Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Specializations

Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychological Trauma:

Relevant Experience
  • San Francisco VA psychological forensic evaluator of military PTSD and trauma claims
  • Over 150 forensic evaluations involving psychological trauma
  • San Francisco Veterans Affairs & UCSF Fellowship in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse
  • Clinical specialization in the treatment of psychological trauma

Occupational Evaluations:

Relevant Experience
  • Certified as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by the State of California to conduct occupational evaluations of contested cases in the Workers’ Compensation System
  • Subject Matter Expert for Qualified Medical Examiner Pre-Test Panel
  • Credentialed IME provider for multiple third-party vendors
  • Over 120 occupational evaluations addressing diverse psycho-legal questions including disability status, fitness for duty, treatment needs, causation of injury, and workplace threat assessment

Mitigation Evaluations:

Relevant Experience
  • Specialized experience evaluating mitigating factors including neurodevelopmental and neuropsychological insults, major mental disorders, community violence, corruptive modeling, multi-generational trauma, family dysfunction, and substance dependence
  • Completion of one year Post-Doctoral Fellowship specializing in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse, factors that routinely require investigation in mitigation evaluations
  • Conducted mitigation evaluations for both violent and white-collar offenses
  • Ability to synthesize and clearly communicate research on incomplete brain development, prior to the age of 25, on young adult crime-related factors including impulsive decision making, faulty values, poor judgment, and empathy deficits
  • Extensive training and experience assessing the risk for future recidivism as may be relevant to sentencing determinations

Competency Evaluations

Relevant Experience
  • Court-appointed competency to stand trial evaluator for multiple superior courts
  • Inpatient hospital forensic psychologist for legally incompetent defendants
  • Over 55 civil and criminal competency evaluations involving adjudicative competency, testamentary competency, competency to waive counsel, contractual competency, competency to make medical decisions, and retrospective assessment of competency in capital proceedings

In addition to these areas of expertise, Dr. Ernst is retained to conduct forensic evaluations in a broad range of legal proceedings. Please see the following links for more information about Dr. Ernst’s approach to specific civil evaluations and criminal evaluations:

Civil Evaluations

Criminal Evaluations


Forensic Specializations

Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychological Trauma:

Relevant Experience
  • San Francisco VA psychological forensic evaluator of military PTSD and trauma claims
  • Over 150 forensic evaluations involving psychological trauma
  • San Francisco Veterans Affairs & UCSF Fellowship in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse
  • Clinical specialization in the treatment of psychological trauma

Occupational Evaluations:

Relevant Experience
  • Certified as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by the State of California to conduct occupational evaluations of contested cases in the Workers’ Compensation System
  • Subject Matter Expert for Qualified Medical Examiner Pre-Test Panel
  • Credentialed IME provider for multiple third-party vendors
  • Over 120 occupational evaluations addressing diverse psycho-legal questions including disability status, fitness for duty, treatment needs, causation of injury, and workplace threat assessment

Mitigation Evaluations:

Relevant Experience
  • Specialized experience evaluating mitigating factors including neurodevelopmental and neuropsychological insults, major mental disorders, community violence, corruptive modeling, multi-generational trauma, family dysfunction, and substance dependence
  • Completion of one year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse, factors that routinely require investigation in mitigation evaluations
  • Conducted mitigation evaluations for both violent and white-collar offenses
  • Ability to synthesize and clearly communicate research on incomplete brain development, prior to the age of 25, on young adult crime-related factors including impulsive decision making, faulty values, poor judgment, and empathy deficits
  • Extensive training and experience assessing the risk for future recidivism as may be relevant to sentencing determinations

    Competency Evaluations

    Relevant Experience
    • Court-appointed competency to stand trial evaluator for multiple superior courts
    • Inpatient hospital forensic psychologist for legally incompetent defendants
    • Over 55 civil and criminal competency evaluations involving adjudicative competency, testamentary competency, competency to waive counsel, contractual competency, competency to make medical decisions, and retrospective assessment of competency in capital proceedings

    In addition to these areas of expertise, Dr. Ernst is retained to conduct forensic evaluations in a broad range of legal proceedings. Please see the following links for more information about Dr. Ernst’s approach to specific civil evaluations and criminal evaluations:

    Civil Evaluations

    Criminal Evaluations