Expert Bios & CVs
MB.ChB., B.Sc.Med(Hons), D.Phil
Dr. Teo Ernst, the Forensic Director of the Pacific Forensic Group, specializes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mitigation and Resentencing, Testamentary Capacity, and Employment Evaluations.
Dr. Ernst is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology, a distinction held by less than 45 psychologists in California. As a trauma expert, Dr. Ernst chooses to complete an additional year of fellowship training in PTSD at the San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. Dr. Ernst is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, where he provides teaching and supervision on a voluntary basis. He is a Qualified Medical Evaluator for the California Department of Industrial Relations. While completing his doctorate at the Wright Institute, Dr. Ernst was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award for his thesis “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Integrated Model of Treatment Planning.”
Dr. Ernst’s past professional experiences include providing treatment and expert testimony as a member of the medical staff of Napa State Hospital and serving as a Veterans Affairs Hospital forensic evaluator, where he has completed over 100 forensic evaluations on veterans alleging psychiatric injury from military trauma. Dr. Ernst has published in the areas of testamentary capacity and family therapy.
In addition to his forensic and clinical practice, Dr. Ernst provides presentations for organizations, including UCSF, the San Francisco Bar Association, and the First District Court of Appeals.
Selected Articles by Dr. Ernst
Dr. Contreras specializes in Juvenile Forensic Assessment, including Juvenile Competency to Stand Trial, Transfer/Waiver to Adult Court, Sexual Offenses, and Diagnostic or Dispositional Evaluations.
Dr. Contreras is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), a distinction held by less than 45 psychologists in California. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of La Verne. Dr. Contreras completed his pre-doctoral internship at Arkansas State Hospital and a Forensic Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Arkansas State Hospital.
Dr. Contreras is a Senior Psychologist Specialist in the Department of State Hospitals - Patton (DSH-P) Forensic Evaluation Department. His primary duties include conducting evaluations of competency to stand trial, violence risk, and suitability for conditional release. Dr. Contreras is actively involved in education, research, and training relating to forensic assessment. Dr. Contreras is a primary supervisor in the Patton State Hospital postdoctoral fellowship program and coordinates the assessment seminar for the APA-accredited clinical psychology internship program. He additionally serves on a select panel of experts addressing juvenile competency matters in Los Angeles County.
Dr. Contreras has provided training in the assessment of response style, competency to stand trial, violence risk assessment, and developmental considerations in juvenile forensic assessment. His clinical and research interests include psychometrics, report writing, and assessment of response style.
Dr. Karen Franklin, an award-winning psychologist and ethics consultant, provides peer consultation to the Pacific Forensic Group.
Dr. Franklin provides training to psychologists, attorneys, and judges both nationally and internationally and has testified as an expert on best practices in forensic psychological assessment. Her forensic practice specialties include legal competencies, sanity, risk assessment, and interrogative suggestibility among both adults and juveniles.
Dr. Franklin’s research specializations include the motivations for hate crimes (findings presented at a U.S. Congressional Briefing) and multiple-perpetrator rape. Her peer-reviewed publications have appeared in Behavioral Sciences & the Law, American Behavioral Scientist, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and elsewhere.
Before becoming a psychologist, she was a legal affairs journalist and a licensed private investigator. More information about Dr. Franklin can be found at KarenFranklin.com.
Dr. Laurel Mattos specializes in forensic evaluations, including Trial Competency, NGRI, Malingering, Mental Health Diversion, and Violence Risk Assessment.
Dr. Mattos completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Brown. She subsequently received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology from Sam Houston State University, where she trained under renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Mary Alice Conroy. Dr. Mattos completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with an emphasis on forensic psychology at Patton State Hospital. She then completed an intensive postdoctoral fellowship at Patton State Hospital, a nationally-recognized forensic psychology training program.
