Legal Issues in Clinical Practice with Victims of Violence  book cover
1st Edition

Legal Issues in Clinical Practice with Victims of Violence

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ISBN 9781462528592
Published December 21, 2016 by Guilford Press
300 Pages

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Book Description

From a leading expert on interpersonal violence, this book explains what mental health clinicians need to know about the legal system and their role in it, particularly when working with victims of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. John E. B. Myers provides an accessible overview of the criminal and civil justice systems, focusing on laws, cases, and procedures that are relevant to clinical practice. Numerous illustrative examples and legal cases are included. The book examines how interpersonal violence is proven in court and offers practical guidance for responding to subpoenas, interacting with legal personnel, testifying as an expert witness or fact witness, and managing liability and malpractice risks.

Table of Contents

I. The Basics
1. The American Legal System
II. The Criminal Justice System
2. Crimes and Defenses
3. Criminal Investigation and Trial
4. Hearsay
III. The Civil Justice System
5. Family Law
6. Child Protective Services and Juvenile Court
7. Voluntary and Involuntary Mental Health Treatment
IV. Clinicians and Courts
8. Testifying in Court
9. Expert Testimony
10. Confidentiality and Privilege
11. Malpractice and Ethical Violations
V. Proving Interpersonal Violence in Court
12. Proof in Court
13. Concluding Thoughts

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John E. B. Myers, JD, is Professor of Law in the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento, California. An authority on legal and historical aspects of child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual assault, elder abuse, and mental health, he has published 14 books and over 140 articles and chapters related to mental health and interpersonal violence and has given more than 400 presentations across the United States and internationally. His writing has been cited by more than 190 courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.


"Clinical professionals frequently find the law mysterious; they may not understand why the law works as it does, how it applies to their activities, and the resultant impact on victims of violence. This book is a 'must read' for understanding legal processes and their underlying principles, with special consideration for applications to victims. Using moving examples that bring legal issues to life, Myers illustrates the 'why' and the 'how' of the law."--Lucy Berliner, MSW, Director, Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress, University of Washington

"Whenever I consult Myers's books for attorneys on child abuse cases, I think, 'There really needs to be a book like this for clinical practitioners.' This is the volume I've been waiting for. Myers is remarkably knowledgeable about the law, clinical practice, and how these intersect--especially for mental health providers. The book provides an excellent review of the important elements of court systems about which every clinician should know, followed by clear and detailed information specifically focused on helping practitioners in different court settings. This is a book you need to have on your shelf to reference the next time you encounter any legal issue."--Anthony J. Urquiza, PhD, Director, CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center, UC Davis Children's Hospital

"The preeminent legal authority on violence and victimization issues has written a comprehensive, accessible book for mental health and medical professionals. Known for his clear thinking and compassion, Myers avoids legalistic jargon and includes compelling case studies in his discussion of the principles, laws, and standards of the American legal system, both civil and criminal. Especially useful is his guidance on child protection, juvenile justice, involuntary treatment, expert and general testimony, confidentiality, legal privilege, and malpractice issues. This is the single best legal reference and review available for clinicians. Buy it, read it, and keep it close by."--John Briere, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California

"When it comes to the laws surrounding the tragedy of interpersonal violence, John E. B. Myers is the authority. This is a wonderful resource for professionals who work with victims in clinical settings. The book covers key legal issues across a broad range of cases and situations, including child maltreatment, child forensic interviews, contested custody, juvenile delinquency, risk assessments, and civil commitment. Myers also teaches readers about the laws of confidentiality, malpractice, and expert testimony. This book is well suited for use in graduate or undergraduate courses in psychology, social work, medicine, and other disciplines, where both instructors and students will appreciate the clarity of organization and the case examples that--as Myers himself says--bring law to life."--Bette L. Bottoms, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Honors College, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Will quickly become a standard reference for clinicians seeking to understand the complex legal issues important to their daily work with victims of violence and abuse. There is no more complete, succinct, and elegantly written resource on the topic. Myers understands the demands on clinicians and writes in a manner that demystifies legal concepts and jargon. Both seasoned and new professionals will undoubtedly find this book their most valuable practical guide to the legal knowledge that should inform clinical practice."--Martin A. Finkel, DO, FAAP, Medical Director, Child Abuse Research Education Services (CARES) Institute, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

"A user-friendly guide to American law for family violence treatment providers is long overdue. Myers empowers the reader to understand the legal system, evaluate the reasonableness of legal advice, and serve as an effective witness in court. This book will provide welcome relief and support for practitioners."--Donald C. Bross, PhD, JD, Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Colorado School of Medicine

"Myers has written a comprehensive guide for non-lawyers who need to understand the legal system because their work requires them to participate in it. He illustrates the chapters with engaging, informative case examples and offers clear explanations of legal processes and terminology. Clinicians involved in the myriad legal proceedings surrounding child maltreatment and other forms of family violence will benefit from reading and referring back to this volume. As a child forensic psychiatrist focusing on child sexual abuse and other forms of childhood trauma for more than 30 years, I recommend it highly."--David L. Corwin, MD, Professor and Director of Forensic Services, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine