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Incompetent and unscrupulous Family Court Experts enjoy immunity from malpractice claims

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An article in the July-August edition of Private Eye magazine highlights a controversial loophole which could allow incompetent and unscrupulous Family Court experts to practice whilst enjoying immunity from malpractice claims.
Private Eye

Professor Jane Ireland’s 2012 report detailing serious concerns about the quality of expert evidence from Family Court psychiatrists and psychologists – it found that over 20% of psychologists  in  family cases  were  unqualified  and  65%  of  expert  reports  were  either  of  ‘poor’  or  ‘very  poor’  quality – is also mentioned in the Private Eye piece.

Redacted version of the Private Eye piece below:
“A gaping hole in the regulation of psychologists could put the public at risk from unscrupulous, inept or unaccountable ‘experts’.
Providing  psychologists  don’t  use  one  of  nine  so-called  ‘protected  titles’  –  for  example,  educational,  clinical,  or  forensic  – any  can  offer  their  services  without  the  need  to  be  registered  and  regulated  by  the  U.K.’s  watchdog,  the  Health  and  Care Professions  Council  (HCPC).  Even  if  serious  concerns  or  complaints  are  raised  about  them,  they  remain  immune  from investigation  because  they’re  not  registered.
Nowhere  is  the  danger  of  the  regulatory  body’s  impotence  more  starkly  illustrated  than  in  the  courts,  where  it  seems  that unregistered,  unqualified  and  potentially  unfit  psychologists  can  operate  as  ‘experts’  in  even  the  most  serious  cases  of murder,  rape  or  child  sexual  exploitation.  No-one  illustrates  this  absurd  Catch-22  better  than  ‘consultant  psychologist’ [edited],  who  has  acted  as  an  expert  in  several  high-profile  cases,  including  the  [edited]  child  grooming  case,  where a  gang  raped  and  trafficked  underage  girls.
[Edited],  a  trained  educational  psychologist  who  used  to  work  in  local  government,  has  been  the  subject  of  at  least  four complaints,  including  manipulating  data  and  acting  beyond  his  qualifications  and  expertise.  Three  have  not  been  investigated because  he  has  never  been  registered  with  the  HCPC.  Because  of  the  fourth,  his  application  for  registration  in  2012  was refused,  when  he  was  judged  to  be  ‘not  of  good  character’.
According  to  his  website,  [edited]  also  acts  in  the  family  courts  in  sensitive  child  contact  and  care  cases,  in  what  looks  like a  clear  breach  of  new  guidelines  from  the  Family  Justice  Council  (a  public  body  which  advises  on  family  justice  matters) and  the  industry  body  the  British  Psychological  Society  (BPS).  The  guidelines  state  that  family  courts  expect  all psychologists  acting  as  experts  to  be  HCPC-registered  unless  they  are  academics.
In  fact  his  website  offers  services  in  several  of  the  areas  of  expertise  covered  by  protected  titles  (educational,  forensic, practitioner,  counselling),  again  contrary  to  what  the  BPS  says  in  its  online  directory  of  chartered  psychologists  (in  which [edited]  is  listed).  It  says  that  ‘anyone  offering  services  within  these  [protected  title]  areas  must also  be  registered’  with  the HCPC.
[Edited]  website  logo  even  uses  the  word  ‘educational’  –  but  because  he  simply  chooses  to  call  himself  a  ‘consultant’,  the HCPC  maintains  he  is  not  misusing  a  protected  title  and  thus  it  can’t  act.  It  adds  that  statutory  regulation  and corresponding  regulatory  titles  are  decided  by  the  government,  and  it’s  for  ministers  to  change  them.  The  BPS,  meanwhile, says  it  now  only  ‘advises’  on  standards  and  best  practice,  ‘but  where  we  are  aware  of  gaps  in  regulation,  we  raise  these with  the  regulator’  –  i.e.  the  HCPC!
The  BPS  says  it  can’t  comment  on  individual  members,  but  adds  that  it  has  raised  concerns  that  the  general  title ‘psychologist’  is  not  protected.  It  still  seems  happy  to  promote  [edited],  though.