Dr. Mattos currently serves as a Senior Psychologist within the Patton State Hospital Forensic Evaluation Department. She consults interdisciplinary treatment teams regarding complex forensic cases and provides expert witness testimony. Dr. Mattos is a Primary Supervisor within the Patton State Hospital Postdoctoral Forensic Fellowship. She is active in committees addressing the provision of gender-affirming treatment and the peer review of psychological assessment instruments.
Dr. Mattos’s research and publications have focused on juvenile delinquency, personality development, and the validity of forensic assessment measures with diverse populations.
Dr. Joseph Lockhart, a bilingual (Spanish-English) forensic psychologist, specializes in Juvenile and Adult Competency and Immigration Evaluations.
Having been involved in forensic mental health, correctional mental health, and forensic assessment for over 20 years, Dr. Lockhart is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology and ACTFL-certified to conduct forensic evaluations in Spanish.
Dr. Lockhart received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He worked for several years with a forensic alternative sentencing program, assessing and providing alternatives to incarceration for mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system. Dr. Lockhart subsequently worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as the Drug Abuse Treatment Program Coordinator at the Lompoc federal prison. For six years, Dr. Lockhart worked as a forensic psychologist within the Santa Barbara County court system, providing consultation and risk assessments for Judges, defense attorneys, and prosecution attorneys. Most recently, Dr. Lockhart has worked as a Consulting Psychologist and SVP Evaluator with the Department of State hospitals. In this position, he conducted competency evaluations and risk assessments for post-prison civil commitments, including MDOs and SVPs. He frequently testified in these matters.
Dr. Lockhart has presented and published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics including avoiding bias in clinical and forensic decision-making, malingering, and reliability in SVP evaluations.
Dr. Filanosky’s forensic practice specializes in the evaluation of Traumatic Brain Injury in civil proceedings.
As a Board-Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, Dr. Filanosky differs from many of his peers in having extensive training and experience in providing evidence-based practices to support recovery from traumatic brain injury. This grants him specialized expertise in the natural course, treatment needs, and anticipated recovery from brain injury, complementing his training and experience in neuropsychological assessment. Having served as a San Francisco Veteran's Affairs staff psychologist for nine years, Dr. Filanosky is adept at evaluating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which frequently accompanies traumatic brain injury claims.
Dr. Filanosky completed his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University, a master of education from Boston University, and his Ph.D. from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. From 2007 to 2016, Dr. Filanosky was an Associate Professor at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Filanosky currently works for the Permanente Medical Group, where he co-directs a pediatric sports concussion program, conducts general neuropsychological assessment services, and participates in a research group geared toward traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Andersson’s medical-legal practice specializes in neurological evaluations related to Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, and Standard of Care.
Dr. Andersson graduated cum laude in medicine from the University of Cape Town in 1986. In 1988, he earned an honors degree in medical biochemistry at the University of Cape Town. Between 1988 and 1991, Dr. Andersson obtained a D. Phil in neuroimmunology at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He was Yamanouchi Junior Research Fellow in Cell Biology at Wolfson 1991-2. Junior Research Fellowships are awarded to the top 2% of graduates at Oxford University.
Between 1992 and 1997, Dr. Andersson completed an internal medicine internship and a neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also served as Chief Resident. He has completed fellowships in multiple sclerosis at UCSF and neuromuscular disease at Stanford University. Dr. Andersson served on the faculty at Stanford University in the neuromuscular division before moving to Southern California in 1999.
Dr. Andersson has served his community as an outpatient and inpatient neurologist for over 20 years. He has been published in laboratory and clinical neurology. He has been an ad hoc reviewer for the journal Muscle & Nerve. He is the Medical Director of Stratus Neurodiagnostics, the leading outpatient EEG services company in the U.S. He has served as a Principal and Co-Investigator for dementia trials at The National Research Institute. Dr. Andersson currently holds an Associate Clinical Professor appointment at UCLA.
Dr. Yenne specializes in juvenile and adult criminal forensic evaluations related to Trial Competence, Violence Risk, and Transfer Hearings.
