The primary mandate of the Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) is to provide trial and appellate representation to indigent persons against whom are filed petitions seeking commitment to public or private psychiatric facilities or seeking surrogate decision-making authority (e.g., guardianship or authorization to administer or terminate "extraordinary" treatment modalities). In commitment proceedings, representation is provided either by MHLD staff attorneys or by private attorneys certified by MHLD to accept such assignments. In guardianship proceedings, virtually all representation is provided by MHLD-certified private attorneys. See Certification Requirements.
The Mental Health Litigation Division also trains, and is available to assist, criminal defense attorneys in respect to mental health issues that arise in the criminal justice context (e.g., competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility).
Your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve the representation afforded our clients (or the Mental Health Litigation Division "subsite") are always welcome. [To find your way around this subsite, use the links on the navigation bar at the top of each page.]