||Margaret T. Waller
||Ninth Judicial Court
||Kissimmee, Osceola County
||Ninth Judicial Court
|Type of Case:
||Criminal, Child Sexual Abuse
||Copy of the Order Granting the State's Motion in Limine to
Exclude Testimony of Expert Witness, signed by Judge Waller and
dated September 22, 1999. A copy of the Curriculum Vitae of
Ralph C. Underwager, Ph.D.
The Order grants the state's motion to exclude expert witness
testimony, in part because the judge concludes the degrees of Dr.
Underwager are all theological and therefore he is not qualified
as an expert. "The Court File contains a copy of Dr.
Underwager's curriculum vitae, which reveals that his
degrees are all related to the study of theology and none were
awarded for the study of psychology. ... Dr. Underwager's career
is in large part involved with the Lutheran church including
twenty-three years as a minister. Likewise, his research is
church affiliated and while his vita does detail counseling
experience, there is no formal academic background to support that
work. Therefore the court finds that Dr. Underwager does not
qualify as a clinical psychologies with a specialization that
would allow his testimony in the instant case to aid the jury in
ifs fact finding."
|Comments: It is extremely difficult to
understand how a reasonably sentient person reading a CV which clearly
states there is Ph.D. in clinical Psychology awarded by the University
of Minnesota in 1970 could so grossly misunderstand that and think
that the University of Minnesota awards theological degrees. The
CV also contains the work experience at a medical clinic as a
psychologist, teaching psychology at college and university level, and
the information that Dr. Underwager is licensed as a psychologist in
the state of Minnesota, and that he has been awarded the honored
status of Fellow of the American Psychological Society based on the
recognition of his work as an outstanding, sustained, and
distinguished contribution to the science of psychology. It is
also the case that the CV identifies the three national research
projects conducted by Dr. Underwager. The funding for two of
them was from the National Institute for Mental Health and the third
was funded by a private foundation. There is nothing to suggest
that the research projects were church-affiliated.
factual errors in the ruling suggest the judge was biased and
committed to the prosecution and a result of guilty. She chose
to prejudice the defendant's case by distorting and misrepresenting
the information given to her.
Type of Error: This is an error in making a ruling
that harms the ability of the defense to present its case. It is
either a deliberate error or laziness in examining the evidence.