Forensic Mental Health (FMH) Specialist
The Contractor will consult with and help administer the Mental Health Practice Group (MHPG), which is a collection of PDS attorneys, social workers, and investigators from multiple divisions who have developed expertise in the litigation of complex mental health litigation throughout all stages of criminal proceedings.
MHPG attorneys apply their specialized training to individual cases in D.C.
Superior Court, conducting internal and external training, and identifying and
developing impact litigation in areas involving the intersection of mental health and criminal law. Accordingly, the Contractor shall provide the following
services/perform the following tasks:
• Receive referrals to consult with attorneys in cases involving mental health
• Assist in developing and conducting training
• Conduct research and develop a database containing relevant information
about clinical and forensic psychiatry, psychology, and related sciences
(including leading experts in those fields).
• Maintain a close working relationship with the Mental Health Specialist for the Trial Division charged with developing and supporting cutting edge litigation of mental health issues.
Provide substantial assistance in individual casework, client support, research
and/or train on clinical and forensic mental health issues.
• Recognize potential mental health symptoms, cognitive and neurological
impairments, and psychological attributes, and analyze their impact on forensic mental health issues, including but not limited to, competency, insanity, and mitigation.
• Work effectively with multiple disciplinary defense teams.
• Advise attorneys regarding appropriate mental health and other experts.
• Consult with experts and team members regarding clinical, forensic, mitigation, and other case related issues;
• Conduct mental health related investigations, including but not limited to
acquiring a full life history, identifying and gathering relevant documents,
reviewing and summarizing records and other documents, and writing detailed
• Review, synthesize, and summarize medical and mental health records, and
advise the legal team on the import of such records.
• Conduct multiple, comprehensive, and detailed in-person interviews in a
culturally competent manner, with clients, clients’ family and friends, treatment
providers, and other witnesses. Interviews with clients and some witnesses will be conducted at institutions – jails, prisons, psychiatric hospitals; others may be conducted at homes or places of employment. The Contractor will be required to travel out of the area to conduct interviews or other investigation.
• Communicate with treatment staff and institutional officials regarding treatment, services, disciplinary and behavioral issues, and advocate regarding such issues where appropriate.
• Conduct expansive vetting of mental health experts and expand the depth,
breadth, and diversity of available mental health experts.