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FACULTY (subject to change)
Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., a Senior Clinical Faculty Member at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA)
Dr. Bursztajn has authored more than 80 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, five books and more than 30 book chapters. Dr. Bursztajn has been recognized with awards by Harvard Medical School for his outstanding research and mentorship and nationally for his clinical excellence as being among the Best Doctors in America. His career long bioethical interests in access to health care and justice for the mentally ill and other disadvantaged populations are reflected in his public service as the President of the American Unit of the UNESCO Bioethics Chair. Dr. Bursztajn’s special interests as a forensic psychiatrist have included his being court qualified in state and federal courts as an expert in examining competency, insanity, forced medication, diagnosis, and impairments that impair and influence mens rea. He is regularly consulted by the media ranging from ABC-TV to the Washington Post regarding tragedies that raise mental health concerns.
Prof. Steven Drizin, J.D., Legal Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and Associate Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic and Northwestern Law (Chicago, IL)
Steve Drizin has been on the Northwestern Law faculty since 1991. Mr. Drizin studies cases all over the country involving false confessions and works to support national efforts to modify interrogation procedures to avoid wrongful convictions. He has published numerous books and articles regarding this subject matter, including “True Stories of False Confessions” (with Rob Warden) and “Police Interrogation of Youth" in "The Mental Health Needs of Young
Dr. Michael First, M.D., Prof. of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, a Research Psychiatrist at the Biometrics Department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (New York, NY)
Dr. First is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on psychiatric diagnosis and assessment issues and conducts expert forensic psychiatric evaluations in both criminal and civil matters. Dr. First is also a Reviewer Consultant and Editorial Consultant to the DSM-5 Task Force, the Chief Technical and Editorial Consultant on the World Health Organization’ s ICD-11 revision project, and is an External Consultant to the NIHM Research Domain Criteria project. He was co-principal investigator on the “Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis” conferences that developed research agendas for the upcoming DSM-V and ICD-11 revisions, and director of the DSM-V Prelude Project. He was Editor of the DSM-IV-TR and the Editor of Text and Criteria for DSM-IV, the DSM-IV Primary Care Version, and the APA’s Handbook on Psychiatric Measures. He is also on the Steering Committee of the International Classification of Headache and the International Classification of Pain. Dr. First has co-authored and co-edited a number of books, including A Research Agenda for DSM-V, Advancing DSM: Dilemmas in Psychiatric Diagnosis, Clinical Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders, , DSM-IV-TR Guidebook, the DSM-IV-TR Handbook for Differential Diagnosis, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), DSM-IV-TR Casebook, Treatment Companion to the DSM-IV-TR Casebook, the two volume textbook Psychiatry, Third Edition published by Wiley-Blackwell, and various software packages. He has trained thousands of clinicians and researchers in diagnostic assessment and differential diagnosis.
Thomas Grisso, Ph.D., Prof. of Psychiatry, Director of Psychology, and Director of the Law-Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, MA)
Dr. Tom Grisso is the grandfather of forensic evaluations involving competency. He created the screening tools used to assist the legal system and has focused his career on improving them. Dr. Grisso has also performed research on adolescent offenders with mental disorders as well as examined police induced confessions. His recent books on juvenile issues have included "Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles" (1998), "Youth on Trial" (2000), "Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders" (2004), "Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice" (2005), and "Evaluating Juveniles’ Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice" (2005). Dr. Grisso’s contributions have been recognized by awards from the American Psychological Association (1994, Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy), the American Psychiatric Association (2005, Isaac Ray Award), the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2006, honorary fellow), the American Psychology-Law Society (2012, Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and Law), and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (1998).