As  the  HCPC  admits,  [edited]  is  not  the  only  one  dancing  rings  around  registration.  Prof.  Jane  Ireland  –  author  of  a damning  2012  study  which  triggered  the  recent  family  court  reform,  having  found  that  one  in  five  psychologists  in  family cases  was  working  beyond  their  expertise  and  65%  of  expert  reports  were  either  of  ‘poor’  or  ‘very  poor’  quality  –  tells  the Eye:  ‘All  practising  psychologists  who  act  as  expert  witnesses  should  be  regulated  so  that  the  public  are  protected’.
[Edited]  was  refused  registration  because  of  ‘concerns  about  his  character’  after  staff  at  [edited]  Young  offenders Institution  asked  in  2012  for  proof  of  identity  and,  er,  HCPC  registration.  It  triggered  lengthy  and  ‘inappropriate’ correspondence  between  [edited]  and  the  jail.  An  HCPC  regulatory  panel  threw  out  his  appeal  in  2013,  saying  he  was completely  unable  to  accept  that  his  written  outbursts  had  been  unacceptable,  that  he  had  demonstrated  no  insight  into  the potential  consequences  and  that  he  had  shown  no  remorse.  The  panel  said  that  he  had  displayed  a  similar  attitude  in communication  with  the  HCPC  itself,  that  it  could  not  rule  out  a  repetition  of  similar  behaviour  and  that  his  conduct  would ‘damage  public  confidence  in  the  regulatory  process’.
[Edited]  response  to  the  three  complaints  made  by  fellow  psychologists  has  been  to  fire  off  counter-allegations,  the  irony being  that  those  properly  registered  and  regulated  complainants  then  find  themselves  under  HCPC  investigation,  while  he escapes.
Thus,  in  the  [edited]  grooming  case,  [edited],  a  registered  chartered  psychologist,  was  so  alarmed  to  find  an unregistered  educational  psychologist,  whom  she  considered  neither  qualified  to  reach  his  conclusions  about  an  adult  sex attacker  nor  completely  open  about  those  conclusions,  that  she  complained  to  both  the  HCPC  and  the  BPS.  She  was  told neither  could  do  anything.  Instead  she  herself  was  investigated  when  [edited]  fired  off  a  counterblast.  ‘It  was  very  irritating, but  of  course  there  was  no  merit  in  his  complaints  and  they  were  all  swiftly  dismissed,’  she  told  the  Eye.  [Edited]  boasts on  his  website  about  the  [edited]  case:  ‘Of  the  seven  men  convicted,  five  were  given  life  sentences.  The  man  I  assessed was  given  a  sentence  substantially  below  that  of  his  co-defendants,  and  without  a  tariff’.
Another  victim  of  [edited]’s  revenge  salvos  was  [edited],  an  academic  and  leading  clinical  and  forensic psychologist.  After  taking  advice,  he  complained  to  the  then  regulator,  the  BPS,  that  [edited] had  manipulated  IQ  test scores  in  the  trial  of  a  man  accused  in  2008  of  converting  replica  weapons  into  firearms  used  in  a  series  of  murders.  It made  the  man  appear  less  intelligent,  and  therefore  less  culpable.  [The academic]  told  the  Court  at  the  time  he  had  ‘never encountered  such  extraordinary  conduct  before’.  In  the  event  it  seems  [edited]  evidence  held  little  or  no  sway:  the defendant  was  convicted  and  sentenced  to  life.
When  [edited]  duly  counter-complained,  however,  the  BPS  decided  to  investigate  [edited] complaint  first.  It  swiftly  exonerated [the academic];  but  it  never  got  round  to  investigating  [edited] because,  in  the  meantime,  fitness  to  practise  and  regulatory issues  had  been  passed  to  the  HCPC.  [The academic] told  the  Eye:  ‘Guidelines  indicate  that  the  need  to  protect  clients from  unsafe  practice  from  psychological  experts  and  professional  witnesses  is  paramount.  But  there  is  absolutely  no protection  if  a  psychologist  is  not  registered’.
In  a  third  case  involving  [edited],  while  he  again  escaped  investigation  of  complaints  about  his  expertise  and  findings,  it took  almost  two  years  before  his  unfounded  counter-allegations  against  a  registered  psychologist  were  dismissed  –  this  time with  an  HCPC  apology.
No-one  can  say  whether  the  complaints  about  [edited]  would  have  been  upheld.  The  scandal  is  that  because  he  can  so easily  act  outside  the  regulatory  system,  no-one  even  bothers  to  consider  them.”
What changes would you like to see in the regulation of Family Court experts? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Family Court Judge Stanford Blake Presented with Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence

