Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Scholars Day

4100331291_e94217b473_oThursday, December 3, 2009, 1:30-3:00 PM, 3rd Floor Library and Patio. Poster Presentations of American Psychological Association Amicus Curiae Briefs.

The students research amicus curiae briefs that were submitted by the American Psychological Association to assist judges in their decision making processes about a significant legal case that is before them. Many of the briefs are submitted to the US Supreme Court and are about social justice issues.

This event for our advanced doctoral candidates and doctoral students in the 4th year of their studies present research posters to the community, in a similar style as a conference setting. They talk about their research of a specific legal case, the amicus curiae brief (friend of the court brief), the holding of the court, and the student’s critical analysis of the issues. Each student takes approximately 3 minutes to highlight the issues of the case and responds to questions from the visitors. This happens simultaneously where the visitors walk around and go from one poster to the next. Thus, each student presents his or her poster multiple times.

Members of the academic, mental health, and legal communities are invited to support our aspiring psychologists, listen to their findings, and acknowledge their dedication and hard work. Refreshments will be served.
For further information contact Dr. Lipinski: (805) 962-8179 x323 or

Cases Presented:

• “BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA OPPOSE EQUAL RIGHTS,” by Denise Jaimes-Villanueva, M.A. DC Court of Appeals (2002). ISSUE: “First Amendment right to freedom of association.” BSA terminated all relationships with two gay former Eagle Scouts.
• “FOOD FOR THOUGHT: PSYCHOLOGISTS AS MEDICAL CARE PROVIDERS—LESSONS FROM BUCY v. BUCY,” by Betsy Bates Freed, M.A. Connecticut Court of Appeal (1990). ISSUE: Whether expenses incurred in psychotherapy for the treatment of eating disorders are “medical expenses” within the meaning of a separation and support decree.
• “HIDING BEHIND THE 1ST AMENDMENT: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA V. DALE,” by Alexandra Schmidt, M.A. US Supreme Court (2000). ISSUE: “First Amendment right to freedom of association.” BSA expelled assistant scoutmaster because he stated publicly that he was gay.
• “HUNTOON v. TCI CABLEVISION OF COLORADO: CAN NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS TESTIFY AS TO THE ETIOLOGY OF ORGANIC BRAIN DAMAGE?” By James Fortman, M.A. US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1998). ISSUE: “Whether a neuropsychologist is qualified to testify as to the causation of a head injury.”
• “PANETTI RAISES THE BAR AGAINST EXECUTING THE INCOMPETENT,” by Patti Michaels, M.A. US Supreme Court (2007). ISSUE: “The appropriate standard for determining the level of mental illness that should preclude execution, as well as the issue of how to define the factors that should be assessed in such a case.”
• “TWO-TIERED VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE PROMOTED THROUGH APA’S EXPLOITATION OF ADOLESCENTS,” by David Eagle, M.A. US Supreme Court (1990). ISSUE: “Whether an Ohio statute which prohibited a physician from performing an abortion upon a minor unless notice was provided to one of the minor’s parents is unconstitutional.”
• “WHEN HARD SCIENCES AND SOFT SCIENCES MEET: HOW COGNITION AND PHYSICS INFLUENCE TRIAL OUTCOMES,” by Jason Arkin, M.A. New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (1998). ISSUE: “Whether cognitive research evidence and expert testimony regarding laypersons’ beliefs concerning physics was admissible in a murder trial.”
• “GOODMAN V. GEORGIA: THE APPLICATION OF THE AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT TO THE PRISON SYSTEM,” by Dore Lavering, M.A. U.S. SUPREME COURT (2006). ISSUE: “Whether the American with Disabilities Act applies to conditions under which the disabled are held in state prisons.”
• WRIGHT v. PENNSYLVANIA (pending 2008). Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. ISSUE: “Involves the lower courts’ interpretation that the Post Conviction DNA testing statute does not allow access to DNA testing if there has been a ‘voluntary’ confession in the case” by Chelsea Gottfurcht, M.A.