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Forensic Psychiatry, Psychiatric IME, Fitness for Duty/Threat Assessment Expert Witness

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

8 Cooper Lane
Sausalito, California 94965

Phone(415) 246-6129


► Contact Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

Expert WitnessForensic ExpertLitigation Support
Stephen M. Raffle, M.D., board-certified in Forensic Psychiatry and (general) Psychiatry, has conducted over 5,000 psychiatric evaluations and testified in over 800 civil and criminal trials as an expert witness. He has conducted thousands of Fitness for Duty and Threat Assessments for employers. He is skilled at describing psychiatric findings in a logical, articulate manner. His expertise in diverse cases strengthens the quality of service he provides; e.g., civil and criminal litigation, employment litigation, Undue Influence/Testamentary Capacity, and Neuropsychiatry/Dementia, among others.


Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. provides the following services:

Forensic Psychiatry
Expert Witness in litigation and administrative matters
IME (Independent Medical Examination) and report of findings
Review of Records
Assessment of Emotional Distress, PTSD, Malingering, Secondary Gain, Diagnosis, Prognosis
Fitness for Duty and Threat Assessments

Areas of special expertise applied in civil and criminal cases include particular expertise with PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and Chronic Pain syndromes, as well as assessing malingering, Fitness for Duty and Threat of Violence, Psychosomatic Medicine, Psychogenic Pain, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other Dementia, Testamentary or Diminished Capacity, Insanity, Dangerousness, False Memory Syndrome, Harassment, Discrimination and Other Tortious Acts, Wrongful Termination, Risk/Threat Workplace Violence Assessment, Fitness for Duty, Employment Litigation, Sexual Molestation, Children, Adolescents and Adults, Stalking, Medical Malpractice, Substance Abuse, Undue Influence (Including Cults), Toxic Exposure, Product Liability, Catastrophic Injury, Temporary and Permanent Disability, Need for Treatment, Medical Records Review, Mental Evaluation. Dr. Raffle speaks and writes on the topic of the examination and cross-examination of mental health expert witnesses.

Litigation Support Services

Dr. Raffle's qualifications to be an expert witness in a case with psychiatric aspects are enhanced by a career teaching attorneys on the cross-examination and direct examination of mental health expert witnesses, at U.C. Hastings College of the Law Trial Advocacy Program. Discovery and cross-examination of experts can introduce new evidence if approached with a practiced eye. Over 50 years in practice have provided Dr. Raffle with considerable experience. His extensive medical background in clinical psychiatry, as well as teaching about the psychiatric aspects of chronic pain in the U.C.S.F. Medical School Department of Orthopedics enhance his ability to zero in on medical evidence otherwise "hiding" from an untrained eye.

Areas of Expertise


Dr. Raffle has consulted for attorneys, judges, insurers, employers, and the U.S. government. His track record and experience are impressive: Over 5,000 psychiatric evaluations, 800+ deposition and trials, a successful clinical practice, and 27-year term as clinical faculty at U.C.S.F. Medical School. For eleven years, he taught a postgraduate course about direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses to attorneys at U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Dr. Raffle's qualifications and demeanor are assets in the courtroom, as is his ability to give testimony to present facts and explain his conclusions in a manner jurors can follow with ease.

Dr. Raffle's expertise is well established in the areas of (1) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); (2) Psychiatric Elements of Chronic Pain; (3) Emotional Distress and Pain (intentional and unintentional); (4) Psychosomatic Medicine; (5) Workplace Fitness for Duty, Threat/Violence Assessments, Psychiatric Disability, Wrongful Termination, Sexual or Other Harassment, and American Disabilities Act (ADA); (6) Probate matters, such as Will Contests, Testamentary or Diminished Capacity, Undue Influence, and various Dementia; (7) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); (8) Criminal Responsibility; and (9) Toxic Torts. He is very familiar with the legal process, including Federal Court, Maritime Law, Worker's Compensation, and Employee Dispute Resolution Proceedings.

Dr. Raffle has conducted psychiatric assessments, testified, and consulted throughout North America, including, but not limited to, Washington D.C., Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, Washington State, Texas, Toronto, Canada, and most counties in California. His reputation extends internationally.

