Boston University School of Law

JD962 Forensic Mental Health Issues for Lawyers (S)


Attorneys routinely deal with forensic mental health issues in the practice of criminal, tort, juvenile delinquency, child protection, civil rights, disability, employment and family law. Familiarity with the law alone is rarely adequate for effective advocacy in these areas of law when mental health issues arise. This course surveys the intersection between psychiatry and law with a focus on applications for legal practice. Topics include: competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, competence to be executed, involuntary civil commitment, child protection and divorce child custody, commitment of sexual offenders, mental health malpractice, emotional distress claims, and use of mental health expert testimony in the post-Daubert era. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.