Professor Richard Friedman
Formerly known as Lawyering Skills in the Representation of Persons with Mental Disabilities, the goal of this course is to teach students the special advocacy skills needed by lawyers and expert witnesses that are essential in cases involving persons with mental disabilities. 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. This course includes two recorded simulated trials, one of an involuntary civil commitment case, and one of an incompetency to stand trial hearing.
This is a predominately on-line course, requiring students to participate in a weekly chat room, discussion board, and two, day-long weekend live seminars at New York Law School. The grade is based on chat room, discussion board and live seminar participation, a midterm paper, and a take-home final. For JD students the prerequisite is Survey of Mental Disability Law or an advanced degree, training, or professional experience in any aspect of psychology, psychiatry, social work, or other allied therapeutic field. In certain very limited other circumstances, JD students will be allowed to enroll by permission of the instructor.
For master’s degree and certificate students, Survey of Mental Disability Law is a pre-requisite or co-requisite.