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2011 Weaver Symposium

Title: Taking Drugs, Doing Drugs, Refusing Drugs: Neuroscience, Psychoactive Compounds, and the Law

Date: March 16, 2011

Time: 3:10 – 6:30 p.m.

Location: Room 118

Application for three (3) hours of CLE credit (including one hour of substance abuse credit) has been submitted for Ohio and Kentucky. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP by March 9, 2011 to Cheryl DelVecchio at

(View brochure and registration form.)

“Psychopharmacology” sounds like a medical topic. But most attorneys have clients, colleagues, and family members who take prescription medications or who abuse legal or “recreational” drugs. In fact, psychoactive agents figure so prominently in civil and criminal matters that most attorneys can’t avoid dealing with drugs and their impact. The uses and impact of psychoactive compounds affect diverse areas of the law — education litigation, patients’ rights, medical malpractice, involuntary hospitalization, personal injury and other torts, workplace accommodations, Medicaid and Social Security entitlements, criminal prosecution and defense, employment litigation ... just to name a few. This symposium offers attorneys up-to-the-minute, ready-for-use, scientific-but-practical information about the virtues and pitfalls of psychoactive agents, taught by three widely recognized psychiatric experts in psychopharmacology, substance use disorders, and the legal significance of drugs.


3:10 p.m. Orientation: Psychoactive Compounds and the Law

Speaker: Douglas Mossman, MD, Director, Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry, UC College of Law, Department of Psychiatry, UC College of Medicine

3:15 p.m. From Sequestration to Pharmacotherapy: The Evolution of Drug Treatment in Psychiatry — An Overview for Lawyers

Speaker: Henry A. Nasrallah, MD Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, UC College of Medicine

4:10 p.m. Break

4:20 p.m. Why Do People Keep Using Drugs—Despite Bad Outcomes?

Speaker: Shannon C. Miller, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UC College of Medicine

5:20 p.m. Break

5:30 p.m. Ordinary Therapy or “Chemical Straitjacket”: When Courts Make Forced Medication a Tough Sell

Speaker: Douglas Mossman, MD

6:30 p.m. Adjourn


NasrallahHenry A. Nasrallah, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, UC College of Medicine. An internationally known psychiatrist, educator, and researcher, Dr. Nasrallah is the director of the UC Schizophrenia Program. His research focuses on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of psychosis and bipolar disorder. He has published 360 scientific articles and 11 books and has received more than 80 research grants. He has twice received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and was recognized as the U.S. “Teacher of the Year” by The Psychiatric Times. He currently serves as the president of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Education and Research Foundation.

shannon millerShannon C. Miller, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UC College of Medicine. An often-consulted expert on addictions, Dr. Miller has been interviewed for Dateline (NBC), Pravda, and U.S. News & World Report. He has authored 30 medical publications and is co-editor of the Journal of Addiction Medicine and the flagship textbook, Principles of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Miller has received numerous awards for his teaching and clinical expertise, including the Humanism in Medicine Award from the American Medical Association and designation as one of “America’s Top Psychiatrists” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America. He currently treats patients at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and he provides expert witness testimony in legal proceedings.

mossmanDouglas Mossman, MD, Director of the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry and Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at UC College of Medicine. Dr. Mossman teaches psychiatry residents and law students, and he speaks to physicians and attorneys about mental disabilities and the law. He devotes his clinical practice to treating patients and evaluating individuals involved in legal proceedings. The author of more than 120 publications, his areas of scholarship include legal and ethical issues, medical decision-making, violence prediction, statistics, and psychiatric treatment. His article “Critique of Pure Risk Assessment or, Kant Meets Tarasoff” received the American Psychiatric Association’s 2008 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award for outstanding contributions to the literature on forensic psychiatry.