Assessing Civil Capacities (Zoom) | October 2nd, 2020

Assessing Civil Capacities (Zoom) | October 2nd, 2020


Dr. Randy Otto

October 2nd, 2020

8:30am – 3:00pm, Pacific

6 Hours | 6 CEs

SKU: 191209 Category:

Program Description

This live workshop on Assessing Civil Capacities is presented by Dr. Randy Otto.

The focus of this 6-hour program is on assessment of civil capacities, which can be more challenging than assessment of criminal competencies, which are typically better defined and operationalized. The program begins with a discussion of assessment principles that apply to all civil capacity evaluations, regardless of their specific focus. Next, characteristics of good and bad civil capacity evaluations and the reports that summarize them are reviewed, using documents extracted from actual cases (i.e., report excerpts, test data, affidavits). Then, for a number of specific rights/capacities, the legal definition/operationalization is offered, followed by a discussion of appropriate assessment strategies. In addition to consideration of specific competencies including the capacity to testify, write a will (testamentary capacity), manage finances, and make health care decisions, related matters are discussed including undue influence and conducting guardianship/conservatorship evaluations.

Intended Audience

This intermediate workshop is aimed at mental health professionals who have some experience conducting forensic psychological or psychiatric evaluations who wish to expand their activities into matters of assessing civil capacity. This training program is for intermediate level clinicians.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Describe why civil capacities are typically less well-defined than criminal competencies and the extra efforts examiners should make when assessing civil capacities in response
  • Describe predicate impairment(s) that should be present if any opinion of impaired capacity is going to be offered
  • Describe key components of good civil capacity evaluations and the reports that summarize them
  • Describe errors that examiners are likely to make when conducting civil capacity evaluations and writing reports summarizing them
  • Describe the law defining the capacities to testify, execute a will, manage finances, and make health care decisions, and identify and employ resulting strategies for valid assessment of these psycholegal constructs
  • Describe rights that are often at issue in the context of guardianship/conservatorship proceedings and identify strategies for valid assessment of these rights
  • Describe “undue influence” as it applies to matters of legal decision making, and identify indicators of it

About Dr. Randy Otto

Dr. Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP has been a faculty member at the University of South Florida since 1989 and, in addition to his university responsibilities, has a practice that is limited for forensic psychological assessment. Dr. Otto is licensed to practice psychology in Florida and Hawaii, and is board certified in clinical psychology and forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Otto has co-authored and co-edited a number of books devoted to forensic psychological assessment including Psychological Evaluations for the Courts: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals and Lawyers (2018), Ethics in Forensic Psychology Practice (2017), and Forensic Reports and Testimony: A Guide to Effective Communication for Psychologists and Psychiatrists (2014).

Dr. Otto has served as president of the American Psychology-Law Society, the American Board of Forensic Psychology, and the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has received awards for his contributions to forensic psychology from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and the New York State Psychological Association. He chaired the APA committee that revised the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, which were published in 2013, and he also was a member of the American Bar Association committee that revised that organization’s Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards.

Course Outline

  • Assessment principles
  • Civil capacity evaluations
  • Appropriate assessment strategies

This is a live workshop and is available for live CE credit.

Our goal is to make this as interactive an experience as possible for those who attend virtually by zoom. Please expect to share your webcam and unmute yourself to ask questions and make comments, just as you would if you were to attend in person. There will be someone in each workshop room who is monitoring zoom attendees and who will alert the presenter to questions or comments from virtual attendees.

Please alert the room monitor to your question or comment by typing a “?” In the chatbox and then wait to be called on. You will then be able to unmute your microphone and ask your question or make your comment. If you do not have a microphone, please type your question or comment in the chatbox and the room monitor will read it aloud to the presenter. Whenever possible, we prefer that you share your webcam when asking a question so the presenter and in-person attendees can see you, making for a nicer experience for all 🙂

Please note that the times for this workshop are listed in the Pacific time zone. Please make the necessary time zone adjustments when adding this workshop to your calendar.

Check time zones here

Continuing Education Credit

This is a Live Workshop. To earn CE’s, you will be required to attend the workshop in its entirety and complete the evaluation for this workshop. No partial credit is available. Participants will earn 6 CE hours for this workshop upon full attendance and completion of the workshop evaluation. Certificates will be sent electronically as PDFs available for download and printing.

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

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