Mental Health Litigation Practicum: Civil Commitment

LAW JD 772

Faculty will supervise BU Law students as they represent clients being held involuntarily at a local psychiatric hospital where the hospital has petitioned to have the client involuntarily committed for up to 6 months or recommitted for up to one year. Through reading assignments and class discussions, students will develop a thorough understanding of the rules of evidence, the Mental Health Statute, and the case law that governs civil commitments and involuntary treatment. In addition, students will hone their trial advocacy skills by preparing a defense and defending their clients at bench trials. In preparation for trial, students will conduct client interviews, review medical records, identify their case theory driven by the client's story, prepare a defense, and engage expert witnesses to assist with their client's defense. At the bench trial, students will litigate motions, cross-examine the hospital's witnesses, direct-examine defense witnesses, and argue in closing that the hospital failed to meet their burden beyond a reasonable doubt. PREREQUISITES/COREQUISITES: Evidence and a trial advocacy course (including Trial Advocacy, Criminal Trial Advocacy, Pre-trial or Trial Advocacy sections of the Civil Litigation/Access to Justice Program, Advanced Evidence and Advocacy, and Criminal Motion Practice and Advocacy). However, this trial advocacy co/pre- requisite may be waived for students who enroll in both the fall and spring semesters.

FALL 2023 Schedule

Section Instructor Location Schedule Notes
A1 Lummus LAW 702 R 4:20 pm-6:20 pm Stamped Approval
Mts w/LAW JD772
2-Cr Section
100 Hours Field

FALL 2023 Schedule

Section Instructor Location Schedule Notes
B1 Lummus LAW 702 R 4:20 pm-6:20 pm Stamped Approval
Mts w/LAW JD772
3-Cr Section
150 Hrs Fieldwk

SPRG 2024 Schedule

Section Instructor Location Schedule Notes
A1 Kealy LAW 518 R 4:20 pm-6:20 pm Stamped Approval
2-Cr Section

SPRG 2024 Schedule

Section Instructor Location Schedule Notes
B1 Kealy LAW 519 R 4:20 pm-6:20 pm Stamped Approval
3-Cr Section
Class Full

Note that this information may change at any time. Please visit the Student Link for the most up-to-date course information.