I provide forensic vocational rehabilitation consulting services and work with attorneys with passion; those who truly care about their clients. Trust me, I care about my customers and you will find that I too am passionate about my work and will help you as much as I can so you can help your clients.
You’ll find we make a nice pair when we focus on your client!
You’ll also find I work hard for you and just as hard for your client!
If you, Attorney Person, need help with how to quantify AND qualify an individual’s earning capacity within a life care plan, I am the consultant you’re looking for. If you need a report explaining a person’s vocational background and earnings potential, I am the consultant you’re looking for. If you need an expert to serve on the stand in your case, I am the consultant you’re looking for. Want me to continue on about my work?
I believe work is central to the existence of adult functioning. It provides funds needed to live and supplies status and security for an individual. You’ll find value in how I approach my own work in a qualitative way. You’ll see I’m grounded in neutrality, sincerity and resolve to never give up until the facts make sense.
I enjoy consulting with attorneys. It involves learning about your questions; then using my expertise to provide an answer or two! The fact is consulting work involves extraordinary amounts of mental processing. Let me tell you, my brain gets a lot of action and yes, I work out physically, too!
I don’t know about your specific style of learning or pattern of thinking is (give me time!), but for me, when I accept a case assignment, I don’t want to feel rushed about researching and finding solid answers to good questions. No, I meant to write great questions, those formed to help you with answering your client’s difficult problems, surrounding certain situations, while considering all necessary detail.
In my eyes, “problems” are opportunities in disguise. Something “thinks” it needs a solution. The thinking could be well thought through or it could be downright faulty, and that’s why education becomes a consulting strategy. A good way to look at a problem is to compare it against an opposing problem and ask, which “opportunity” presents first? Will there be an order that makes sense? Is it really a problem or just defined as one?
For every problem under the sun, there is a solution or there is none. If there be one, think til you find it. If there be none, then never mind it!” ~ LeGrand Richards
My problem solving approach develops as the research is gathered relevant to the situation. How a situation is defined is just as important in the problem equation, considering virtually every situation can be defined in more than one way. Because of this fact, tremendous opportunity to educate becomes available, and negatives turn into positives resulting in the implication of how one feels and acts toward the situation!
I find that pulling too quickly for an answer or a fact won’t turn up the best results. Pulling carefully yet relentlessly on the stem/root system will produce reliable, intact, organic results to share with others. Through testimony, I can educate others on how to understand the specific facts I gathered and why they are important to this case, facilitating the information and helping them to “figure out” their own solution.
Thanks for thinking of me (as Eeoyre says)! Please contact me to get me involved early in the proceedings. Do so before you plant any seed, and I’ll help with preparing and weeding the ground, the hard part of the action! Even if you only need a file review, I can offer recommendations. And, we’d be better off to a good start!
I believe it’s always healthy to think of the humor in most situations. Truly, our emotions will benefit. Contact me at 515-778-0634 to discuss your case needs, and learn about my consulting style and policies. Again, thanks for thinking of me and for reading! I look forward to helping you help your client!
My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.
Vocational assessment and evaluation services become an integral component in vocational rehabilitation. Depending on the perspective, the service I offer is useful for many different applicable purposes and offers many corresponding benefits.
A vocational assessment and evaluation can be used to:
prepare a report highlighting an individual’s work history
look at a person’s transferable skill set
help write a resume and cover letter
identify job accommodations
assist in making job training and career choices based on interests, abilities, and aptitudes
plan the content of a vocational training program
help trainers and instructors adapt to the needs of the person with a disability
provide data to survey a labor market
help process a person’s potential for work or ability to adapt to different work environments
Originally published on: Dec 17, 2012 And updated on December 17, 2019
When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psycho-social factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell me a lot about a person!
Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psycho-social benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.
Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community (you recognize the dog going for a walk in your hood!), and social capital at the neighborhood level. (Ever been to a dog park? Or even to the pet store that allows pets! You’ll know what I’m referring to!) In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.
This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!
Okay: At one point in my life, just a few years back I had 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska*), a dog (Bella*), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.
*Update as of 12/17/19: Alaska is now the #1 puddy in the house, and Bella has penetrated the interior as well (she used to be an outdoor dog). And along with these two loves, I’m also the pet mother to a fish named Focus and a rabbit named Mollie.
