I just finished traveling for testimony. I hate traveling. I walked to the airport. I no longer live in the known universe.
The fairies bring me over from my tropical island paradise off the coast of Seattle and I walk up to the trains that drop me off at the SEATAC airport. I literally walk to the airport, and baseball games.
I have left the known universe and live is some parallel multiverse of reality now. That’s not possible but it just happened.
And I’m exhausted. I can only stay in your universe for short bits of time or like Marty McFly I begin to disappear.
Two days of travel and one day of testimony wipes out an old-guy like me, and it is immensely disruptive to my life and practice. It is also majorly expensive for the client to pay for three full days of my time.
I think I may need to add a wear-and-tear surcharge for the wear-and-tear on an old guy, making me cross universes and all, that portal of passage is tough.
The portal of passage’s not tough, I just walk into it like a Stargate thing, the fairies are very accommodating at dropping me off in your world. It’s remaining in your world that’s the wear-and-tear part. I start to vanish.
I live in the Internet now. Howdy. I can easily testify remotely. Remote testimony is a good thing. Holy cow, I’m so much less expensive when it’s just a couple of hours rather than days.
Is my in-person testimony more powerful because I’m in-person? Probably. It feels that way. When I’m sitting right next to the judge in my witness stand chair, I’m present.
I think I’m pretty good at testimony by this point. I’ve done it a lot. I’m way more experienced as a testifying expert than either of the attorneys are at examining me.
As an expert witness, I’m not an advocate. I’m evidence. That’s my role in the courts. I allow the attorney to present the evidence. I listen to the question, I answer the question, then I stop and wait for the next question.
I don’t fight with opposing counsel. They have a job to do in the courts and I understand what their job is. It’s to discredit my testimony in any way possible. They try. I listen to their question, I answer their question, then I stop and wait for the next question.
Opposing counsel has two options, 1) attack my opinion… the problem is, I don’t have an opinion, I apply knowledge and I can explain the knowledge all day, or 2) they try to slander my professional reputation. I don’t think that works either.
The opposing counsel can make the argument to the judge that I’m somehow an unethical psychologist who is not credible in my testimony as a result. I don’t think the judges believe it, and I think it’s less-and-less believable as I become a known entity in the courts.
I don’t fight with opposing counsel. They have a job to do. Ultimately, the legal system will need to reevaluate the role of opposing counsel when possible child abuse is a consideration. As an attorney, they are an officer of the court. To mislead the court through deception or tactics of delay that results in the court’s participating in the child abuse is problematic professional behavior.
When possible child abuse is a consideration, the zealous advocate role for the abusive parent needs to be tempered with truth.
We’ll have that discussion someday when the legal system wants to have that discussion – the respective roles of Forensic and Clinical Psychology in the family courts. I’ll speak for clinical psychology – treatment not custody.
I have couple of appointments today. I’m exhausted but at least I’m home. Mr. Pippin’s glad to have me back, and I’m glad to be back in my universe-of-origin again.
I don’t like being in your world anymore. I’m perfectly content on my tropical island in the Pacific Northwest drinking tropical drinks with little umbrellas – climate change, adapt and get used to it.
Don’t make me travel. Don’t make me come back to your world to often. I start to fade until I get back to my island with my fairies and trees and mermaids and stuff.
I have to board Mr. Pippin when I’m away from home. He doesn’t like that. I don’t like that. Don’t make me travel. I live in the Internet now, I’m in the otherworld not your world. I can be anywhere on the planet in a blink at the speed of our connection into the world-wide web.
Don’t think of me as young-Luke, think of me as a dead Yoda, still around but all kinda glowing and twinkly now, smiling with Ben and your dad. Go get ’em Luke… use the force, Luke. You can do it.
If you need my testimony, channel me in through the Stargate portal between your universe and mine.
Covid came and got everyone used to using the Internet. Use it. I can testify remotely nowadays. Because if you want me to travel for testimony, it’s gonna cost you for days of my time, because it costs me days of my time and more, I’m exhausted today.
It’s hard on an old-guy to travel. It used to be an adventure. I’ve adventured enough. I wanna be home with Mr. Pippin.
There are typically two-phases of my involvement on a matter – report writing and then testimony. My report is my power, my testimony is the support. My support can be through the world-wide web of our connections.
If I am required to manifest across the portal into your world, it’s going to cost you money because it costs me my life. I’m not in your world anymore. I walk to a Mariner’s baseball game, I walk to a Bob Dylan concert. I party with fairies in the woods and have esoteric conversations with a cat.
Don’t make me come out there. You people are nuts. I’m not. It’s like matter and anti-matter, and it doesn’t matter because I can testify remotely through the Internet and be anywhere in the world you need me to be, any office, any courtroom, anyplace at all.
I need to get ready to see a client. I’ll be in the next room in my home-office location. The client will be half-way around the world. Clients in Australia make me nuts trying to schedule, they are a whole day away. Am I in the future or are they. Is my today their tomorrow, or is their today my tomorrow?
It makes my brain hurt.
I’m a traveler of both time and space now, when you work with Dr. Childress, we’re always on Seattle time because that’s my home-universe now. Weird world.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 18857