CONCEPT Professional Training  Presents:

Fall Training 2015

October 4 thru December 12, 2015 | 30 CE's | $1000
(NY CLEs pending)

Please join our Fall Training Session on Mental Disability Law and Criminal Law presented by Professors Michael Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo. We limit the number of participants in each Fall Training session to ensure that you have the opportunity to engage in meaningful interaction and discussion with the instructors. This 30-hour training program includes weekly 1.5-hr live webinars with the instructors and supplemental readings from Professor Perlin's casebook over the course of 10 weeks, beginning October 4th, 2015.

Participants should expect to devote approximately 3 hours each week to this training program.

  • Weekly live webinars and discussions (Monday evening; recorded for those who can't attend live)
  • 10 Weeks | 1.5 hr live webinar each week + weekly readings 
  • Mental Disability Law and Criminal Law
  • Currently pending CLE approval in NY state
  • 30 hours | 30 CEs (NY CLEs pending)

Mental Disability Law and Criminal Law

This course explores in depth the relationship between mental disability and the criminal trial process. Topics include all aspects of the criminal incompetency status (including trial, plea, counsel waiver and other pre-trial, trial and post-trial stages); the insanity defense; institutionalization and release policies that govern the cases of persons found permanently incompetent to stand trial and those found not guilty by reason of insanity; the right of forensic patients to refuse antipsychotic medications; the role of mental disability evidence in other aspects of criminal trial and pre-trial proceedings (including confessions and privilege against self-incrimination matters); sentencing, the death penalty (including issues involving mitigation, predictions of future dangerousness, executability of persons with mental retardation, and competency to be executed); and the effectiveness of counsel in cases involving defendants with mental disabilities.  Weekly webinars will include a simulated trial of a case involving a criminal defendant with a mental disability.

  • Each week includes approximately 1.5 hours of online training (live webinars and case discussion) and approximately 1.5 hours of readings from Professor Perlin's casebook

About the Presenters

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 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: WHEN THE SILENCED ARE HEARD (Oxford University Press, 2011), MENTAL DISABILITY AND THE DEATH PENALTY: THE SHAME OF THE STATES (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), and A PRESCRIPTION FOR DIGNITY: RETHINKING CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW (Ashgate, 2013). His five-volume treatise, MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (2d ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, 1998-2002), is universally seen as the standard text in the area; the seven-volume third edition of that work (co-authored with Prof. Heather Ellis Cucolo) will be forthcoming in 2016. 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. Another book, SEXUALITY, DISABILITY AND THE LAW: BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER? (co-authored with Alison Lynch, Esq.) will be published in 2016 (Palgrave Macmillan)

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 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). He 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. He 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. Last year, he was elected to be co-chair of the Disability Rights Interest Group of the American

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 foster international distance learning. Professor Cucolo currently teaches the Americans with Disabilities Act, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Mental Disability Law and Sex Offenders to both law students, clinicians and other professionals.

Cucolo has spoke at the United Nations, advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in the Asia Pacific region and has advised international attorneys on the benefits and implications of the ADA.  Cucolo has published and lectured  –both domestically and internationally — in the areas of mental disability law, criminal law and sex offender law. Her most recent collaboration involved expanding Michael L. Perlin's five-volume MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (2d ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, 1998-2002) into a seven-volume third edition (forthcoming 2016). As part of her ongoing advocacy as an attorney, she has represented individuals facing civil commitment under both The New Jersey Mental Hygiene Law and the New Jersey’s Sexually Violent Predators Act. During her full-time position with the New Jersey Public Defender's office (05-10),Cucolo handled over 300 cases at trial and argued numerous appeals in the New Jersey appellate court - many of which have been published. Cucolo has been recognized as one of the premiere experts in sexual violent predator law and has counseled attorneys, judges and clinicians on law and procedure in civil commitment proceedings and issues involving persons suffering from a mental disability or illness within the criminal justice system.


 Mental Disability Law and Criminal Law

10 Weeks
October 4 - December 12, 2015

Mental Disability Law and Criminal Law

Presented by: Professors Michael Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo

  • How experts and attorneys interact at all stages of the criminal prosecution (pre-
    trial, at trial and post-trial). Instruction will cover:  All aspects of the criminal incompetency status including: competency to stand trial, competency to waive counsel, competency to plead guilty, and “other” competencies (pre-trial, at trial and post-trial)
  • All issues related to the refusal of medication in cases involving forensic patients, including those currently incompetence to stand trial, those pleading the insanity defence, and those who have been convicted
  • The insanity defense
  • All issues related to the role of mental disability evidence at trial (including confessions and privilege against self-incrimination)
  • The interaction between experts and attorneys during sentencing and the significance of mental disbaility in Federal Sentencing Guidelines cases
  • The full spectrum of issues in death penalty cases involving persons with mental disabilities (including those with mental illness and those with intellectual disabilities), on questions of mitigation, eligibility for the death penalty, and competency to be executed

30 Hours | 30 CE Credits | $1,000

10-Week Training Course on Mental Disability and Criminal Law

Learn  from the Top Experts


Weekly Curriculum

1. Criminal competency: Substantive, procedural and Dispositional

2. Criminal competency: Competency to waive counsel, competency to plead guilty and other incompetencies

3. Insanity defense: Procedural, dispositional, myths and politics

4. Insanity defense: Substantive

5. Refusal of medication while in custody (incompetent to stand trial), and during trial (insanity defense pleas)

6. Trial process issues (including confessions and self-incrimination issues)

7. Issues at the sentencing stage and upon conviction (including the refusal of medication after conviction)

8. Death penalty in cases of mentally ill and intellectually disabled death row inmates:  Mitigation testimony

9. Death penalty in cases of mentally ill and intellectually disabled death row inmates:  Eligibility for execution, and Competency to be executed, focusing on medication issues

10. Adequacy of counsel

30 CE Credit Hours

CONCEPT is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CONCEPT maintains responsibility for its programs and their content. This
course is currently pending CLE approval in NY state.

Intended Audience

Clinicians  and forensic mental health professionals whose interests and focus are on expert evaluation and testimony in criminal cases involving defendants who are suffering from a mental illness or disability; mental health providers working with the legal and forensic systems; criminal justice professionals and criminologists; public defenders, assistant district attorneys and others who regularly are involved in such cases; staff of mental health and other problem-solving courts.