It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals. Another view into pet ownership is that of having the physical ability or mental capacity to care for something other than yourself. In fact, this could change in a positive or a negative way based on experiences in your life.
For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park! Another update as of 12/17/19: Bella no longer likes dog parks…at age 15 she mostly just likes to be fed treats, be petted and beloved by those who she knows and likes how they smell! In May of this year, she experienced an old dog condition and was diagnosed with idiopathic vestibular disease. (Inner ear problem leading to dizziness…just like a human can experience.) It was very distressful to witness my dog going through the acute stages of this condition, because I thought she was experiencing a stroke. I had to take her to the emergency vet clinic where she received this diagnosis, and then back to our vet for follow-up. Currently she is on medications as needed. Whew!
Patches was a grateful rabbit
Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. He was a mini rex, a small rabbit, weighing 3-4 pounds. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Patches liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out, thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!
Patches loved rose petals…He ate them!
Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.
Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him…continuing to stroke his very soft fur…until he died. And the whole time this was happening, my daughter was also experiencing this loss. She, in fact, took on the responsibility (age 15 at the time) to plan a service and bury him.
Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Back to the dog park experiences, you learn the dogs’ names, but never ask the owners for theirs, right!? How about the observations of the behaviors (both dogs and the owners) you arrive at to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!
In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition! Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!
For You Patches. I Loved You!
And for you Mollie, she prefers grapes!
Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.
As far as rights, I found this great listing online (website is referred to below), and yes I added the graphics! I agree with the following essential considerations for taking on the role of expert witness:
I have the right to be paid for my work.
I have the right to be prepped in advance of my testimony.
I have the right to ask questions about the case.
I have the right to work for either side, without fear of retribution.
I have the right to change my opinion from previous testimony, as long as my opinion is evolving (based on new information, science and/or experience) rather than revolving (based on which side I’m working for).
I have the right to say “I don’t know”, if in fact, I don’t know. Just because I’m the expert doesn’t mean I have all the answers. I am clearly okay to say “I’m sorry, that’s outside my scope of practice”.
I have the right to solicit objective feedback about my testimony from the attorney who has called (and of course, they have the right to decline to give it).
I have the right to set limits with counsel about the scope of my testimony.
I have the right to disagree with another expert’s practices or conclusions, even when I perceive that expert to be: a.) more educated; b.) more famous; or c.) more experienced.
I have the right to disregard the initial instinct to view opposing counsel’s expert as the enemy, but instead recognize everyone’s role in the process and share pizza and a bottle of wine with that expert after trial is over.
Truly, it’s all good work!
I am glad my career continually evolves! I accept responsibility when providing forensic services to be clear, truthful and comprehensive in my evaluation and report products, and in my role as an expert witness. Thank you for reading!
Happy Turkey-less Day to those who won’t be gobbling a gobbler this Thanksgiving! I personally won’t because I continue as a pescatarian! My two younger adult children Jacob and ArinJune continue their vegetarian lifestyle. Not my oldest son Nick, for he’s an incredible meat eater! Although the no meat eating rubbed off on me many moons ago, I still enjoy eating fish (tuna mostly).
Thank you Jake and AJ for showing me a lifestyle I probably wouldn’t have gone for had it not been for you two. But then again, I may have become really fantastic at grilling steaks (no, that’s Randy’s area.)
I love the taste of turkey and found a delicious vegetarian roast that to me tastes just the same! My opinion counts!
Over the two years she worked at Walgreen’s (she resigned earlier in 2014 to move on in different ways with her lifestyle), Arin had many customer experiences (including her days working as a host at Okoboji Grill as her first job, she knows a thing or two about customers) and I value her opinion!
She’s shared many interesting retail shopper stories from her Walgreen’s days. The worst was one day, she turned around while at the cash register to get perfume out of the locked glass cabinets for a customer, when she turned back, “the customer” was racing out the store with Chanel No 5 in her hands, along with other stolen items, and right out the front door.
Some shoppers are kind with good intentions…get in the store, find what you need, pay and get out of the store…all while being grateful and appreciative you found what you were looking for! Then there are other shoppers who seem to float around in a bubble without realizing their bubble is more of a brick! Some shoppers are demanding, have no regard for other shoppers or the retail clerk, and are even down right rude. Yuck!!We all are continuously affected by the energy of other people in both positive and negative ways. My daughter quickly learned that the less you respond to rude, critical, argumentative people, the more peaceful your life will become and the more productive you’ll be on the job!
