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Justice for All: Challenges of the Mentally Ill in the Legal System

Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter uses her 18 years of experience working with mentally ill clients in the legal system to provide attorneys and law students with specialized skills and knowledge that few attorneys receive in law school.
Publisher: NITA
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$25.00
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ISBN: 9781601560896
Publisher: NITA
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Representing clients with mental illness is a challenging task that requires specialized skills and knowledge that few attorneys receive in law school. Yet, with jails and prisons becoming repositories for thousands of mentally ill people each year, the unprecedented growth of the world's elderly population (and its often accompanying cognitive decline), and the higher incidence of domestic violence, substance abuse, and child abuse allegations in family law matters, such skills and knowledge are critical to competent and effective representation in all areas of legal practice.

In Justice for All, Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter uses her 18 years of experience working with mentally ill clients in the legal system to provide attorneys and law students with:

•  Step-by-step guidelines for identifying diminished capacity in clients;
•  Easy-to-understand descriptions of diagnostic jargon;
•  Explanations of mental diagnoses most common to criminal, civil, and family law cases and their legal relevance;
•  Practical strategies for dealing with difficult, agitated, and paranoid clients; and
•  Effective strategies for managing personality disordered clients;

Appendices include an attorney checklist for possible mental health issues, a glossary of common mental health terms, and a list of commonly prescribed medications for mental illnesses.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS


CHAPTER 1 CHALLENGES OF MENTALLY ILL INDIVIDUALS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM: AN OVERVIEW



Potential Consequences in the Criminal Law Arena

Potential Consequences in the Family Law Arena

Potential Consequences in the Civil Arena


CHAPTER 2 LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF DIMINISHED CAPACITY


The Importance of Documentation

Ultimate Legal Determination


CHAPTER 3 CLASSIFICATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND ITS LEGAL RELEVANCE


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Mental Disorder: Defined

Multiaxial Classification (Axes I-V)

Diagnostic Codes

Diagnostic Groups/Categories

Use of "Not Otherwise Specified" (NOS) Categories

Course Specifiers

Rule Out (R/O) or Provisional Diagnoses

Deferred Diagnoses

Limitations of Diagnostic Classification


CHAPTER 4 CRIMINAL LAW: COMMON DIAGNOSES AND LEGAL APPLICATIONS


Common Diagnoses in Criminal Law Cases

Legal Applications


CHAPTER 5 FAMILY LAW: COMMON DIAGNOSES AND LEGAL APPLICATIONS


Common Diagnoses in Divorce and Child Custody Cases

Legal Applications: Divorce and Child Custody

Common Diagnoses in Dependency Cases

Legal Applications: Dependency


CHAPTER 6 CIVIL MATTERS: COMMON DIAGNOSES AND LEGAL APPLICATIONS


Personal Injury Law

Legal Applications

Probate and Guardianship Law

Legal Applications


IN CONCLUSION


TABLES



Table 2.1 Red Flags for Diminished Capacity

Figure 2.1 Systematic Approach to Diminished Capacity Determinations

Table 4.1 Strategies for Dealing with Agitated or Paranoid Clients

Table 5.1 Strategies for Managing Personality-Disordered Clients

Table 5.2 Books and Articles Related to Child Custody Evaluations


APPENDIXES


Appendix A Attorney Checklist for Possible Psychological Referral

Appendix B Glossary of Common Mental Health Terms

Appendix C Commonly Prescribed Medications for Mental Illness