This website introduces Richard Polsky, Ph.D. to attorneys seeking a dog bite expert. Dogexpert.com is the internet’s oldest, most frequently visited, and most comprehensive website on the interplay between animal behavior science and dog bite law.
Dogexpert.com is the creation of Richard Polsky. The website contains information on topics such as provocation, negligence, punitive damages, assumption of risk and whether a suspected dog bite victim was bitten or scratched. In addition, visitors can search to find advice and opinions about pit bulls and the dangerous nature of attack-trained police canines.
Dog owners in Los Angeles seeking animal behavior consultation and training services or help with a dangerous dog hearing should visit other sections of this website.
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Snapshot of Dr Polsky’s Qualifications
Dr. Polsky earned a doctorate in animal behavior from the University of Leicester in England. This was followed by six years of postdoctoral study in animal behavior at the University of Birmingham in England and later at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Dr. Polsky has served as President of Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc. in Los Angeles for nearly 40 years. During this time he has trained and applied behavior modification to hundreds of Rottweilers, Pit bulls, German shepherds, Cane Corsos, Bull mastiffs, and other breeds capable of causing severe personal injury to people.
- Expert witness
Dr. Polsky has testified in court as a dog bite expert on numerous occasions. His work as a dog behavior expert witness has helped both plaintiff and defense attorneys gain favorable outcomes for their clients. Dr. Polsky’s unique skill-set as an academically trained animal behaviorist, his practical experience with dogs and his experience as an expert witness separates Dr. Polsky from other self-titled “dog bite experts”. Curriculum Vita
Dr. Polsky’s approach
Dr. Polsky places a strong emphasis on proffering expert opinions based on animal behavior science and the scientific literature on canine behavior. These findings are combined with the discovery in any given case to form opinions that are not biased or speculative and likely to be believed by the trier-of-fact.
Dog behavior expert witness services provided by Dr. Polsky include consultation, documentation review, report writing, declarations, dog and property inspections, deposition and trial testimony, and wound evaluation.
Dr. Polsky is selective about the assignments he accepts. Attorneys interested in retaining Dr. Polsky are encouraged to contact Dr. Polsky to determine if he is a good fit for their case.
Dr. Polsky answers the following questions:
- Was the incident foreseeable?
- Are attack-trained police K-9s inherently dangerous animals?
- Did the dog owner show a callous disregard for public safety?
- Was the injury to the plaintiff caused by a bite versus scratch?
- Are pit bulls inherently dangerous animals?
- Did the property owner know about the dog’s dangerous propensities?
- Was the dog properly managed?
- Did the plaintiff provoke the dog to bite?
Dr. Polsky’s work as a dog bite expert
Example #1: The plaintiff testified that a German Shepherd, scaled a 6 ft. fence, inflicted a bite to his hand, and then jumped back over the fence into the yard from which the dog came. Dr. Polsky’s testimony was used to show that the dog could not have jumped over the fence. Instead, the plaintiff must have extended his hand into the airspace of his neighbor’s property which allowed the defendant’s dog to bite the plaintiff’s hand.
Example #2: The K-9 handler testified that his 90 lb. German shepherd crawled under a car and dragged the suspect into the open. The suspect testified that he crawled from under the car on his own and then voluntarily surrendered. The suspect was severely bitten. Was the suspect bitten while he was under the car or after he surrendered? Measurements were taken of the dog. This evidence made it clear that a dog of this size could not have dragged the suspect from beneath the car. Animal behavior analysis led to the conclusion that the suspect was bitten after he surrendered.
Example #3: The plaintiff was attacked by the defendant’s pit bull. A behavioral examination of the dog, an examination of the bite wound on the victim, coupled with the totality of the circumstances present at the time of the incident proved that the pit bull did not have the temperament or the physical capability of biting the plaintiff in the manner alleged by the plaintiff.
Example #4: An innocent bystander was attacked by a police K-9. Dr. Polsky, was retained as a K9 bite expert for the plaintiff. He reviewed the training records and the circumstances present at the time of the incident. Dr. Polsky opined that it would have been difficult for the handler to adequately control his K-9 on a 30 foot leash after the dog was deployed to apprehend the suspect the police were seeking. The case settled for $1.5 million.
- Wikipedia: The roles, and duties of an expert witness.
- Expert witness testimony and hearsay.
- Rule 702 and its impact on testimony by expert witnesses, Cornell Univ. Law School
- When should an attorney hire an expert? FindLaw.
- How to qualify an expert witness, HG.org
- How to cross-examine an expert witness: American Bar Association