LIVE: Stigma in the Law and the Impact on the Forensic Mental Health Evaluation

February 23, 2023  |  9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Pacific

Presented By Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD | Michael Perlin, JD
Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD Michael Perlin, JD

February 23, 2023
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Pacific

1.5 Hours

Michael Perlin, JD and Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD present a live professional training program on Stigma in the Law and the Impact on the Forensic Mental Health Evaluation in partnership with the Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates.

Stigma is best referred to as an aspect of “sanism.” Sanism is an “irrational prejudice of the same quality and character as other irrational prejudices that cause, and are reflected in, prevailing social attitudes such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic bigotry.”

It reflects discrimination on the basis of one's mental state or condition and is a pervasive stigma that befalls persons with mental disabilities that permeates the legal process. It affects all participants in the mental disability law system, including litigants, fact finders, counsel, and expert and lay witnesses, and its corrosive effects have warped all aspects of mental disability law, involuntary civil commitment law, anti-discrimination law, institutional law, tort law, and all aspects of the criminal process.

Especially key here is the relationship between stigma/sanism and trauma in the context of the forensic mental health evaluation. The best remedy for rooting out stigma in the law (in the context of sanism) is a turn to therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ), a school of thought that therapeutic recognizes that, as a therapeutic agent, the law can have therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequences, and asks whether legal rules, procedures, and lawyer roles can or should be reshaped to enhance their therapeutic potential while not subordinating due process principles Central to TJ are commitments to compassion and dignity, a focus on the quality and effectiveness of counsel, and, for the purposes of this webinar, a special focus on interactions between expert witnesses and those subject to court procedures.

This program will cover:

  1. The meaning of sanism
  2. Sanism’s pernicious impact on the legal process
  3. How judges and lawyers regularly ignore this impact
  4. The specific relevant issues raised in the forensic mental health evaluation process
  5. How the conscious employment of therapeutic jurisprudence principles is the best palliative for the problems at hand

Intended Audience

This live program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

Experience Level

This live program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC: Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Presented By

Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD

Heather Ellis Cucolo is an adjunct professor in New York Law School’s online mental disability law program, has served as Acting Director of that program, and has contributed to the development of courses within the program as well as assisted in collaboration with Asia-Pacific partners to fost...

Presented By

Michael Perlin, JD

Michael L. Perlin is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS’s Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS’s International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. He is also the co-founder of Mental Di...

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe how stigma permeates all aspects of the entire forensic mental health process

Describe the meaning of “sanism” and how it must be counteracted at every stage of the process, including its relationship to the trauma of the forensic mental health evaluation process

Describe how the adoption of therapeutic jurisprudence principles is the best tool to root out the prejudices of sanism and help eliminate stigma


Live Event Policy

Event Communications

Event Communications

All program information will be available on your dashboard after registration. When registering, use an email that is active and that you check regularly. We are not responsible for communications not being received; if you do not add to your email safe sender list, our emails are likely to end up in your spam or junk folders.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

Have a sudden change of plans and are unable to attend live? No worries, you will be given access to the on-demand version of the program once available.

Event Conduct

Event Conduct

Please conduct yourself in a professional manner throughout the event. Our goal is to make this as interactive an experience as possible for all who attend. We reserve the right to remove any participants who are disruptive or who act unprofessionally.

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

Expert Instructors

Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

CE Credit

Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

Program Partner

Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates (MDLPA)

We are proud to partner with Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates, LLC for this training. MDLPA is a boutique educational training company that offers specialized mental disability law consulting, the creation or enhancement of distance learning programs, in-house or online courses, and day or weekend training seminars to reputable organizations, educational institutions, professional groups, and advocacy groups focused on providing advanced knowledge and skills to persons working with marginalized populations.

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