Landmark Cases

  • The fellow will become familiar with important court decisions and case law, their legal concepts and constitution basis, and their significance in the evolution of judicial precedents in mental health law. These cases include, but are not necessarily limited to, the landmark cases in mental health law as defined by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL).
  • The fellow will be able to look up a case citation.
  • The fellow will be able to present the pertinent points of a case succinctly and in accordance with a standard format.
  • The fellow will gain an appreciation of the value of legal consultation in difficult forensic cases.

The Forensic Psychiatrist in Court

  • The fellow will gain a working knowledge base in the common issues seen in criminal forensic psychiatry in preparation for work on the pretrial inpatient unit at East Central Regional Hospital and Central State Hospital. On occasion the evaluations will be performed at the local detention center..
  • The fellow will begin to develop basic skills in forensic report writing, including writing reports that are understandable by lawyers, judges, and other legal personnel.
  • The fellow will practice and begin to develop their testimonial skills, including responding to direct and cross examination by attorneys.
  • The fellow will understand the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the detection of malingering.

General Topics in Forensic Psychiatry

  • The fellow will develop a working knowledge of additional issues in criminal forensic psychiatry that are not covered in The Psychiatrist In Court Seminar including release into the community of individuals found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and issues in Correctional psychiatry.
  • The fellow will develop a working knowledge of issues in civil forensic psychiatry including general and specific competencies, psychiatric disability and personal injury torts, worker's compensation, the right to treatment, child custody evaluations, termination of parental rights, and juvenile delinquency.
  • The fellow will understand the development of forensic psychiatry through its history and will have a working knowledge of the current ethical issues which arise in the practice of forensic psychiatry.
  • The fellow will understand the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders encountered more commonly in forensic populations including impulse control disorders, paraphilias, and antisocial personality disorder.

Fundamentals of the Legal System

  • The fellow will gain basic understanding of how to approach all trial proceedings in which a forensic psychiatrist may be requested to participate.
  • The fellow will gain an overview of basic United States Constitution principles with emphasis on due process.
  • The fellow will gain an understanding of the structure of the federal and state court systems with particular emphasis on jurisdiction.
  • The fellow will understand basic tort law and the uses of mediation, depositions, and interrogatories.
  • The fellow will gain an overview of family law, including emphasis on children's rights, child custody law, and termination of parental rights.
  • The fellow will be introduced to uses of psychological autopsies and psychological profiling.
  • The fellow will learn principles used in establishing an effective and cohesive lawyer-psychiatrist relationship in forensic work.

Forensic Systems Seminar

  • The fellow will gain an overview of various state organizational systems which aid or impair the effective service delivery of treatment to mentally ill patients in forensic populations.
  • The fellow will have an understanding of how centralized and decentralized organizational systems (human service agencies, jails, prisons, and court) impact services to forensic populations.
  • The fellow will be able to apply the concept of “systems perpetuation of self” in interactions with collaborative agencies and families of forensic populations.
  • The fellow will be aware of public and social policy realities that operate within organizational systems and their impact on the treatment and resources for forensic populations.