Advocacy Skills in Cases of Persons with Mental Disabilities: The Role of Lawyers and Experts
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The goal of this course is to teach participants the special and essential skills invaluable to lawyers and expert witnesses when representing or working on behalf of persons with mental disabilities in a legal setting. The course will cover topics including civil commitment standards; outpatient commitment; issues of proof; dealing with expert witnesses; rights to community services; forensic issues; patient advocacy issues; and dealing with stigma/public awareness.
Michael L. Perlin, JD is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS's Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS's International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. Author of over 30 books and 300 articles on topics including mental illness and the criminal justice system, mental disability law, and sexual violent predator legislation, Professor Perlin has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Psychiatry and Law’s Manfred Guttmacher Award. Before becoming a professor, Perlin was a Deputy Public Defender in New Jersey as well as the director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy for the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate.
Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD is an adjunct professor and the current director of New York Law School’s Online Mental Disability Law Program. In addition to representing individuals facing civil commitment under both the New Jersey Mental Hygiene Law and the New Jersey’s Sexually Violent Predators Act, Professor Cucolo has published and lectured internationally on the representation and treatment of sexual offenders. She is recognized as one of the premiere experts in sexual violent predator law and has counseled attorneys, judges and clinicians on law and procedure in civil commitment proceedings and issues involving persons suffering from a mental disability or illness within the criminal justice system.
This training is designed to help you:
- Learn the constitutional background of civil commitment law
- Analyze the different types of commitment
- Examine how an attorney litigates a civil commitment case
- Learn the dynamics of the attorney/ expert relationship