Brockton D. Hunter, J.D. (Minneapolis, MN)
Brockton Hunter is a criminal defense attorney who has served as the President and Legislative Chair for the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL). Brock is also a former U.S. Army Recon Scout who focuses his practice on defending psychologically injured veterans in the criminal courts and advocating for reforms in the way the justice system deals with them. Brock helped draft and lead passage of Minnesota’s Veterans Sentencing Mitigation Act, Minn. Stat. 609.115, subd. 10., which was subsequently cited in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Porter v. McCollum, 130 S. Ct. 447, at 455, n.9 (2009), the Court’s first to address combat trauma in criminal sentencing. Brock has since helped pass similar veteran sentencing legislation in other states, has been called on to brief the Obama Presidential Transition Team, and has spoken to leadership of the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs on more effective ways to address troubled veterans who commit crimes. Brock has also trained thousands of attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals across the country on these same issues. Brock is the lead editor and co-author of the forthcoming book, The Attorney's Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court.
Michele LaVigne, J.D. (Madison, WI)
Michele LaVigne, J.D., Clinical Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School Before joining the clinical faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Michele LaVigne Michele practiced as a State Public Defender in Madison, Wisconsin. She now teaches criminal law, professional responsibility, and trial advocacy, and directs a public defender internship program. She is a long time faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy. Her research and advocacy interests concern language deficits among our clients and the impact of those deficits on
behavior, communication, and due process.
Robert Perske (Darien, CT)
Bob Perske is a high profile and well regarded advocate who has assisted numerous individuals with disabilities get pardoned, exonerated, and get life in prison who were on death row. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and went ashore as a member of the crew that went to help the citizens of Manila in the deadly Manila massacre. As a result of this experience Mr. Perske became a chaplain at Kansas Neurological Institute, an institution for children with intellectual disabilities. He was also the past president of the Arc of Connecticut. Mr. Perske then joined volunteer organizations fighting to get persons with disabilities out of institutions and back into their homes. He slowly became a street-court-and-prison worker with the law. For the last 20 years, he has traveled the country serving as a self-styled citizen advocate who befriended disabled clients and their lawyers and worked at being a trusted team member in these judicial frays. He has authored many books including “Unequal Justice” and “Deadly Innocence”, both focusing on coerced confessions by people with disabilities. On March 15, 2013, workers from the W.E.B. Du Bois Archives (UMass Amherst) carried away 13 file boxes of Perske’s early writings, books and articles pertaining to social injustice regarding persons with disabilities. This information will be made available to the public. Mr. Perske also is a stern advocate and has testified to the legislature seeking mandatory recording of interrogations.
John Philipsborn, J.D. (San Francisco, CA)
John T. Philipsborn has been a criminal defense lawyer for 35 years, during which he has defended more than 30 persons facing the possibility of the death penalty and many other persons accused of homicide. Mr. Philipsborn has also been involved in the litigation of many cases involving complex mental health issues, and has also served as an expert on mental health and effective lawyering issues in trial and post conviction level litigations in state and federal courts. He has published more than 80 articles and book chapters, many of them focused on forensic mental health issues. He is a regular lecturer on mental health issues to audiences of lawyers and mental health professionals. Mr. Philipsborn has been the amicus curiae chair of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice for more than 20 years and his work figures in more than 90 published cases. He also is the author of the recently published article in The Champion: “When the Fine Print Matters: Materials that Help Lawyers Effectively Prepare and Examine Mental Health Experts”.
Patricia A. Zapf, Ph.D., Prof. in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York (New York, NY)
Dr. Zapf has published eight books and manuals and over 85 articles and chapters, mainly on the assessment and conceptualization of criminal competencies. She was appointed a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and named a Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society for outstanding contributions to the field of law and psychology and for her work in competency evaluation. In addition to her research, she serves as consultant to various criminal justice and policy organizations and has a private practice in forensic assessment. She has conducted over 2,500 forensic evaluations in both the United States and Canada and has served as an expert witness in a number of cases, including the competency hearing of Jose Padilla. Dr. Zapf is the author of Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment: Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial; editor of Forensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers; and Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology. She served on the National Judicial College’s Mental Competency—Best Practices Model panel of experts and travels throughout the United States and internationally to train legal and mental health professionals on best practices in forensic evaluation.