Skip to content

Council on Psychiatry and Law

The Council's principal responsibility is to evaluate legal developments of national significance, proposed legislation, regulations, and other government intervention that will affect the practice of psychiatry, including the subspecialty of forensic psychiatry. The council focuses on legislation, regulation, and case law that has the potential to influence the provision, quality or availability of mental health care and services, alter the psychiatrist-patient relationship, affect confidentiality or the rights of patients, or that will otherwise regulate the practice of psychiatry in the public or private sector. Additional areas of attention include child forensic psychiatry, corrections, assessment of violence risk, and psychiatric issues that reflect international concerns (e.g., abuse of psychiatry and psychiatrists, violence, terrorism, and human rights). In fulfillment of this charge, the Council is responsible for making recommendations concerning pending legislation that may affect effective psychiatric treatment, research, and training; preparation of model statutes for district branch use; monitoring regulations (and other forms of implementation of legislation); and drafting appropriate statements, resource documents, and recommendations for APA policy. A function of the Council is to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding appellate cases in which the APA should participate as amicus or support DB/SA participation as amicus, based on input from the Committee on Judicial Action. When there are time constraints, requests from the Committee on Judicial Action may go directly to the Board of Trustees after consultation with the chair of the Council on Psychiatry and Law. If an issue must be acted upon prior to the next meeting of the Board, the President may consider the issue through the Executive Committee.

Staff Liaison


Council Members

  • Richard Martinez, M.D., DLFAPAChairperson
  • A Axelrad, M.D., DLFAPA – Assembly Representative
  • Renee Binder, M.D., DLFAPA
  • Michael Champion, M.D., DFAPA
  • William Darby, M.D., FAPA
  • Morgan Deal, M.D.Early Career Psychiatrist Representative
  • Carl Erik Fisher, M.D., FAPA
  • Elizabeth Ford, M.D.
  • Ariana Huselid, M.D.
  • Danielle Kushner, M.D., FAPA
  • Ashley MacLean, M.D.
  • Sanya Virani, M.D.
  • Paul Appelbaum, M.D., DLFAPACorresponding Member
  • Debra Pinals, M.D., DLFAPAEx Officio Corresponding Member, AAPL Representative

Medical leadership for mind, brain and body.

Join Today