AJ’s goal at work: Help customers find, buy, and get out of the store with minimal distraction…along with an idea or two of how to get the customer to spend more money (especially products with incentives found within her own department, which gave Arin more in her paycheck!) This knowledge, my dear daughter, takes a certain level of emotional intelligence. Good for you!
A very helpful and proactive way to limit how much we are affected in many settings and situations by where others are is a simple technique called being in your bubble. Using your bubble when you need to, or realizing others are using their own bubble, takes a level of emotional intelligence, kindness and grace.
My sister Janice has told me to get out of her bubble more than once!
1.) Spend a few moments with your eyes closed, quieting your thoughts.
2.) In your imagination create a big clear soap bubble all around you that is about a foot out from your body.
3.) Notice yourself within this bubble, and acknowledge that any type of energy you don’t want to experience in your own body will be unable to get through the bubble, and will just bounce off.
4.) Walk through your day within your bubble. Take a look at the bubble periodically just to affirm that it is there, and recreate it whenever you want to.
Bubble Me Down
There’s great reasons to use this tool to manage the energy that bounces around us all of the time. It frees you up to create the experience(s) the way you choose, while leaving others free to their own expression. You won’t need to get into the struggle and discomfort of resisting what others are doing or thinking, because it happens outside of your bubble and doesn’t need to affect you.
I hope your work week is productive, and you enjoy experiencing the energy that surrounds your work and home environments.
Along with vocational consulting services, I offer you life care planning services. Life Care Planning Services are valuable to passionate attorneys such as yourself: One who works to your fullest potential for your clients; One who truly cares about your client; and One who strives to maximize the best outcome for your client.
A Life Care Plan will help you help you help your client.
Are You a Passionate Attorney?
Comprehensive Life Care Planning Services focus on the individual who sustained a personal or catastrophic injury, has a congenital disease or acquired illness, or suffered a traumatic event that altered his or her life leaving them with a disabling condition. The individual and his or her family is in need of planning how to live with these ongoing life changes.
Are You a Passionate Attorney?
A Life Care Plan outlines an individualized holistic program that documents your client’s specific healthcare needs and a projection of what it costs for that care over their lifetime. An economist reviews the plan to determine the present value of the costs.
Even more, a Life Care Plan helps prevent medical complications, enhances community and society participation, considers quality of life issues, and assists in maintaining emotional and psychological health.
The person’s life now has important healthcare needs and significant costs are associated with those needs. How can you, the person’s caring and passionate attorney prove this, or show this to others, and why would you need to do so?
A Life Care Plan is helpful in many ways, here are three,
to facilitate decision making relating to the individual’s health care, long-term care, and special needs; and perceive the related costs;
to identify and obtain good care in the individual’s community, whether at home, an assisted living facility, or, if necessary, a nursing home; and perceive the related costs;
to help move the litigation process forward, and ultimately to settle or win a case justifiably at the highest level possible using real data!
A Life Care Plan involves a systematic process (I do that part!) of developing a “road map” of the care, goods and services the person will need to ensure optimal health, safety and life satisfaction. A plan also highlights what it is the person will need to restore or improve their life activities to their maximum potential.
Keep in mind that while most Life Care Plans are developed for people who have suffered a traumatic injury, Life Care Plans are increasingly used for older adults with chronic conditions to anticipate their health and financial needs in later years. Do you have a client in this elite category? If so, be prepared for more future that focuses on healthy living! (Hint: Get a Life Care Plan!)
The standard definition of a Life Care Plan is a “dynamic document based upon published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated costs for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs. (IALCP – International Academy of Life Care Planners, 2003. Definition established during the 2000 Life Care Planning Summit.)
Above is my most recent CRC Certificate and below is my most recent CLCP Certificate
I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP). As a professional in rehabilitation, I am able to develop a plan using advanced knowledge of specific disabilities, established treatment care resources, and a consistent objective approach toward the practical and functional elements involved in providing the treatment of catastrophic injuries and diseases.
Communication and negotiation skills are essential (so true) while working with patients, families, caregivers and treatment teams. Keep on perusing my website, which is mainly a relationship building blog, and read my writings. I’d be happy if you would truly consider how Life Care Planning Services will help you help your clients.
Typically a life care planner is helpful for legal cases involving catastrophic injuries or chronic health conditions.
