck from ALV’s testimony about her retirement account. (Maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t have add’l concerns about her though.) Of course, unlike hobbies, “work” is for pay for most of us even when we like our jobs. And just as we expect to be paid, expert witnesses are paid for their work except when doing pro bono work. And, of course, in court “the other side” always tries to make a big deal of the fees a private consultant is collecting. But to spend SO much time with Jodi at $350/hr or whatever it was—whether we believe DeMarte or not, 44 full hours of “clinical contact” IS an awfully long time for assessment, especially since Jodi was incarcerated, was known to have lied, and no apparent efforts were made by ALV to verify anything Jodi said during those 44 hours even about herself by talking to people who knew her. For comparison, as I expect you know, a standard “hourly” appointment when receiving outpatient clinical services is 50 minutes to allow charting time between clients. And appts are typically weekly if the client is not in crisis. So in a way, ALV spent as much time talking to Jodi as an outpatient therapist would spend with a client who receives weekly treatment for more than 52 weeks. (That’s a heck of lot of time in today’s world of clinical service that is often limited by third-party payers!)

    And I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that ANY expert witness who is questioned on the stand about her fee would respond by saying (in effect) “well, I need money for my retirement.” I about fell out of my chair when I heard her say that. It seems to me anyone who says something like that isn’t simply a terrible witness, but is someone who has made a telling “Freudian slip.” Otherwise, one would expect to have heard something in line with the usual response “my fees are in line with the standard in my field.” And while we can’t be sure how often ALV has testified given her CV is of questionable accuracy, we are pretty sure this was not the first time. So she’s likely been asked about fees before. (And if not, the DT surely would have told her to expect questions about fees from JM.) So to me, her “slip” and the defensiveness with which she seemed to say it made it appear the fee she was collecting primarily fulfilled a “personal need” for her rather than being “professional compensation.” So it’s not a leap for me to believe her actions were for “personal” gain. But we can agree to disagree on that!

    1. Penny

      Lizzie I agree with you. ALV believes only what she wants to believe and wants all others to believe what comes out of her mouth. After watching Nancy Grace tonight on the death of the husband pushed over the cliff by his wife Jordan I came up with an idea. Think Jordan’s defense team should get in touch with ALV and put her on the stand in defense of Jordan as she is just another Arias and you know all the BS she said for her. She might get 1 person to agree that it was only self defense.

    2. Linda K

      @lizzie,

      Perhaps a minor point, but I thought all the psych experts in this trial received $250/hr for their evaluations and testimony. At any rate, ALV almost made more on the stand than she did for the 44 hours of interviews… eight days of testimony, wasn’t it?

      Regardless of which of us is right about her motives, I’m going to take comfort in believing her prospects for future opportunities as an expert witness, if any, are very slim. Personally, I’m skeptical she EVER testified in a criminal trial before this one. She just didn’t exhibit the appropriate respect and restraint which would indicate experience — she behaved as if she was taking audience questions during a seminar. Her attempts at humor were wholly inappropriate in a courtroom, but totally in keeping with what I saw on her videos.

      BTW, did you ever watch any of her YouTube videos? I watched a couple and found them quite… erm… enlightening. They show just how far down the rabbit hole she goes in defense of her holy gender-bias grail — so far as an analysis of womens’ roles in society throughout history [in the context of abuse]. If you can stand to watch, Snow White awaits. ;)

  40. lizzie

    I’ve not watched her YouTube videos, Linda, and don’t know if I could stand to! And I think you are correct about the fee amt per hour and I was wrong. Really though, my concern was the 44 hours. To realize that’s as much time with Jodi as a typical psychologist’s/counselor’s client would receive in a full year’s worth of weekly therapy sessions …astounding.

    1. Penny

      If ALV spent 44 hrs with Jodi then said that B.S. on the stand who is crazy? I think both. What is sick is that most saw right through ALV but she still believes herself. Scary to me.

  41. Don Osborne

    Zooyork – you have made some interesting observations re ALV and raised several pertinent questions as to the legitimacy of her participation in this trial. The fact is she deliberately aligned herself with the killer. That there are people willing to attempt to justify/excuse her conduct as an ‘expert’ witness in this case astonishes me.
    Expert witnesses offer a combination of facts and opinions. The expert witness is a person engaged to provide an opinion based on experience, knowledge and expertise. Most importantly, it is the duty of an expert witness to provide independent, impartial and unbiased evidence to the court. He/she bases their opinion on facts, and have an obligation to the court to ensure that this is done.
    Clearly,’expert’ witnesses in this trial i.e. ‘Dr Fog’ and more particularly ALV sold their ‘expertise’ for monetary reward and/or some misguided allegiance to the monster they were supposed to be evaluating, and in doing so totally ignored their obligations to the court. To spend 44 hours in evaluating the killer whilst disregarding the victim was absurd, and to approach a member of the victim’s family to attempt to justify her ‘testimony’ was disgraceful.
    ALV packed up all her biases against the male and brought them to court to willingly further slaughter the victim. This woman is not an imbecile – she knew what she was doing and would have fully understood her obligation to the court. She would, or should, have known that she was there to provide the lay person on the jury with knowledge he/she did not possess on the basis that it was not provided to meet the needs of one side or the other i.e the prosecution or the defense. Did ALV set out to do this? Did she at any stage attempt to do this?
    She chose an alternative path – one that should not be available to the expert witness – to vilify and further slaughter the victim. Why – only she would know.
    Arias physically ( and almost certainly previously mentally ) slaughtered her victim.
    ALV chose the same victim and slaughtered him in court, and gained much satisfaction from so doing. This woman is despicable. She has no saving graces for what she consciously and willingly did. She doesn’t rank much higher than Arias.

