Professors Michael Perlin, Patrick Reilly
Integrates substantive law, lawyering skills, and trial techniques and offers students an opportunity to learn how to litigate either a civil commitment case, a medication refusal case, or a retention hearing in the case of criminal defendants found either incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity. The two-credit in-class component focuses on the special lawyering and ethical issues involved in the representation of mentally disabled clients (including interviewing, investigation, and counseling techniques), special issues involved in examinations of medical experts, and the role of social science data in the trial of such cases. Students are graded on a combination of classroom exercises, one or more brief writing exercises, and a simulated trial. The two-credit placement component follows the externship model, and will be in an office that specializes in mental disability law. Evening students working full-time in an office such as the Mental Hygiene Legal Service or the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Advocacy may register, with the instructor's permission, for this course as a two-credit seminar only. 2 seminar credits are graded and 2 placement credits are pass/fail. Placement credits do not involve scheduled classes. No more than 14 placement credits may count toward the J.D. Enrollment limited.
Prerequisite: One of the following: Americans with Disabilities Act: Law, Policy, and Practice (CON275), Criminal Law and Procedure: The Mentally Disabled Defendant (CRI504), Mental Disability Law, Survey of (CRI507), Mental Health Law (UCI130), or Therapeutic Jurisprudence (UCI125), or permission of the instructor when the student has worked extensively in a legal setting in which a significant focus of the work was on mental disability law or the student has written extensively in this area.