CLE Workshop: Ethical Representation of Clients with Mental Health Issues
This ethics session will address the responsibilities of attorneys when representing clients with mental health issues. Topics will include how to ethically work with clients who do not know or appreciate that they have mental health issues, the ethics of client decision-making when a client is competent to proceed but still impacted by mental health issues, and what, if any, ethical responsibilities exist for attorneys to arrange for clients with mental health issues to receive treatment.
is an Assistant Public Defender in Raleigh, North Carolina where she represents indigent clients charged with felonies at the trial level. Ms. DeAngelus is also a representative for the Wake County Public Defender’s Office on the recently formed Wake County Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partnership, a county-wide multidisciplinary group that is currently working towards better methods to divert people with mental health issues away from the criminal justice system. From 2005 until 2011, she was a Staff Attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation (CDPL) in Durham, North Carolina where she represented indigent death-sentenced inmates in North Carolina. Ms. DeAngelus settled in North Carolina after being selected for a two-year capital trial fellowship with the Fair Trial Initiative in Durham, North Carolina. In 2008, she and Maitri “Mike” Klinkosum received the ACLU of North Carolina Award and the Kellie Crabtree Award from the North Carolina Advocates for Justice for their representation and exoneration of Floyd Brown, an innocent client with mental retardation who was wrongfully charged with capital murder and incarcerated in a State mental hospital for 14 years without trial. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Music in 2000 from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. In 2003, she graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where she was co-Editor-in-Chief of the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review and an International Law Fellow.
Access to Mental Health Treatment
Between 15 to 20 percent of the US prison population lives with some form of mental illness. This panel will address the intense need for services in prisons, access to treatment people with mental illness have in the criminal justice system, as well as opportunities and barriers to accessing treatment, if necessary, once they exit the system.
Paula Sherman, MD, PhD is a Staff Psychiatrist at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women. Following a first career in basic research as a biochemist in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Sherman completed a medical degree at UNC-Chapel Hill followed by a psychiatry residency at UNC Hospital. Since then, she has worked as a staff psychiatrist in the state hospital system, at a 24-hour community mental health crisis facility, and in the state correctional system.
William Ferguson serves as the Guilford Mental Health Court Coordinator in Greensboro, NC. Mental Health Court is designed to help those individuals diagnosed with a mental illness that have found themselves in the criminal justice system. Prior to that, he was the Substance Abuse Specialist for Guilford County Drug Court in Greensboro, NC. Mr. Ferguson serves on the High Point Jail Ministry Board and the re-entry council for Guilford County. He holds a BA in Psychology from Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC and finishing up a masters degree in Adult Education with a concentration in Community Education at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Ann Oshel has a Masters of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Kentucky. She has almost 25 years experience working in community based mental health with high risk children, adults and families. She is currently the Chief Community Relations Officer for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare where she oversees community based initiatives such as System of Care, housing, jail diversion, training and education as well as consumer affairs. Previously Ann was the Durham County System of Care Director and the Chief Operating Officer for Easter Seals UCP-ASAP. She was a Clinical Instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, Jordan Institute for Families and remains an adjunct faculty member. She has authored and co-authored several training curricula including “The Emotional Aspects of Termination of Parental Rights”; “In the Best Interest of the Child: Making Visitation Work” and “Child Development in Families at Risk”. She has presented numerous national and state workshops on post traumatic stress disorder, resiliency and community violence.