I love cross-examination.
That is probably not a sentence you hear many experts utter. But as a Forensic Psychologist and Neuropsychologist, I painstakingly think through my opinions and continually try to disprove my hypotheses/opinions over and over again. If I get to the point of testifying in court, I am ready for cross, and I can't wait for it.
I am a Forensic Psychologist and Neuropsychologist in practice for 13 years. I routinely testify as an expert witness, with special expertise assessing sanity and competency, mitigation, testamentary capacity, criminal psychopathology, psychopathy/sociopathy, malingering, general psychology, behavioral profiling, psychological autopsies, and mental illness. I worked for 12 years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver teaching doctoral candidates in psychological and personality assessments, neuropsychological assessments and ethical and legal considerations in the practice of psychology.
I am also comfortable performing in front of people and/or the camera. I am the consulting general and forensic psychologist to Denver NBC television affiliate KUSA (my official title: 9News Psychologist). I also starred as the behavioral profiler on Hunted, a primetime CBS television show about fugitives (My official title: Dr. Max, Behavioral Profiler).
I am the author of Sociopaths & Psychopaths: A Crisis of Conscience and Empathy (2017), and The One Rule For Boys: How Empathy And Emotional Understanding Will Improve Just About Everything For Your Son (2014).
Areas of Expertise
- Addiction Medicine
- Independent Medical Examinations (I.M.E.)
- Personal Injury
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Denver
Licensed Psychologist in Colorado and Wyoming
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: American Psychological Association
American Psychology-Law Society
Society For Media Psychology and Technology
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: 12 years: Assistant Professor, University of Denver, teaching graduate students in psychological assessment, personality assessment, neuropsychological assessment, and ethical and legal considerations in psychology.
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: No
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: More than 500 times (I have testified/been deposed roughly 50 times)
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Sanity and competency, mitigation, testamentary capacity, criminal psychopathology, psychological assessment, neuropsychological testing, malingering, general psychology, medical records reviews, psychopathy/sociopathy, psychological autopsy.
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 40%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 60%
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: 3-5
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: June, 2017
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: Roughly 50
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: Roughly 50
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: 13 years.
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Consulting to attorneys, Courts, Public Defenders; Psychological and Neuropsychological assessments, including in prisons; Psychological testing; Report writing; Teaching Witness; Media interviews including television; Public speaking on areas of expertise.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $400/hour
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $400/hour
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $800/hour, 3 hour minimum
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $800/hour, 3 hours minimum
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Fee Schedule provided on request. All typical fees requested (travel expenses, travel time, etc.).
- Beyond Daubert: When Psychologists Are Allowed To Testify As Experts
- Another Nice Mess You've Gotten Me Into: How Expert Witnesses Degrade Your Case Through Good Intentions
- Effective Apologies And Integrity After The Harm: How Your Clients Can Ease The Burdens That Come From Doing Wrong
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Psychology: Let's Talk About Malingering
- The Limits of Moral Responsibility
Attorney Martha R.:
"First and foremost, you were fabulous on the stand yesterday! I so appreciate all of
your hard work, your excellent writing skills and your ability to withstand withering cross. The fact that you maintain your own pace is so important."
Attorney Paul G.:
"Dr. Wachtel is arguably the top forensic psychologist in Colorado and always my first
choice when I need a skilled expert to explain complex science to others."
Attorney Doug R.:
Dr. Wachtel is my go-to expert. I can always count on him to understand what are often strange fact patterns, and correlate my client's conduct with a medical opinion. Often times, my clients have gone years (perhaps even a lifetime) without any medical diagnosis or treatment. Dr. Wachtel is able to quickly and accurately diagnose my clients and help them seek the treatment they need. Simply put, his reports have saved the lives of my clients."
Attorney Michael M.:
"As a lawyer, I often require the assistance of a clinical psychologist and frequently with short notice. I can always count on Dr. Max Wachtel to provide professional, thorough and fair assessments in a timely manner. He is also very compassionate and personable when dealing with my clients, and they always have good things to say about him. I would highly recommend him to friends and colleagues alike."
Attorney Lindsay R.:
As a criminal defense attorney, Dr. Wachtel's work serves a dual purpose for my
clients. First and foremost, he helps them work through the problems that contributed to their landing in my office in the first place. Many grow attached to Dr. Wachtel and the process, and continue their treatment well after their criminal case is closed. Second, Dr. Wachtel helps me humanize my clients for the prosecution by providing me with thorough, thoughtful letters detailing the client's diagnosis,
commitment, and progress in treatment. In my experience, these letters are very well-received by the prosecution and often help me obtain better results."
Attorney Melody A.:
"Dr. Max Wachtel has testified for me several times, in hearings and trial. His credentials and expertise impress both judges and juries, but more importantly, he knows how to make the most difficult concepts understandable. On the witness stand, Dr. Wachtel comes across as very down-to-earth, and in my experience, judges and juries can't help but like him."
Attorney John S.:
"Dr. Wachtel is a compassionate, hardworking scientist in the field of forensic psychology. He is grounded and truly concerned for producing proper opinions based upon cognizable facts. He is also affable and a very good listener. He testified in a murder trial where I was the defense attorney and did an admirable job. I could not recommend someone more."
Attorney Scott R.:
"Max does remarkable work, and knows his field inside and out. It has always been a pleasure to work with him, and I am always surprised (but should not be) at his depth of knowledge and analytic perception."