Bennett Blum, MD

Forensic and geriatric psychiatrist, and Director of the Geriatric Division of Park Dietz & Assoc. in Newport Beach, Calif. and Bennett Blum, M.D. is an internationally acclaimed physician specializing in both forensic and geriatric psychiatry.  An expert on the detection and impact of psychological manipulation tactics used by offenders to exploit the elderly and other vulnerable adults, his pioneering assessment techniques are taught in law schools and medical training programs throughout much of the Western Hemisphere.  In addition, Dr. Blum’s work has been promoted by many international and US-based organizations, including: the United Nations and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; US State Department and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Spanish Society of Legal Psychiatry; the World Psychiatric Association; American Bar Association; National College of Probate Judges; Association of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel; and the National Guardianship Association. As an expert witness and litigation consultant, Dr. Blum has worked on legal cases throughout the United States, including the criminal trials of Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, Theresa Ramirez, and Linda Giles; litigation regarding Merrill-Lynch and the Orange County bankruptcy, and the civil lawsuit against O.J. Simpson; and hundreds of cases involving financial exploitation, elder abuse, and undue influence claims.  Internationally, Dr. Blum testified in the precedent-setting United Nations trial of General Pavle Strugar - the first full competency hearing before an international war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg.   Dr. Blum's work first received national attention when he was the only mental health expert asked to testify at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's 1999 hearing on Fraud: Targeting America's Seniors. From 2002-2004, Dr. Blum was a technical advisor to the Research Triangle Institute for its national study on elder financial exploitation.  This study was the basis for the Administration on Aging’s “Financial Exploitation of Older Persons Report.”  In 2005, Dr. Blum participated in an invitation-only policy development conference for the White House Conference on Aging. Dr. Blum is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.   A sought-after speaker, Dr. Blum is often asked to provide training to professional, legislative and community organizations on the prevention, investigation, and litigation of issues related to elder abuse - especially financial exploitation, assessment of diminished capacity, and undue influence tactics.  His work became part of a nationwide 2006 training project entitled "Undue Influence: The Criminal Justice Response." In 2007, Dr. Blum worked with the National College of District Attorneys and National District Attorneys Association to review the mental capacity and undue influence sections of their course "Prosecuting Elder Abuse Cases." In 2009, the US State Department sponsored training by Dr. Blum to the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the topics of diminished capacity and undue influence/psychological coercion evaluation in war crime litigation. Dr. Blum is a consultant to the Fiduciary Abuse Specialist Teams in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties, and is a founding member of the Pima County Death Analysis Review Team in Arizona, a multi-disciplinary group dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of elder homicides.   A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of Arizona, Dr. Blum received his medical education from the University of Arizona and psychiatric training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  His work has been published by the National College of Probate Judges, State Bar Associations, and in major medical textbooks such as "Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry," which has included his work in their editions for more than 13 years. Internationally, his work is profiled in the French elder-abuse text "Douze Geriatres en Colere."   Dr. Blum’s IDEAL model is described in a book co-published by the American Bar Association and the American Psychological Association, Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Psychologists, which lists it as one of the methods to be used when evaluating claims of undue influence. In addition to his own practice, Dr. Blum also works with the litigation-consulting firm of Park Dietz & Associates, Inc., based in Newport Beach, California.

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