Court News - 2016

Judge Stanford Blake, Eleventh Circuit, Presented with Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence

The Chief Justice Awards for Judicial Excellence, established in 2015, recognize one county court judge and one circuit court judge who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the judicial branch and who personify judicial excellence, embodying qualities such as strength of character, integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, sound judgment, professional ethics, intellectual courage, compassion, and decisiveness.  These prestigious awards are presented by the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court at the annual education programs for each level of the trial court.  At this year’s Annual Education Program of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, Chief Justice Labarga presented the 2016 Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence to Judge Stanford Blake, Eleventh Circuit.  (Broward County Court Judge Robert W. Lee received the Award for Judicial Excellence at the Annual Education Program of the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida in July.)


A Fight for Respect, the Struggles, and the Hopes of Disabled Parents

All Pro Dad

The Struggles and Hopes of a Disabled Dad

A Topic Worthy of Awareness

Support for

Special Needs


As a parent of a daughter for whom all this will depart the realm of the theoretical, I confess that the best part of this isn't the information that's available, although that's nice. For me, it's a great comfort just to hear someone else, particularly government agencies, say "Yeah, this is a big deal. Let's look at this and see what can be done." 
That's not a small thing, not at all.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month isn’t actually a new thing. Its beginnings date back to 1945, believe it or not. That year, Congress enacted a law which annually declared the first week in October to be National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to expand the law’s scope to acknowledge the needs of individuals with all kinds of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a full month and established its current name.
So here we are, all these years later, with a whole month geared towards raising awareness not just of the issues and obstacles around disability employment, but also to celebrate the contributions to our society of workers in America with disabilities. Incidentally, the theme for 2015 is “My disability is one part of who I am.” This dovetails nicely with the current rise in awareness of the occasionally tricky concept of Neurodiversity.


TAKE ACTION NOW Demand Congressional Oversight Hearings on Family Court's Child Custody Practices


All of us at one time or another find ourselves in front of the family court. THE FAMILY COURT in Dade County is abusing children; either by ignoring their cries, as in this case, or by appointing Guardians that take money , are personal friends of the Judges and who just want a pay day.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? These people believe they are protected by the law, no one can stop them and they are G-d's. Well, we have given them this power...WE VOTED THEM INTO OFFICE. PLEASE HELP STOP CHILDREN ABUSE IN THE DADE COUNTY FAMILY COURT. SIGN OUR PETITION AND ASK THE Govenor office to Investiage Judge Scott Bernstein and Dr. Miguel Firpi.  

Demand Congressional Oversight Hearings on Family Court's Child Custody Practices

There is a cover-up occurring in another powerful, venerated, institution, which in many ways mirrors the practices that facilitated the Catholic Church child abuse scandal. For decades, in Family Courts across the nation, women who have tried to protect their children from an abusive father have been attacked and battered by a ruthless system which dismisses or ignores physical abuse, verbal threats, and even documented criminal histories of fathers in a obsessive effort to attain their stated goal - joint custody at all costs. Money too, fuels the atrocities in the courts.

This isn't about good fathers, it’s about the money used to facilitate abusive men. Father's Rights groups (often fronts for male supremacists and abusive men who want to control their families or strike back at the mothers) have fought vehemently to cement shared custody as the default mandate in Family Courts and although their agenda seems reasonable and their image as good, fit fathers benevolent, it belies an ugly essence of hatred, misogyny, and revenge.

These cases are often euphemistically described in the media as "high-conflict," but the reality is that the father is often abusive, controlling, and dangerous, something that Family Court refuses to acknowledge as they push for shared custody.

