Brief Assessments

$500 plus testing fees (usually $65)


Scroll down for family-law assessments.

Brief Assessments are used in most cases, including for DUI evaluations, school referrals, and voluntary clients. By state law, I have to begin all services with an assessment. In some cases I can use an assessment that was done elsewhere, but in most cases I have to do my own.

The process includes the following:

  • A three-hour initial interview (sometimes four) that includes:

    • Doing all the intake paperwork

    • Collecting a test sample (usually a urine sample, under observation when possible)

    • Filling out a questionnaire

    • A long and detailed clinical interview

  • Review of collateral documents, such as:

    • Former substance abuse records

    • Legal, school, and medical records if/as necessary

    • A collateral interview in some cases (such as parents of teenage clients or spouses

  • A written report that summarizes and analyzes all the information and makes appropriate recommendations. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get the report out, and they're usually 8-10 pages long.

I include eight hours of work in the assessment price. If the number of hours exceeds eight, I charge extra at my regular rate of $100/hour, pro-rated. This hardly ever happens, but sometimes when people tell me tall tales, I have to spend a whole bunch of extra time trying to figure out the truth, and this is the fairest way I’ve come up with to handle that situation.

Comprehensive Assessments

$100/hour with a $2500 deposit

Testing extra


Comprehensive assessments are used in all family court cases, and, once in a blue moon, for a felony case. Comprehensive evaluations usually take 30 or 40 hours of my time so I just charge by the hour. I don't offer brief assessments in family law cases--ever--because I'm not willing to take the chance of writing an assessment report that doesn't stand up to that level of scrutiny. Also, I think it saves the client money in the long run, because an assessment that doesn't look under every rock will be the cause of legal arguments, and lawyers cost more money than I do.

The process includes the following:

  • At least two three-hour interviews (sometimes an additional hour or two) that includes:

    • Doing all the intake paperwork

    • Collecting a test sample at the first visit, and most often, also being set up for ongoing weekly testing

    • Filling out a questionnaire, often two

    • A long and really detailed clinical interview

  • A collateral interview with the person making the allegations (usually in person but sometimes by telephone). I often do more than one collateral interview; who I interview just depends on the case.

  • Review of relevant pleadings

  • Review of additional records on a case-by-case basis. Past assessments have included:

    • Counseling records

    • Medical records

    • Pharmaceutical records

    • Former substance abuse records

    • GAL reports

    • Psychiatric reports

    • Legal/police records

    • Ignition interlock records

    • CPS records

    • Employment records

    • Various other records

  • Once I have have requested, received, and analyzed all the information, I write up a report that says if I think there's a substance abuse problem, and if so, how it appears to have affected the person's parenting and what should be done to correct that. These assessments take a couple months to do but some of them take longer--usually when I'm asked to consider more material or there are non-compliance problems. The final reports are usually 20-30 pages long.