Evaluating for Capacity

Monday, September 30 2019, one-day program

Caplin Auditorium, School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA

Forensic Training Series

Eric Drogin JD, PhD, ABPP, on faculty of the  Harvard Medical School (Forensic Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess (BIDMC) Medical Center) and Amber Vernon PsyD, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, will present a one-day program on evaluation of capacity. The program will provide a broad overview of decision-making capacity with in-depth discussion focused on applications related to assessment in civil, forensic and community-based mental health settings. This workshop will enable participants to understand, obtain, and conduct evaluations of a range of civil competencies, including those relevant to guardianship, conservatorship, testamentary and testimonial capacity, and consent to treatment.The morning session will cover civil and forensic case processes with a focus on assessing substituted judgment in the past, present and future. In the afternoon, attention will be paid to determining capacity in community-based settings to include those related to consent for treatment, substituted decision-makers, emergency treatment and specialty populations. Throughout the day, practice considerations will be addressed and sample work products will be critiqued. Mental health professionals and administrators, ethics and legal professionals, policy makers, and others may be interested in this program 

Eric Y. Drogin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, a Diplomate and former President of the American Board of Forensic Psychology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Drogin currently holds faculty appointments with the Harvard Medical School (on the staff of the Forensic Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and the BIDMC Harvard Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and is a member of the Program in Psychiatry & the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Additional positions have included Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Professional Practice and Standards, Chair of the APA’s Committee on Legal Issues, Chair of the APA’s Joint Task Force with the American Bar Association, and President of the New Hampshire Psychological Association.  Dr. Drogin is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  He currently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA’s Committee on Behavioral & Neuroscience Law, and as the ABA Co-Chair of the National Conference of Lawyers & Scientists.  Additional positions have included Chair of the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law, Chair of the ABA’s Committee on the Rights & Responsibilities of Scientists, and Commissioner of the ABA’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.  Dr. Drogin teaches on the adjunct faculty of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, participates as an Instructor in the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop, and lectures regularly for the Aberystwyth Law School, Prifysgol Aberystwyth (formerly University of Wales) as an Honorary Professor of Law.  Dr. Drogin has authored or co-authored over 250 legal and scientific publications to date, including the books Evaluation for Guardianship (2010), Handbook of Forensic Assessment (2011), The Mental Health Professional in Court (2013), Mirandized Statements (2014), Conducting Miranda Evaluations (2019), and Ethical Conflicts in Psychology (2019). 

Amber Vernon is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves children and adults through Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (Richmond’s Community Service Board). Dr. Vernon is committed to using her professional skills to meet the needs of underserved and specialty populations. She previously worked at Powhatan Correctional Center through the Virginia Department of Corrections after completing her predoctoral internship through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Dr. Vernon was selected as a member of the Quest Class of 2018; Leadership Metro Richmond’s flagship program for developing community leaders. She also recently completed the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services’ SystemLEAD program; a nine-month leadership development program. Through SystemLEAD, her capstone project focused on applying concepts of behavioral health equity to improve access for all within the Community Service Board system. Dr. Vernon holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Pacific University as well as a master’s degree in Women’s Studies through The George Washington University. She approaches her professional and community-based service with the motto: “Love well, serve intentionally”.

Date: Monday September 30 2019 one-day program

Time: 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Lunch on your own.

Location: Caplin Auditorium, in Withers-Brown Hall, of the School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA, with address at 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738.  Note: Caplin AUDITORIUM is different from Caplin PAVILION but have that same name. 

Caplin Auditorium is in the lower level of Withers-Brown.  The location among buildings of the School of Law may be seen on this graphic map -  Graphic Map of UVA School of Law Grounds [ https://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/map_school.pdf ]  - and on this graphic map of the various areas of the University including our location on   - Find North Grounds on this map  [ https://static.lib.virginia.edu/images/map.pdf ]  

The School of Law maintains a Law School's page of directions [  http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/insider/oriented_cville.htm ]

Arrangements have been made with the School of Law and the UVA Department of Parking and Transportation to allow participants parking free of charge in the 'D-2' and 'D-3' parking lots.   You might locate these on the  PandT map of parking   [ https://parking.virginia.edu/system/files/ParkingMap.pdf ]

Faculty for this program: Eric Drogin JD, PhD, ABPP, and Amber Vernon PsyD. Please see brief bios above.  

