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Debra Blum Mental Health Advocacy Training

  • 14 Sep 2018
  • 15 Sep 2018
  • GSU College of Law, Atlanta, GA
  • 84


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:



September 14 & 15, 2018


In-person at Georgia State University’s College of Law in Atlanta, OR via live telecast on your computer.


FREE while seats last (you still must register). You must pay for any CLE that you need. Please choose the CLE option when you register. Then mail a check to GACDL P.O. Box 68 Decatur, GA 30031. We are unable to take online CLE payments for this event. 

Telecast to your computer is available at this program OR you may attend in person. Please choose when you register. Telecast option is not available to walk-ins. 



8:15 AM   Check In


10:00-11:00   The basic concepts: sanism, pretextuality, heuristic reasoning, “ordinary common sense," therapeutic jurisprudence, international human rights  law

11:00-Noon    Adequacy of counsel

Noon-12:30 PM  LUNCH (Grab a boxed lunch and go back in- lunches courtesy of GACDL )  

12:30-1:00  Mental health courts

1:00-2:00 Incompetency to stand trial: substantive and procedural standards

2:00-2:45 Incompetency to plead guilty; incompetency to stand trial

2:45-3:00   COFFEE BREAK

3:00-3:45   Other criminal incompetencies

3:45-4:45   The right to refuse treatment and forensic populations: prisoners,               defendants pleading the insanity defense, defendants currently   incompetent to stand trial



10:00-11:00 AM   The insanity defense: substantive and procedural standards; myths and realities

11:00-Noon   Sexually violent predator acts

Noon-12:30 PM   LUNCH (Grab a boxed lunch and go back in- lunches courtesy of GACDL )  

12:30-1:30   Federal sentencing guidelines

1:30-3:30   The death penalty: future dangerousness, mitigation, competency to be executed, medication issues, neuroimaging, the roles of juries,   prosecutors and judges

3:30   ADJOURN


11 hours of CLE (applied for)- 7 regular and 4 trial practice. Telecast attendees can only receive self-study credits. See the State Bar of Georgia rules for more information.


The world’s leading expert on mental health advocacy, Professor Michael L. Perlin. 

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 Disability Law and Policy Associates. He has written 31 books and nearly 300 articles on all aspects of mental disability law, many of which deal with the overlap between mental disability law and criminal law and procedure.

His most recent books are MENTAL DISABILITY AND THE DEATH PENALTY: THE SHAME OF THE STATES (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), A PRESCRIPTION FOR DIGNITY: RETHINKING CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW (Ashgate, 2013), , SEXUALITY, DISABILITY AND THE LAW: BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) (with Alison J. Lynch, Esq.),  and Shaming the Constitution: The Detrimental Results of Sexual Violent Predator Legislation  (Temple University Press) (2017) (with Prof. Heather Ellis Cucolo). His treatise, MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (3d ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, 2017) (also with Prof. Cucolo), is universally seen as the standard text in the area.An earlier book, THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE INSANITY DEFENSE (Carolina Academic Press, 1995) won the Manfred Guttmacher award of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law as the best book published that year.  The third edition of one of his five casebooks, Mental Disability Law: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2017) (3d ed.) (with Prof. Cucolo and Ms. Lynch) was also published last year.

Before becoming a professor, Perlin was the Deputy Public Defender in charge of the Mercer County Trial Region in New Jersey, and, for eight years, was the director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy in the NJ Department of the Public Advocate. He has represented thousands of persons with mental disabilities in individual and class actions, and he has represented criminal defendants at every level from police court to the US Supreme Court (second-seating Strickland v. Washington, and representing amicus in Ake v. Oklahoma, and Colorado v. Connelly).

Professor Perlin directed the online mental disability law program at New York Law School from 2000 to 2014, and through that program, offered 13 courses to lawyers, mental health professionals, and disability advocates. Through this program, he has also taught mental disability law courses in Japan, Nicaragua, Finland, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Sweden. He has done extensive work in China with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law—Asia office where he has conducted “Training of Trainers” workshops in Xi’an, China to teach experienced death penalty defense lawyers how to train inexperienced lawyers, employing the online distance learning methodologies used in the NYLS online program.

Professor Perlin has also done advocacy work on behalf of persons with disabilities on every continent. In the fall semester of 2012, he served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, teaching and consulting at the Islamic University of Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Four years earlier, also as part of the Fulbright designation, he taught in the Global Law Program at Haifa. He is an honorary life president, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Society of Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

He plays the clarinet in the Lawrence Township (NJ) Community Concert band, and is on the Board pf Directors of the Washington Crossing (NJ) Audubon Society.


No cancellations for this event after August 17th. Substitutions are allowed. Please remember that the GACDL office is closed beginning September 13th at 4:30pm.

11 hours of CLE (applied for)- 7 regular and 4 trial. CLE will only be reported to the bar if you have paid the CLE rate for registration & checked in with GACDL staff at the seminar.

A link to the materials from Dropbox will be emailed to participants prior to the seminar. PLEASE check your spam/junk folder as well as your inbox for the email with the link to the materials.

CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY- The materials & information provided at this conference are confidential & may not be disclosed. The information & materials provided represent the thoughts, opinions, & strategies with regards to previous & ongoing cases, the law, as well as personal beliefs & opinions of the speakers. The information & materials do not necessarily represent the beliefs & opinions of GACDL, its Board of Directors, or its staff. Accordingly, the information & materials provided are protected under the attorney-client privilege & the work-product doctrine. It is critical that participants understand the nature of the information/materials & regard all information as privileged. Participants attending must certify they are involved in the defense of persons accused in criminal cases. Please NO photography, voice recording, or video recording. GACDL reserves the right to ask anyone violating this policy to leave without a refund.

PHOTO RELEASE: I hereby grant permission to the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) to use photographs and/or video of me taken on at the event in publications, news releases, online, and in other communications related to the mission of  GACDL.

Questions? Call 404-248-1777

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