Expert
Witness.

Sara G. West, M.D.
Forensic Psychiatrist

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About.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY.

Sara G. West, M.D. has been practicing forensic psychiatry for over ten years and is board certified in general and forensic psychiatry. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and a member of both the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL). Dr. West has published numerous articles and book chapters as well as presented on the local, national and international level on multiple occasions. She has worked on inpatient psychiatric units in state and federal facilities as well as in correctional institutions. She also does outpatient medication management at community mental health centers with a focus on first break psychosis. She enjoys teaching and supervising the forensic psychiatric fellows at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. West completed both her undergraduate and medical school education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. In 2008, she finished her psychiatry residency at University Hospitals – Case Medical Center in Cleveland and remained there for a fellowship in forensic psychiatry, which she completed in 2009. During her residency, she received the Rappeport Fellowship from the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), the Mahmoud A. Parsa Excellence in Research Award, a Resnick Scholarship from the Midwest chapter of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Scholarship from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Work

Work Skills.

SERVICES

Forensic psychiatry is a medical sub-specialty that includes research and clinical practice in the many areas in which psychiatry is applied to legal issues.

  • Providing services nationwide
  • Includes:
    • Record Review
    • Psychiatric Evaluation
    • Report Preparation
    •  Testimony
    • Consultation
CASES
  • Criminal
    • Competence to Stand Trial
    • Insanity
    • Mens Rea/ Criminal Responsibility/ Diminished Capacity
    • Aid in Sentencing/ Mitigation
    • Competency to be Executed?
  • Civil
    • Psychiatric Malpractice
    • Guardianship
    • Civil Commitment/ Court Ordered Treatment
    • Employment Evaluations
      • Fitness for Duty
      • Disability Investigation and Determination
      • Workers’ Compensation Claims/ Work Limitations
  • Other
    • Psychological Autopsies
    • Dangerousness/ Violence Risk Assessments
    • Peer Review
    • Education/ Speaking Engagements (CLE)
CREDENTIALS
  • Full CV available upon request
  • Select Publications
    • West SG, Noffsinger S. Is this patient competent to stand trial: how to evaluate mentally ill criminal court defendants? Current Psychiatry. 2006;5(6):36-42.
    • West SG, Noffsinger S. Is this patient not guilty by reason of insanity: how to assess a defendant’s mental state at the time of the offense? Current Psychiatry. 2006;5(8):54-62.
    • West SG, Friedman SH. Filicide: a research update. In Forensic Psychiatry Research Trends. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 2007, pp. 29-62.
    • West SG, Feldsher M. Why do sons and daughters kill their parents? The role of mental illness in parricide. Current Psychiatry. 2010;9(11):20-38.
    • Testa M, West SG. Civil commitment in the United States. Psychiatry 2010. 7(10):30-40.
    • West SG, Resnick PJ. Necrophilia. In Sharpless B, ed. Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press. 2017;124-135.
    • Resnick PJ, West SG, Wooley C. Malingering of PTSD and other traumas. In Rogers R (ed). Clinical Assessment of Malingering and Deception, Fourth Edition. New York: The Guilford Press. 2018;188-211.
    • Morris N, West SG. Misconceptions about working in correctional psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Online February 2020, JAAPL.003921-20; DOI: https://doi.org/10.29158/JAAPL.003921-20.
    • Hicks C, West SG. Does your patient have the right to refuse medications? Current Psychiatry. 2020; 19(4):22-30.
  • Select Presentations
    • Cerny CA, Friedman SH, West SG. Teacher’s Pet: Female Sexual Offenders and Their Students, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting, Miami, FL, 2007
    • Hatter Friedman S, Sorentino R, West SG. Special Topics in Stalking, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2013
    • West, SG. School Shootings, Grand Rounds, Mason Clinic Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014
    • West SG. Fifty Shades of Deviance: Sexual Deviance and the Law, American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, New York, NY, 2018
    • Lapchenko M, Saxton A, West SG. From Proscribed to Prescribed: Marijuana’s Impact on Forensics, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD., 2019
  • Testimonial Experience
    • Deposed as the plaintiff’s expert in a psychiatric correctional malpractice case
    • Testified in Probate Court in reference to a guardianship
    • Testified for the prosecution in Common Pleas Court in the sentencing phase of a capital case
    • Testified for the defense in reference to the plaintiff’s psychiatric symptoms and diagnosis
    • Deposed as the defense’s expert in a psychiatric correctional malpractice case
    • Testified for the defense in Common Pleas Court regarding the defendant’s eligibility for the insanity defense in a filicide case
Service Agreement

Service Agreement

  • Inquiries ONLY from attorneys, courts, insurance companies or employers, please.
  • I am NOT accepting patients NOR providing treatment.
  • I do NOT accept insurance NOR take payments directly from evaluees.
  • Rates
    • Services are billed at a rate of $400.00 per hour.
    • Charges are calculated in 15-minute increments.
    • Depositions are scheduled for a minimum of 2 hours.
    • Court appearances are scheduled for a half day (5 hours) or full day (10 hours).
    • An $800 fee will be assessed if a scheduled interview is cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice.
  • Expectations
    • Timely transmittal of all relevant documentation requested for the purpose of the evaluation.
    • Understanding that no specific opinion or finding is in any way assured or guaranteed and disagreement over findings in no way absolves the retainer of payment for the services provided.
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