MDLPA: Overview - Traumatic Brain Injury and the Law

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

1 Hour | 1 CE

This on-demand professional training program on Overview: Traumatic Brain Injury and the Law is presented by Michael L. Perlin, JD, and Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD in partnership with Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates (MDLPA).

Individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have a great risk of becoming justice-involved. Research has established that persons accused of criminal behavior are at a high risk of having traumatic brain injuries that predate the offense with which they are charged. In such cases, there often is no discussion of diversion opportunities or a need for comprehensive evaluation and treatment. Often, expert witnesses assigned to evaluate such individuals have no experience dealing with this specific population.

Additionally, attorneys assigned to represent this cohort may not have encountered individuals with TBI before and may not be familiar with behavioral manifestations that could be relevant as a defense or as mitigation in individual cases.

A turn to the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence – focusing on dignity, voice, validation, and voluntariness -- best offers lawyers (and judicial officers) an opportunity to remediate the full range of underlying issues that arise in cases involving, variously, quality of counsel, incompetency, insanity, death penalty, jury attitudes, perspectives from the bench, probation, and correctional issues. Why therapeutic must be taken seriously as a means of remediating the current untenable situation is discussed.

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training 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.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe the significance of expert testimony in cases involving defendants with TBI and recognize why adequacy-of-counsel is the crucial “hidden” issue in many cases

Describe ways that TBI influences legal decision-making in the criminal justice process

Describe the relationship between traumatic brain injury and critical stages of the criminal trial process (including the incompetency status and the insanity defense)

Describe how to apply case law that has developed in this area to the key related questions in death penalty litigation (mitigation, future dangerousness, competency to be executed)


Presented By

Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD

Heather Ellis Cucolo is a Distinguished Adjunct professor of law and the facilitator of the joint JD/MA program with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, at New York Law School (NYLS). She is also an adjunct professor in the JM Program at Emory University School of Law, and a Fellowship faculty mem...

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...

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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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