Areas Served

All U.S states and abroad

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Professional Experience

Assistant Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, 1980 – 2001
Assistant Clinical Professor, Orthopedic Surgery (as a psychiatrist) University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, 1983 – 2001
Instructor, UC Hastings Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy, 1985 – 2000
Instructor, Herrick Hospital Psychiatric Residency Training Program, 1972 – 1983
Instructor, Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, 1974 – 1980


1969 to Present - State of California
1989 to 2008 - State of Alaska

Legal Experience & Services


Legal Testimony in Court and Deposition
Federal, State, Civil, Criminal, Appellate, Military, and Administrative Jurisdictions
Consultant to Attorneys throughout North America and internationally
Independent Medical Examinations
Reports of Findings, Diagnosis, and Prognosis
Medical Records Review

Sample of Clients:

International and Local law firms, including Littler Mendelson, Ropers Majeski, Baker McKenzie, Lewis Brisbois and Squire Sanders

Multinational and local businesses including Fortune 500 companies; i.e., Chevron, Tesoro/Golden Eagle, PG&E, U.S. Postal Service, and myriad others

Public Defenders: Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Mendocino, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Solano, California; Anchorage and Palmer, Alaska

District Attorneys: Counties of Del Norte, Mendocino, Amador, and Yolo, California; Anchorage, Alaska

United States Attorneys: Multiple Districts in California and Alaska

Private and Municipal entities

Specific references provided on request and with relevancy to case at hand.


American Medical Association (AMA)
California Medical Association (CMA)
American Psychiatric Association (APA), Life Member
Northern California Psychiatric Society (NCPS)
American Academy of Psychiatry and Law (AAPL)
California Academy of Medicine
Fellow, Royal College of Medicine (UK), inactive


Diplomate in Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Diplomate in Forensic Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Awards & Honors

1973 to 1978 Chairman, Committee on Informed Consent. In 1978, this committee merged into Committee on
Psychiatry and the Law
1976 to 1987 Task Force about the Role of the Psychiatrist in the Criminal Law Process, Northern California Psychiatric Society
1983 to 1986 Education Committee, Northern California Psychiatric Society

Seminars & Training

As Leader, Presenter, or Panel Member:

2015 “Malingering,” John L. Hill Law Offices, Attorneys in a civil litigation, personal injury, and Workers' Compensation practice.
2011 Stalking Summit (San Francisco D.A.'s office): Role of the Psychiatric Expert Witness; Examination and Cross-Examination
2011 "A Few Thoughts About the Direction Examination and Cross-Examination of a Mental Health Expert Witness in Workers' Compensation Proceedings," Sacramento County Bar Association, Featured Speaker
2010 "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Other Stress Response Syndromes," Industrial Claims Association of San Francisco, Featured Speaker
2009 Fitness for Duty and Employment Law Seminar, Kaiser Permanente, Featured Speaker
2009 “Suicide Prevention” and assistance with preparation of suicide prevention materials for Employee Assistance Program at California's largest utility
2009 “Threat Assessment in the Workplace” for Regional Medical Unit Personnel, United States Postal Service
1996 Management Circle, The Public Pension Fund Forum for New Trustees Conference - "Chronic Pain Syndrome: An Interdisciplinary Approach"
1995 Institute for International Research, Controlling Disability Payments
in the Public Pension Plan: "Permanent and Stationary is not Forever"
1992 American Bar Association, National Meeting: "Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace"
1990 Merritt-Peralta Medical Center, Oakland, CA: "Assessment of Chronic Pain"
1989 U.S. Postal Service: "Crisis Management for Psychiatric Emergencies"
1985 California Applicant Attorney's Association: "Psychiatry and Workers'
Compensation Law" (a 12-hour course presented by me over four days)

Professional References

Professional references gladly provided upon request.


University of California, Berkeley, California: B.A., Physiology (1962)
The Chicago Medical School, Chicago, Illinois: Doctor of Medicine (1966)

Articles Published by Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

 Who's on First: Allegations of Harassment, Discrimination and/or Wrongful Termination

Allegations of Workplace Harassment, Discrimination or Wrongful Termination are serious and have serious consequences. He said/She said usually produces a mixed understanding of what occurred. Evidence and expert testimony assist the jury in understanding the mental health of the "players" and emotional tenor driving the litigation.

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 Direct and Cross-Examination of Mental Health Expert Witnesses including Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Direct and Cross-Examination of a mental health expert, whether a psychiatrist, psychologist, including a treating therapist who may have different credentials is most successful when questions are tailored to the nature of the opinion in the context of the expert's professional findings. Knowing your way around what jurors may interpret as "psychobabble" and redirecting them to a serious professional opinion will help solidify the nature and success of your examination or cross-examination.

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 The Role of the Expert in the Courtroom, Choosing the Right Expert

It is absolutely necessary that the forensic expert is an impartial evaluator. The outcome of a case is not relevant to the forensic expert; it is not his or her job to win or lose cases. The job of the expert witness is to reach an impartial opinion and then defend that opinion within an adversarial context. If new information is provided that changes the weight of the evidence in such a way as to change the expert's opinion then the expert must be prepared to do so.

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 When Therapists Aren't Experts

The therapist as expert witness: reasons the treating psychotherapist should not be the expert witness.

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