Continuing Legal Education

Mental Health Law: Some Basics and All That’s New (CHICAGO)

May 17, 2013
8:50 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
5.75 MCLE hours

ISBA Regional Office
20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900
(map and directions)

As an attorney working in the mental health law arena, you need to stay up to date on the legislative and procedural changes taking place throughout Illinois. Don’t miss this opportunity to examine basic mental health issues and explore the new developments in this field. Mental health lawyers, disability law practitioners, family law attorneys, and those working in the health care industry attending this seminar will better understand:

  • The clinical and legal definitions of “mental illness”;
  • How the proposed changes to the MHDD Confidentiality Act work with the Health Information Exchange and HIPPA;
  • How specific litigation has impacted mental health law in Illinois;
  • The nuances of access to care and access to medication under a modified Medicaid plan and “Obama Care”;
  • The ethical issues that can arise during a mental health law case, including the protection of  mental health records; and
  • Much more!
Please Note: Prior to the program, you will receive a weblink via email allowing you to access the course materials prior to the program. You will also receive a copy of the course materials (for no additional charge) when you arrive at the program, but will need to check the appropriate box on the registration page letting us know if you prefer a flash drive or printed course book.

Program Coordinator/Moderator:
Terrie A. Rymer
, Attorney at Law, Oak Park



028:50 – 9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.  In or Out: Update on Civil Commitment and Forced Treatment
Join us for a discussion that examines the changes in practice, procedure, and proof in light of the 2010 amendments to the commitment standard, and also provides an update on recent commitment and treatment decisions.
Richard Beulow, McHenry County States Attorney, Woodstock
Barbara Goeben, Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, Alton
Andreas M. Liewald, Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, Chicago

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.  View from the Psychiatrist’s Chair: Clinical and Legal Definitions of Mental Illness
This comprehensive overview offers a clinical look at mental illness from the perspective of two psychiatrists. Topics include: how mental illness is identified in the “Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition” (DSM-5) and the relationship of clinical criteria to various statutory definitions.
Dr. Jacqueline Landess, M.D., J.D., Psychiatrist, Chicago
Dr. Alexis Mermigas, M.D., Psychiatrist, Chicago

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.  Shhh! Protecting Mental Health Records: How Much Protection and to What End?
This panel presentation discusses the proposed changes to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) Confidentiality Act that are necessary for alignment with the Health Information Exchange and HIPPA, as well as the ethical and substantive issues that can arise when protecting mental health records.
Mark A. Chudzinski, Illinois Office of Health Information Technology, Chicago
Mark B. Epstein, Epstein & Epstein, Chicago
Joseph T. Monahan, Monahan Law Group, LLC, Chicago

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.  Lunch (provided)

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.  Impact Litigation: Moving Illinois’ Human Services Mountain
Get updates on a number of cases that are making an impact in Illinois, including Illinois’ Olmstead litigation, focusing on the Williams, Colbert, and Ligas consent decrees, as well as MHAI v. DHS, involving state facility closures and community funding. A discussion on the way these cases are changing the way Illinois serves people with disabilities is also included.
Mark J. Heyrman, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago
Barry C. Taylor, Director, Equip for Equality, Chicago
Patricia A. Werner, Access Living, Chicago
Benjamin S. Wolf, Rodger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Chicago

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)

3:00 – 3:45 p.m.  Medicaid, “Obama Care,” and the New Medical Landscape for People with Mental Illness
This segment addresses access to care and access to medication under Medicaid and “Obama Care,” and also discusses how these programs can (or cannot) be used together to provide improved access.
Robert J. Connor, Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago
Cheryl R. Jansen, Equip for Equality, Springfield