Lawyers, physicians, and insurance companies can hire a life care planner to research, analyze and develop life care plans for patients who experience catastrophic injuries or chronic health conditions related to birth, brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation, trauma, burns, and other serious injury.
Where Do You Need a Life Care Planner?
A life care planner is useful in a variety of jurisdictions.
In legal cases that include workers’ compensation, personal injury, medical malpractice and marital dissolution
A plan is also useful to protect assets when aging, disability or chronic disease raises tough questions about estates
Other civil lawsuits, estates and probate needs
Why Do You Need a Life Care Planner?
A life care planner is beneficial for individuals, families and funding sources for many good reasons. A good planner is able to ~
Provide the individual and the family with an outline of future care
Guide people through the complex maze of rehabilitation and long-term care coordination
Assess diagnoses and work-related disabilities
Network and make connections with health care providers and holistic practitioners
Educate, motivate and support the family regarding their loved one’s needs
Help insurance companies set reserves
Who Can Help? How About Me?! Amy!
Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP,
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor & Certified Life Care Planner
With my extensive training, experiences and knowledge, I am able to zero in on vocational rehabilitation needs. These needs are often a key component when attorneys and insurance companies are settling or trying a legal case involving an individual of working age.
Please take into account a child deserves the opportunity to work and make money in their future, and if permanently and totally disabled, many factors come into play when assessing their potential earning capacity. It starts with assessing the child’s parent’s working background!
I can help you help your client and your client’s family.
You’re a good attorney, and you care about the people you represent. You’re busy working on cases and spend a lot of time on time. In fact, you even buy TIME! And, I’m writing to help you make a more comfortable TIME purchase from me, a consultant who is also an educator!
I fully realize attorneys buy TIME
Time – Because you bill by the hour (and so do I), I promise to help you be more productive and, thus, more successful by providing value laden services.
I promise to always respect your time.
Information – Because I totally understand why you HATE looking stupid (and so do I), I will provide accurate information that you want or need.
I promise to always ensure you have a good reason for working with me.
Money – Because saving money and making money are the goals for almost every law firm (and for every consulting firm too), I will effectively use all the resources available to help with your case.
I promise to be accurate and fair with my billing.
Education – Because lawyers always need continuing education (and so do I) to maintain your license, I am available to present to any group that would benefit from learning about my work and rehabilitation consulting. In addition, as I’m a well-trained educator and counselor, I can help you and your client in many ways throughout the case and onto trial, where my educational background is useful in front of a jury.
I promise to bring new light to your litigation strategies.
How much TIME would you like to have on your hands, especially when working on a complex case that has to do with work and disability? So there it is! But wait, there’s more:
I, Amy, promise to Always Be True at My Core,because that’s all I have ever had and have ever needed and I’m willing to share what I know is true.
Enjoy a piece of quality fruit (I love organic apples) and then contact me, Amy E. Botkin, to discuss your case. I’m here to help you help your client!
Are you working on a litigated case involving work and disability? If so, I believe a job analysis can help you and your client, and in many ways! A job analysis involves the process of gathering and recording objective data about a specific job.
Capturing what the job is all about helps to evaluate what an employee does, why the work is done, how the work is done, results of the work, the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to perform the work, and the context in which the work fits into the organizational structure.
And, as an analyzing kinda person, I’ll find direct connections to ways of the trade, and possibly record direct comments from incumbents or a worker who knows what’s going on!
A complete analysis involves visiting the job site to witness the job being performed and interviewing supervisors and employees about the accuracy of existing job descriptions. (And that’s a story in itself!) It sure can be an interesting tour and communication experience!
For me to find out what actually takes place on a pertinent day to day basis (without being there obviously because I have my own job to do), consulting with management and incumbents of the job along with digital video recording (right!), if helpful, allows for a critical analysis of the parameters of performance at a work place, including common physical demands of duties of a job. And trust me, a video can produce some humor too when’s it’s needed at work!
Once the job analysis describing the critical duties of the job, an evaluation of the work environment is completed, and a report written is prepared and presented, there, hopefully will be a greater understanding of the essential functions of the job. And to each person the job can be functionally different. Right yes, so it just depends on how one goes about doing it!
This understanding allows me as a vocational expert to make recommendations for reasonable accommodations and to testify to the efforts of the employer to provide reasonable accommodations.
Need help with a litigated case involving disability and work?