Educational objectives

 At the conclusion of the program participants will be able to

Identify the historical basis for modern competency assessments

Incorporate legal standards in identifying civil competency thresholds

Distinguish between modes of assessing past, present, and future substituted judgement

Conduct assessments of testimonial capacity in civil contexts

Identify the various domains addressed in guardianship evaluations

Apply relevant content in a community-based mental health setting to include consent to treatment and implementation of substitute decision-makers

Make necessary adjustments for specialty populations and emergency treatment

Emulate best practices for effective data interpretation, report writing, and clinical documentation


The following speaker(s) with this program have no personal or professional financial relationships with a commercial entity producing healthcare goods and/or services: (in alphabetical order) :

Eric Drogin JD, PhD, ABPP, Amber Vernon PsyD

The planning committee have no personal or professional financial relationships with a commercial entity producing healthcare goods and/or services (in alphabetical order): Daniel Murrie PhD, Angela Torres PhD, Benjamin Skowysz LCSW, Janet Warren DSW

Continuing education

Participants will receive a general certification of attendance.  Award of accredited hours of continuing education requires documentation and may require payment. 

Please see detailed information below.  Please send questions to email els2e@virginia.edu  Thank you. 

Accreditation and Designation Statements:

For physicians and others

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. The University of Virginia School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Virginia School of Medicine and/or The University of Virginia School of Nursing Continuing Education, as accredited provider(s),  awards  6 hours of participation (consistent with the  designated number of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM  or ANCC contact hours) to participants who successfully completes this educational activity. The University of Virginia School of Medicine and/or The University of Virginia School of Nursing Continuing Education maintains a record of participation for six (6) years.

The program is jointly provided by the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

The cost is $18 for each hour of credits claimed out of the 6 total available.  An award for partial attendance may be allowed. 

For psychologists and others

The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This is an introductory level program.

The cost is $10 per hour ($10 x 6 hours=$60).  Accreditation rules do not allow award for partial attendance.  This fee is waived for those registering at the 'Other' registration rate.

For sworn officers and others

ILPPP will seek accreditation of Partial In-Service Credit through Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. 

There will be no additional cost for these credits if awarded.

For attorneys

The course has been approved for 5.5 credit hours including (0.0) credit hours for Ethics by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board (Virginia State Bar).  The credits are approved to be claimed through October 31 2019.   Please request the proper form and course ID to claim the credits. 

There will be no additional cost for these credits. 

For Guardians Ad Litem

The course has been approved for 5.5 credit hours by the Supreme Court of Virginia, Office of the Executive Secretary.   Please request the proper form and course ID to claim the credits. 

There will be no additional cost for these credits. 

How to register for the program

Application for registration is made through your individual user profile created with the ILPPP website. Please create your profile, or get automated help to find your profile if you have forgotten your profile name or password: http://ilppp.virginia.edu/OREM/Registrant/SignIn
After you apply for registration you will receive an automated email confirming that ILPPP has received your application. Acceptance into a program is not automatic because capacity limitations and public mental health system needs are considered. After ILPPP formally accepts a registrant  into the program they will receive a second automated email that confirms registration and includes invoice information and online payment instructions.
Before the program ILPPP will send further information to assist participant's planning. Questions about registration may go to els2e@virginia.edu 
Registration & Cancellation Fees and Refund Policy


Employees of VA DBHDS facilities and CSBs - $90

Others - $225

Cancellation fee - $25.00.

A full registration fee refund will be processed only if the registrant has submitted the cancellation notice to ILPPP no later than 7 days prior to the first day of the program. If registration is cancelled 6 days or less days prior there is a $25 cancellation service charge which will be deducted from the program’s registration fee. The remainder of the registration fee will be processed within 10 days following the end of the training program. Please allow 30 days following the end of the training program to receive the refund. Refunds will be processed according to the method of original payment (check, credit card or EDI-transfer).