Expert Forensic Psychiatry & Competency Evaluations

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Expert Forensic Psychiatry & Competency Evaluations

Having a thorough and intelligent forensic psychiatrist is vital when working with complex civil and criminal cases, and with each state having their own restrictions and legal proceedings, an experienced psychiatrist will make a big difference in supporting a case. Dr. Clay Pavlis is a top forensic psychiatrist in South Dakota and has worked with forensic cases at a national level.

Clay Pavlis, M.D., Psychiatrist

Dr. Clay Pavlis has been supporting legal professionals in counties all over South Dakota, and is recognized for his unbiased, knowledgeable, and professional evaluations. Hand-chosen as the Psychiatrist for South Dakota’s 22-member Task Force on Community Justice and Mental Illness Early Intervention, which convened in 2016 to improve the state’s criminal justice system relating to individuals with mental health issues, Dr. Pavlis is recognized by many attorneys and legal professionals because of his acute understanding of the legal process and thorough medical evaluations and medical record reviews.

As an accomplished mental health psychiatrist with years of experience providing mental health care in correctional facilities, Dr. Pavlis provides complete medical record reviews, consultations, and expert witness testimony in civil and criminal cases, combining medical knowledge and experience to answer difficult legal questions accurately and fairly.

Dr. Pavlis has worked with a number of different counties across South Dakota, including Pennington County, Hughes County, Brown County, Brookings County, Minnehaha County, Codington County, and Faulk County. His criminal work has including evaluation of criminal competencies, assessment of mental illness, assessments of insanity plea, and both juvenile and adult sentencing options relating to mental health care. Licensed in South Dakota and Minnesota, Dr Pavlis also welcomes forensic telehealth evaluations.

Forensic Assessment and Psychological Tests

Dr Pavlis and his support team directly assess psycho-legal constructs and capacities such as a criminal defendant's competence to stand trial. An example of tests performed include: Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS-2), Inventory of Legal Knowledge (ILK), Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-Fast), Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial - Revised (ECST-R).

Expert Mental Health Witness

A good forensic psychiatrist will offer written witness testimony that will often prevent the case from even getting called to trial. If an attorney takes a case to trial, though, Dr Pavlis is the well-spoken, level-headed psychiatrist who is the key mental health expert witness sought after. He has a broad range of forensic experience and welcomes every new case with focus and dedication, working through every aspect of each case with a thorough process.

Free Quote for Services

Attorneys that are looking for psychiatric consultation, licensed professionals who are involved in a malpractice suit or licensing board investigation, or individuals seeking information about psychological assessments including Testamentary Capacity evaluations, Competency to Stand Trial (CST), and independent medical exams may contact us at or 605.573.2000 and we will provide you with the information you need to get a free quote or connect you to Dr. Pavlis.

Independent Psychiatric and Veteran's Evals

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Widely Chosen by QTC, Optum Serve (formerly known as LHI), and VES for quality Veteran's Compensation and Pension Evaluations

Dr. Pavlis, MWI Health’s Chief Medical Director and Psychiatrist, is experienced in providing independent psychiatric evaluations for Veteran’s Affairs (VA) services, always striving to offer an unbiased, knowledgeable, and professional evaluation. Dr. Pavlis provides psychiatric evaluations including PTSD and TBI regularly to our nation’s heroes and workforce through the major third party organizations, QTC, Optum Serve/LHI, and VES, as well as privately. Leading a highly trained group of mental health providers, Dr Pavlis is scheduled for a mix of in-person and telehealth Veteran visits and provides thorough quality reports in a timely manner.

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"Recently had a telehealth VA exam with Dr. Pavlis, which was nerve racking to say the least, however his encounter along with (NP Darla), was a release for me. I felt unrushed, attended to and valued. Thank you for your attention and care to veterans. God bless you."

Sherrine D.

Military Veteran

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