Ms. Katie Ross
Retired Criminal Defense Attorney, former Director of the Washington State Death Penalty Assistance Center (WDPAC)
Multiple victim capital murder defense: Our client and his then girlfriend were charged with the aggravated murders of multiple members of her family, including two young children. The State sought the death penalty. As a non-testifying consultant, Dr. Adler was an invaluable resource for the defense team. It is difficult to encapsulate all of his contributions helping our team over five (5) years preparing for trial and sentencing. As the investigation proceeded, several lines of possible psychological mitigation evidence emerged. Dr. Adler helped attorneys understand, and better explain to fact-finders, how our client’s mental and emotional impairments contributed to his involvement in a terrible crime.
Dr. Adler conducted thorough research into the relevant medical literature (which would have been hard for attorneys to find and understand). He educated the defense team on new imaging and psychological testing modalities relevant to the mitigation case. Dr. Adler’s research was critical to our discovery and proof of generational mental health issues.
Dr. Adler assisted counsel in preparing testifying experts for trial. In this regard, Dr. Adler’s own extensive experience of testifying as an expert in cases of all kinds, including death penalty cases, was very useful.
For ten years I was the Director of the Washington Death Penalty Assistance Center (DPAC), a resource center for capital defense teams. In that capacity, I produced training programs for capital defense teams throughout Washington State. Dr. Adler presented at multiple DPAC programs on a range of topics. He was consistently highly rated by attendees. Dr. Adler's presentations were always clear, entertaining, and well-illustrated.
Dr. Adler is personally highly ethical and an expert in medical professional norms.
I have no reservations in recommending Dr. Adler as an expert consultant or testifying expert in even the most complex and consequential cases.
Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD
Editor-in-Chief, Archives of Scientific Psychology
Associate Editor, Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology
In Texas v. Robertson, our defense team was able to get the first life verdict in Brazos County, Texas, in nearly 30 years. Dr. Adler was an instrumental part of this effort explaining, well and convincingly, technical psychiatric and complex neuroimaging data to a lay jury that ultimately found for mitigation, returning a life verdict in this tragic case.
Jeffrey C. Grant
Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA
Dr. Adler proved to be of invaluable insight and assistance in helping with a client involved in a complex and intricate matter involving criminal charges and civil litigation. Dr. Adler’s expertise and sensitivity, coupled with his skillful participation, were instrumental in our representation. Despite the emotional and contentious nature of the proceedings, Dr. Adler remained poised and professional.
Attorney at Law, Port Orchard, Washington
I represented an individual that was charged with Robbery in First Degree. If convicted of this crime, it would have been a third strike and the minimum sentence would have been life without the possibility of parole. The defense of this individual was complicated by the fact that my client was found in the building, hiding from the police, armed with a gun, holding the drugs that were the object of his obsession. Immediately upon meeting my client, it was clear to me that he was suffering from a significant mental illness that immediately called for a diminished capacity or insanity defense.
Luckily, I was put into contact with Dr. Adler. Dr. Adler was proactive, easily accessible and extremely knowledgeable on the law and the medicine. His evaluation of my client was thorough, in depth, and most impressive of all, he assembled a team of doctors that participated in the process. As a result, he wasn’t on an island expressing an opinion, but was surrounded by other medical doctors and professionals that contributed to the evaluation and diagnosis. In 20 years of practicing law, and working with hundreds of experts such as neurosurgeons, bio-mechanical engineers, accident reconstruction, medical doctors from numerous specialties…I can say my experience in working with Dr. Adler is unforgettable in that he is one of the most impressive experts I have ever worked with; I say this because of his thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and commitment to the pursuit of truth and justice.
Dr. Adler made me a better lawyer, he pushed me, and he taught me aspects of what it means to be a lawyer. At the end of the case, my client plead guilty to a reduced charged and received a favorable and compassionate sentence from the judge. I was complimented after the hearing, for presenting “the best diminished capacity defense” the judge had ever seen. Of course, all the credit goes to Dr. Adler.
Amanda M. Searle
Attorney at Law, Tacoma, Washington
Dr. Adler worked with our team on a tragic case involving a young woman who was stabbed to death in Capitol Hill by a dangerous mentally ill offender. This challenging case involved a lawsuit against various state agencies and Dr. Adler was a consummate professional from the outset. His deposition testimony regarding the gross negligence standard of a county-designated mental health professional and the applications of the Involuntary Treatment Act was critical to obtaining a favorable result for two wonderful parents who lost their daughter too soon.
J. Blake Hendrix
Attorney at Law, Little Rock, Arkansas
I've practiced criminal law for 30 years and have been fortunate to be involved in several nationally recognized cases, including the "West Memphis Three" case. In 2014 I retained Dr. Adler in a Texarkana, Arkansas death penalty resentencing -- a case tried more than twenty years before. Dr. Adler masterfully presented complex and compelling information, first during an evidentiary challenge, and then to the jury at sentencing. The jury found in favor of every mitigating circumstance Dr. Adler presented, sparing the defendant's life. I was more than impressed with Dr. Adler and his excellent presentation to this Southern, rural jury. Due in large measure to Dr. Adler, my client was removed from death row.
Attorney at Law, Seattle, Washington
I’ve known Dr. Adler since 2010, when he was a Forensic Psychiatry Fellow. I had a client who would be asserting a diminished capacity defense at trial, and Dr. Adler was assigned to do the State’s forensic evaluation of the client. His work was extremely thorough and fair, and when he later entered private practice I began to consult with him on mental health issues. Since my practice involves capital cases, I soon began calling Dr. Adler to discuss mental health mitigation themes. Because he has a great sense of overall mitigation narratives, many of my discussions with Dr. Adler would go well beyond mental health issues. Often, Dr. Adler would tell me that he was not the best expert for a particular case, but he would help find the person for the job.
One case we did work on together involved a difficult-to-diagnose disorder made even more difficult to diagnose by many layers of cultural issues that greatly impacted test selection, norm selection, test interpretation, and interview style. Dr. Adler’s evaluation of the client, which displayed great sensitivity to these issues, and his coordination of the work of other mental health experts on a multi-disciplinary team, played a key role in convincing the prosecutor to not seek the death penalty for my foreign national client. Demonstrating great teaching skills, he also helped me prepare for the cross-examination of the State’s mental health expert at a pretrial hearing, quickly giving me the essential knowledge to take the expert where I wanted him to go.
Over the years, Dr. Adler has developed a national practice, working on many extremely difficult capital cases in unfriendly jurisdictions. Because of his work, there are undoubtedly many attorneys around the country who would highly recommend him for helping to save the lives of their clients.