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Original Program: You Have Got to Be Crazy to Do This: Working with Mental Health Professionals and Disordered Clients (2018 Family Law Fall CLE), November 30, 2018

Available format

Let’s face it…family lawyers do not see people at their best.

However, some cases are outside even our range of what is “normal.” For instance, there is the client who is suspicious of everybody, including her own lawyer. Or the client who is impulsive and believes that everything is an emergency. Lastly, the client who sticks his head in the sand and is unwilling to admit that his spouse is having an affair, despite ALL evidence to the contrary.

Sometimes we need a professional to help these clients and to help us. Mental health professionals can be an invaluable resource in family law cases, particularly those where one or both parties have a genuine mental health issue. We need to know how to utilize mental health professionals, both in and out of court.

Planned by the NCBA Family Law Section

Click on the "In Depth" tab for session and speaker information.

TUITION RATE. Membership discounts automatically apply at checkout.  

Standard: $395
NCBA Member: $330
NCBA Family Law Section Member: $305
CLE Premier Pass: $0

Discounts are available for NCBA members who are law professors, judges, or legal services/public interest attorneys. Call CLE at 800.228.3402 for details.

Product Information
Product Date:
November 30, 2018
Chapter 1 | Personality Disordered Clients and How to Deal with Them: Managing High-Conflict People | 60 minutes

This session addresses high-conflict divorces in which one or both parents have personality disorders.

It discusses characteristics of a personality disorder and the special challenges that these people present for the mental health and legal professionals who deal with them.

Topics covered include:

  • Mental health disorders vs personality disorders
  • Types of personality disorders
  • Characteristics of personality disorders
  • Challenges for mental health professionals
  • Support for clients with personality disorder

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Speaker Information
Kari F Lenox, PhD  [ view bio ]
Carolyn Pender Roche, PhD, NCSP   [ view bio ]
Chapter 2 | Personality Testing and Interpretation in Family Law | 60 minutes

This session covers the strengths and limitations of psychological testing in family law matters.

Session topics include:

  • Alleged commonly used tests and measure for children 
  • Alleged commonly used tests and measures for adults
  • Alleged parenting instruments
  • Case examples

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Speaker Information
H D Kirkpatrick, PhD   [ view bio ]
Chapter 3 | Using a Mental Health Professional in Your Family Law Case | 55 minutes

In this session, learn the value of obtaining a psychiatric evaluation of your client, especially in complex and high-conflict custody cases.

Also, hear how and why the input of a psychiatrist can help shape recommendations for the custody arrangements to conform to "the best interest of the child."

Finally, find out why it is important for attorneys to be mindful of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) as they work with their clients and especially around the issue of custody.

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Speaker Information
Dr Jean G Spaulding  [ view bio ]
Chapter 4 | Direct Examination and Cross-Examination of an Expert Psychologist in a Family Law: Demonstration and Trial Skills | 122 minutes

This session goes through a direct examination and cross-examination of an expert psychologist.

In addition to the direct and cross examination, objections are made with rulings on said objections.

Some topics illustrated in this session include:

  • How expert witnesses are different from lay witnesses
  • Trial court’s current "gatekeeper" role
  • How to qualify your expert witness
  • Reliability of expert testimony
  • Basis for expert opinions

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Speaker Information
Judge Michael J Denning   [ view bio ]
J Gregory 'Greg' Hatcher  [ view bio ]
Jill S Jackson  [ view bio ]
Kari F Lenox, PhD  [ view bio ]
Arlene M Zipp   [ view bio ]
Chapter 5 | The Price We Pay as Professional Problem Solvers: Compassion Fatigue | 63 minutes

Compassion fatigue has been widely studied in social workers and first responders to crisis situations.

New ground-breaking research has revealed the impact of this condition on those working in the legal profession. Given that compassion fatigue is akin to burnout, this topic resonates deeply for lawyers from all practice areas.

This session focuses on the condition itself, the brain science behind it, why and how lawyers may find themselves vulnerable to it, and how to mitigate it.

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Speaker Information
Roger W Rizk  [ view bio ]
Individual topic purchase: Selected
NC State Bar
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and Certified Paralegal Education (CPE) (Total): 6.00
Family Law Specialization : 6.00
General: 5.00
Substance Abuse/Mental Health (SA/MH): 1.00
CLE Premier Pass
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NCBA Price:$0.00