Endemic legislative policies and procedures in Family Courts endanger and destroy children's lives, and in the worst cases lead to their murders. Family Courts operate with impunity and no oversight, disregarding existing laws designed to protect victims of domestic or child abuse. Institutionalized policies and doctrines countenance and enable the perpetrators while the system covers up illegal rulings and criminal conspiracy by imposing gag orders, fines, threats of loss of custody time, or jail time on women and their children and serve to justify enforced, continued contact with the abuser.
The sensational cases that are covered in the media, where abusive fathers fight for custody and obtain custody then shoot, stab, beat, strangle, drown, throw the children off bridges or high rises, burn them to death, or “merely” rape, sodomize or otherwise physically abuse their children (two out of thousands of examples are, "Killer wins custody of children after 10 years in prison; guardian fights decision," and "Slaying Suspect's Wife Warned of Risk to Children" , are seen as anomalies and unavoidable atrocities, but in reality it is the fundamental flaws in the institution, the systemic practices and policies, and the endemic graft of complicit cottage industries that result in the murders, suicides, and continued abuse of children.

Just as Fathers Shanley, Porter, and Geoghan were seen as aberrations ("bad apples") in the Catholic Church scandal rather than manifestations of a debased system, the media does not link the vast numbers of cases which follow the same identical pattern to the individual cases covered in the stories, thereby unmasking an appalling system that is awarding rapists, registered sex-offenders, domestic violence abusers, drug addicts, and even convicted murderers joint or sole custody of their children. These cases are symptomatic of the underlying dysfunctional and corrupt processes of all Family Courts in every state in this country (and the many other places around the world). 
There are many highly esteemed authorities who have correctly identified the Family Court “epidemic of judicial abuse” and extortion by court assigned experts, all operating without accountability. Congressmen John Conyers, Jim Costa, and Ted Poe have hosted Congressional Briefings on this issue. Former Attorney General Eric Holder stated at the National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment on June 2009, “Why are mothers who are the victims of domestic violence losing custody of their children to the courts…?”


Hey Family Court!! You are disabling me by the severity of your denial of contact with my child. Here's the medical evidence.

The Toxic Stress of Family Court

"A request for disability accommodation asking for the correction of this disability-causing problem would surpass reasonable into necessary.

"Court, you are disabling me by the severity of your removal of my children. Here's the medical evidence. Here's my request that you fix your proceedings/process and stop hurting our child/ren."

Understand that having your kids taken from you is not something the courts should be doing lightly. We all know that, but how does one push the issue before a court headed by entrenched child trafficking corruption?

My opinion is that no one should be bothering with that. Instead, it seems clear to mine eyes that "child separation anxiety" and subsequent "grief" are together "distinct mental disorder" clearly qualifying individual sufferers as "disabled".

The right of access to LEGITIMATE court services is discussed in Tennessee v. Lane. ~ 

"Title II (of the ADA) is aimed at the enforcement of a variety of basic rights, including the right of access to the courts at issue in this case, that call for a standard of judicial review at least as searching, and in some cases more searching, than the standard that applies to sexbased classifications."

Court Ordered Parental Alienation

Using the proper form and wording is the only way you can be heard... Read More


Reporting Bad Practices

My Advocate Center

Reporting misconduct using the proper form and wording is the only way you can be heard, and the only way authorities and legislators can see what is happening. There are many forms of misconduct when it comes to professionals handling matters related to divorce and child custody.  And this arena is ripe for taking advantage of those in need.…Read More


Judicial Discretion 2 - 2015Excerpt: In February of last year, we wrote about a piece in The Guardian which explained that judges who show persistently poor…Read More  

Judicial Bias - A Fine Balance

Researching Reform

The subject of judicial bias has always fascinated Researching Reform and in the family justice system, where discretion is not just an afterthought but a much-used tool, bias can be magnified and in turn can affect judgement. In February of last year, we wrote about a piece in The Guardian which explained that judges who show persistently poor…Read More

Do child custody proceedings and family laws violate substantive due process rights of fit parents, as contrary to the United States…Read More

Plaintiffs have hereby posed the following questions to the Federal Court:

A lie cannot live.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

Shop Amazon from here. Thanks for your support!

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

“Changing a child last name (away from the father’s) is an act of venom”

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.


The time is always right to do what is right.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

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Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

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