A 43 year old man with a traumatic amnesic syndrome experienced only a brief, if any, loss of consciousness following an injury to the head. Four years after this injury, his results on standard psychometric assessment were normal. Long-latency evoked response potentials results were normal, and the neurological examination and computed tomography scans were unhelpful in explaining his amnesic symptoms. He had no history of alcohol abuse, yet his neuropsychological profile was that of a Korsakoff-like amnesia with frontal lobe features. Magnetic-resonance images demonstrated evidence of extensive frontal lobe damage, while cerebral blood flow studies provided additional evidence of bilateral frontal lobe dysfunction. The case highlights the need for those giving opinions in medico-legal head trauma cases to go beyond a reliance on routine indicators, such as duration of coma, results of standard psychometric assessment and computed tomography scans, to more specialised neuropsychological evaluations and magnetic-resonance imaging scans.