Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2009


This Article explores rules of professional responsibility, theory, and reasoning processes related to advising clients to seek mental health treatment. Furthermore, this Article looks at cultural and financial aspects of treatment, and concludes with recommendations on how a lawyer should counsel her client once she determines that mental health treatment is appropriate. Part I discusses humanitarian reasons that support a lawyer's decision to advise her client to seek mental health treatment. Part II of this Article discusses rules of professional conduct relevant to advising a client to seek mental health treatment. Part III sets out a framework for considering how evaluation and treatment for mental illness might affect the legal matter for which the attorney has been retained. Part IV examines how race, culture and ethnicity affect beliefs about mental illness and treatment, and how the mental health care system treats patients depending on their perceived race, culture, or ethnicity. Part V describes how patients pay for treatment for mental illness, another factor relevant to appropriateness of treatment. Part VI sets forth recommendations for how a lawyer should advise her client to seek mental health treatment, considering her professional role, the impact of treatment on the legal matter, and the effects of race, culture, and ethnicity and affordability of mental health treatment.

Publication Title

Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal





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