    1. NERN

      Don, you stated “one that should not be available to the expert witness”. For me, that is much of the issue. Her testimony was allowed, full force. It was accepted by the court in Arizona. Changes are more than obviously needed to keep testimony from people like ALV out of evidence.

  42. lizzie

    I certainly have NOT been one of ALV’s defenders. (See my posts!) In a self-defense case though, the deceased would HAVE to be vilified to some extent. So my disgust with ALV is not simply that she vilified Travis. However, I’m disgusted by the way she did it— without attempting to obtain ANY objective information to support her claims. As my other posts indicate, I believe many of her actions were unethical, were consciously done, and were not simply the result of ALV being another victim of Jodi’s. But it seems in murder trials, perhaps for good reason (see Maria’s posts in particular), judges do bend over backwards to allow the DT to put on the case they wish to put on and often that may include allowing questionable expert testimony. In this case, I think JM did a pretty good job destroying the credibility of ALV, Dr. Fog, and the burping doctor and I can’t imagine anyone would ever hire them for court again. (If I were on trial I surely wouldn’t, even if I was guilty. And if I was innocent, NO WAY!) But JM certainly could have done more had he been allowed to. For example, frequent discussion here has related to ALV saying she was “not allowed” to talk to others. Because of a DT objection, JM was not able to explore that issue. Had he been able to, I think the discrediting of ALV (and the DT!) might have been complete.

    While this thread has mostly “beat up on” psychologists and counselors as experts, those really aren’t the only bad experts we see. In the Zimmerman trial in FLA, there was the medical examiner who became angry when told he could not read aloud from his notes during testimony. As he eventually admitted, he had no memory of doing TM’s autopsy. (Lack of memory for an individual autopsy done many months before may not be that uncommon for MEs. But I’d think most MEs would memorize their notes before getting on the stand in those cases.)

    And let’s not forget the Casey Anthony trial. In that trial we saw a host of loony characters. To mention a few: A botanist from Colorado opined Caylee’s remains could have been in the woods for as short a time as TWO WEEKS before they were found. When asked why the bones were covered by leaf litter and “muck” that was so deep, she suggested a dog or a coyote could have buried the bones. (While there ARE coyotes in FLA, should that testimony have come from a PLANT expert? It might as well have come from a dog owner with experience unearthing in her backyard bones that she had given her dog as treats.)

    Also, Dr. Werner Spitz testified who, IMO, looked senile. Remember he also testified in the Phil Specter case in California (for an “appearance fee” of $5000) and claimed the female victim (who had never met Specter before that night) suddenly committed suicide at his house by shooting herself in the face with his gun. During testimony in the Anthony trial, Spitz claimed to have personally done 50,000 autopsies over his 56-year career. Doing nearly 3 autopsies a day each of the SEVEN days of EVERY week EVERY year for 56 years straight seems quite unlikely, especially when one considers how much time he’s spent in courtrooms and on TV over the last 10-15 years. And he could be sure of how many autopsies he’d done but when questioned by the State, he could not remember being on the many TV shows (48 Hours, etc) he was on related to the Anthony case? He also got confused trying to leave the courtroom and had to be escorted out.

    In that trial, we also had Dr. Bill Rodriguez who indicated outside the presence of the jury that people can’t recognize the smell of decomp. He admitted that view wasn’t based on any science but was just his opinion. (Yeah, well, MY opinion is they can. So there!) He also may have lied about being a co-founder of the Body Farm as no Body Farm documents mention him. We never really found out because he disappeared suddenly. There were questions of DT discovery violations re: his testimony but also it was also implied the federal gov’t— Rodriguez’s employer at the time— hadn’t given permission for him to play hooky from his salaried job to go off and make some extra cash on the side. (Good grief, didn’t Rodriguez know the Anthony trial would be on national TV?)

    So it’s not just psychologists who are “court whores” and it’s not just AZ that allows those folks on the stand.

    1. Penny

      Thank you Lizzie for your post. So right on. I had forgotten some of the things you brought up – so true. At least it gave me a laugh for today. Yes you are right so many court whores out there and probably more that are taking lessons from the ones you mentioned. Sure will see new ones popping out of the woodwork.

  43. Deb McLeod-Morris

    ALV thinks she is championing the domestic violence issue, has set herself as the demigog, as many who are narcissistic tend to do. She said on her video that someone needed to be kind to Stabby, and she picked herself as that Lone Ranger, cuz ALV is “special” that way. ALV had an agenda of exposing herself as “the expert”, she had delusions of grandeur for herself, and it backfired badly on her. And now, she’s trying so hard to get us to understand her, kind of like how Stabby is flailing about trying to convince us she’s the poor innocent victim. It isn’t working, it won’t ever work, but expect more of the same from ALV and Stabby.

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