Dr. Yenne received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic Emphasis from Sam Houston State University, studying under renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Mary Alice Conroy. She subsequently completed the highly competitive Patton State Hospital pre-doctoral internship and intensive forensic psychology fellowship program.
Dr. Yenne is currently a Senior Psychologist at Patton State Hospital, where she conducts specialized forensic evaluations related to conditional release and trial competency. She serves as co-chair of DSH-Patton's Transgender Treatment Advisory Committee and was actively involved in developing the hospital's first policy related to gender-affirming treatment for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming patients. Dr. Yenne is an active member of the hospital's training committee and supervises interns completing their Forensic Internships.
Dr. Yenne has published on suicide prevention in correctional settings, stigma against individuals with mental illness, and psychotically driven maternal filicide. She has presented at several regional and national conferences. She is currently actively involved in developing a new research group at DSH-Patton to examine the quality and impartiality of forensic mental health reports. Dr. Yenne is an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands. She was recently appointed to the State Bar of California's Lawyer Assistance Program Oversight Committee.
Dr. Lisa Kalich specializes in Sexual Offender and Violence Risk Assessment for Adults and Juveniles, Personal Injury; Parenting Capacity; Disability Determination; and Child Witness Issues.
Dr. Kalich is one of less than 45 Board Certified forensic psychologists in California. After obtaining a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University, Dr. Kalich earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. She subsequently completed a pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UC Davis Medical Center CAARE Clinic, a nationally recognized program for evaluating and treating childhood trauma.
In addition to her private practice, Dr. Kalich is currently a forensic psychologist at the CDCR Board of Parole Forensic Assessment Division, where she conducts violence risk assessments on long-term inmates eligible for parole.
Selected Articles by Dr. Lisa Kalich
Dr. Souza, a bilingual (Spanish-English) Board Certified Forensic Psychologist, specializes in Violence Risk, Sex Offender Risk, Competency, Legal Insanity, Mitigation, and Mental Health Diversion.
Dr. Souza is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology, a distinction held by less than 45 psychologists in California. He is unique in conducting forensic evaluations in Spanish and English. Dr. Souza received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship with a focus on forensic psychology at NYU-Bellevue Hospital, historically one of the country's most competitive and distinguished clinical training programs. Seeking even more in-depth training and expertise in conducting various forensic evaluations, Dr. Souza completed an additional year of fellowship training in forensic psychology at the Patton State Hospital.
Dr. Souza is a senior psychologist specialist in Patton State Hospital's Forensic Evaluation Department. In this role, he conducts various complex and comprehensive forensic evaluations, including violence risk assessments, sex offender risk assessments, commitment extensions, competency to stand trial evaluations, and malingering evaluations. Dr. Souza is also a member of Patton State Hospital's training committee and is a coordinating supervisor for the postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology. He is a certified HCR-20-V3 trainer and is active in several committees attempting to improve the quality and efficacy of violence risk assessment across the Department of State Hospitals in California. Dr. Souza has extensive experience providing expert testimony to the courts across California, including the Board of Parole Hearings and Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Alameda, San Joaquin, Kern, Sacramento, Solano, and Placer Counties. Additionally, he is a native Spanish speaker with specialized knowledge and experience conducting psychological evaluations with monolingual and bilingual Spanish-speaking populations.
In addition to his forensic practice, Dr. Souza has provided presentations for organizations, including California's Forensic Conditional Release Program (CONREP), Pepperdine University, U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, University of New Mexico School of Medicine-Law and Mental Health Lecture Series, and the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (MATSA).
Dr. Cunningham, a nationally sought forensic psychologist, and award-winning researcher, provides peer consultation to practice members.
