09 September 2013

"Diminished Capacity" for Lawyers

Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers

With the coming demographic avalanche of Boomers reaching their 60s and the over-80 population swelling, lawyers face a growing challenge: older clients with problems in decision-making capacity.

16 key questions...

1. What are legal standards of diminished capacity?

2. What are clinical models of capacity?

3. What signs of diminished capacity should a lawyer be observing?

4. What mitigating factors should a lawyer take into account?

5. What legal elements should a lawyer consider?

6. What factors from ethical rules should a lawyer consider?

7. How might a lawyer categorize judgments about client capacity?

8. Should a lawyer use formal clinical assessment instruments?

9. What techniques can lawyers use to enhance client capacity?

10. What are the pros and cons of seeking an opinion of a clinician?

11. What if the client’s ability to consent to a referral is unclear?

12. What are the benefits for the lawyer of a private consultation with a clinician?

13. How can a lawyer identify an appropriate clinician to make a capacity assessment?

14. What information should a lawyer provide to a clinician in making a referral?

15. What information should the lawyer look for in an assessment report?

16. How does a clinical capacity evaluation relate to the lawyer’s judgment of capacity?

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