Consultation and Expert Court Testimony

John Hamel

John Hamel, Ph.D., LCSW, provides individual expert consultation to mental health professionals, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates and others on a variety of issues and topics related to family violence. Since 2001, Mr. Hamel has consulted with defense attorneys and prosecutors throughout Northern California, and has provided expert witness testimony in both the criminal court and the family court. He has been retained in a variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, involving male and female perpetrators and victims as well as defendants in same-sex relationships.

"What makes my services particularly useful is the extensive experience I have, both as a clinician and a researcher.  Over the past 30 years, I have worked with many hundreds of men, women, and families in my clinical practice in the San Francisco Bay Area who have been affected in some way by domestic violence, most of them perpetrators mandated by the criminal court to complete what is commonly known as a batterer intervention program (BIP).  This experience has allowed me to understand the needs of victims, perpetrators, and families in direct way, and to develop a more nuanced way of understanding the complexities of the problem. I no longer work directly with clients; however, I continue to supervise the facilitators who currently lead several BIPs in my area. 

In comparison to most other experts in the field of domestic violence, who are often either victim advocates or who work in law enforcement, I have a comprehensive, up-to-date knowledge of the causes, prevalence rates, dynamics, consequences, assessment and treatment of domestic violence.  I am able to stay abreast of current research through my position as Editor-in-Chief of the scholarly research journal, Partner Abuse, and my ongoing research projects, including as co-editor of an upcoming volume on domestic violence and the legal system, scheduled for publication in 2022 by Oxford University Press.  Consequently, I can provide information and insights to attorneys on a variety of issues related to domestic violence to help them more effectively litigate their cases, including on misunderstood topics such as Battered Woman Syndrome, coercive control, mutual abuse, and issues related to gender and motive.  My overarching concerns are practical rather than political: that domestic violence perpetrators should be held accountable and victims helped to stay safe, and that this be achieved in the most effective manner possible while safeguarding the legal rights of defendants."


Understanding intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicide:  A research guide for prosecutors and defense attorneys

In the best interests of children: What family law attorneys should know about domestic violence


NEW! “Research-Informed Domestic Violence Defense” is a 2-hour primer for criminal defense attorneys.  For information or to register for the next training, CLICK HERE.


I am a criminal defense attorney in San Rafael, California, and have been working with John Hamel for many years in my domestic violence cases.

I have benefited from his trainings, have consulted with him regarding various cases, and regularly refer clients to his court-approved domestic violence perpetrator groups because his compassionate, evidence-based treatment approach is superior to the confrontational style used in other programs."

Gary Kauffman, Esq. 
San Rafael, CA