In both peer-reviewed journals and edited books, Dr. Cunningham has published groundbreaking research and authored treatises on recommendations for best practices in forensic evaluations. He has pioneered innovative digital demonstrative exhibits and graphic models to compellingly illustrate his testimony. Dr. Cunningham has provided consultation and/or testimony in state or federal litigation in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
At its annual conference in Chicago in November 2022, the American Academy of Forensic Psychology honored Dr. Cunningham’s seminal contributions to the field with the AAFP Award for Distinguished Contribution to Forensic Psychology. Dr. Cunningham was honored in January 2019 in New Orleans with the American Correctional Association Peter P. Lejins Research Award. Dr. Cunningham was recognized in November 2017 with a commendation in London by the judges for the John Maddox Prize, an annual international award for promoting sound science in the face of difficulty and hostility. Dr. Cunningham's scholarship and that of other chapter authors were recognized in 2016 with an award by the American Psychology-Law Society for a text for which he had contributed a chapter. Dr. Cunningham's scholarship and practice were recognized by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists A. M. Welner, Ph.D. Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by this organization of 15,000 psychologists. His research was previously honored with the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy and the Texas Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science. Dr. Cunningham was elected to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association, a distinction reflecting uncommon and outstanding contributions to the practice and science of psychology on a national level.
Dr. Ferster is a Senior Psychologist Specialist in Napa State Hospital’s Forensic Service Department. He has been a Napa State Hospital medical staff member for the past six years.
Dr. Ferster attended graduate school at the Wright Institute, where he focused on medical-decision making during his dissertation. He subsequently gained valuable experience evaluating cognitive functioning for varying neurologic dysfunctions and treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the competitive Northport VA Medical Center Predoctoral Internship. After that, Dr. Ferster completed a Post-Doctoral Residency at the Kaiser Permanente Group, where he gained experience providing assessment and treatment to a broad-based mental health population.
As a forensic psychologist at Napa State Hospital, Dr. Ferster has completed various complex forensic evaluations, including competency to stand trial, violence risk assessment, commitment extensions, and readiness for conditional release. Dr. Ferster routinely consults interdisciplinary treatment teams regarding issues pertaining to violence risk mitigation. He has provided expert witness testimony on multiple occasions.
Dr. Trayci Dahl specializes in severe mental illness, filicide, violence risk, malingering, and threat assessment and management. Her practice is unique in having been retained in over 15 capital cases.
Dr. Dahl is one of a limited number of psychologists who are both Board Certified in Forensic Psychology and a Certified Threat Manager of the Association of Threat Assessment Professions. Dr. Dahl was selected to serve on the Examination Faculty for the American Board of Forensic Psychology, where she conducts oral examinations on candidates pursuing board certification.
Dr. Dahl received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and subsequently completed a predoctoral internship at Patton State Hospital in California. She has devoted her practice to forensic evaluations since 2003. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Dahl is a consulting psychologist for the California Department of State Hospitals Forensic Services Division, where she conducts violence risk assessments of offenders with severe mental health disorders. Dr. Dahl is actively involved in education, research, and training. Dr. Dahl serves on the Quality Assurance and Training team for the Forensic Services Division, frequently presents at conferences, conducts research on forensic evaluations, and provides training and mentorship for the Department of State Hospitals.
Dr. Mimran, specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Complex Spinal Surgeries.
Dr. Mimran is a Board-Certified Neurosurgeon, and former Oakland Raiders NFL Team Neurosurgeon. He maintains an active clinical practice at Sutter Medical Center where he is the Medical Director of Neurosurgery and the Neuroscience Department Chair.
Dr. Mimran completed medical school at the University of Southern California. He subsequently completed a General Surgery Internship, Residency in Neurological Surgery, and Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, at the University of Florida. During residency and fellowship, Dr. Mimran received the Charles Shank Award for Excellence in Neurosurgery, was a Delegate Fellow for the Council of Neurosurgical Societies, and was honored as the Outstanding Resident Educator in 2002. Between 2016-2018, Dr. Mimran completed an MBA at Cornell University.
Dr. Mimran has published chapters and peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, Clinical Intervention Aging and the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. He has successfully patented two neurosurgical devices. As an award-winning teacher, Dr. Mimran brings the capacity to effectively and succinctly communicate complex neurological concepts to his medical-legal practice.